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GPS Ed’s Education Center & Youth Apprenticeship Program is the organization’s original cornerstone program serving students throughout Wisconsin. The program offers students a unique approach to completing their high school education, earning their diploma from their home high school while taking part in a fully immersive hands-on experience in the classroom and during their youth apprenticeship. 

Many of the students who decide to attend the GPS Ed program do so because they: 

  • Don’t see traditional schooling as a fit, they aren’t engaged in traditional schooling. They aren’t finding the success they would like and want something “different” to finish their high school career.
  • They like to work with their hands, and see themselves as a “hands-on learner”.
  • Enjoy working, want to work, and want to jumpstart their career.
  • They are interested in manufacturing and/or a technical career.

However, there are a few misconceptions out there about the GPS Ed Education Center and Youth Apprenticeship Program. Here are five of the most common misconceptions we hear about our program.

Myth #1: No High School Diploma? Think Again!

Even though students complete their high school curriculum with GPS Ed, they still receive their high school diploma from their home high school. This is not a GED or equivalency diploma, but the same high school diploma they would have received had they attended classes at their high school. In fact, we encourage students to walk across the stage at their high school’s graduation ceremony along with participating in the GPS Ed graduation ceremony.

Myth #2: Missing Out on High School Activities? Not a Chance!

Not only are students still able to participate in those activities, we encourage it! Students are still able to be involved in music, acting, sports, clubs, prom, homecoming, etc. GPS Ed’s flexible scheduling allows students to still participate in these activities back at their home high school while still working and attending the school portion of GPS Ed. 

Myth #3: Friends Fade Away? Far from it!

You will be attending your schooling at a different location, but our students still maintain many of their friendships back at their home high school even though they are not physically there every day. Furthermore, our students are able to make additional friends from other high schools who attend their education center that they may have not met without the program. Since many of our students at our education centers have similar interests, hobbies, and reasons for joining the GPS Ed program, many new friendships are quickly formed between students.

Myth #4: Work Experience Required? Not at All!

None of those things are necessary for admittance or success in the program. Certainly having those experiences is great and may be beneficial, but they are not required at all. In fact, many of our students come to us without having any work experience. To be successful and a fit for GPS Ed, students simply need to have the motivation to want to work hard and have an interest in a technical career experience. 

Myth #5: Only for Workforce-Bound Students? Think Beyond!

While certainly, many GPS Ed students are planning to immediately begin working after high school, the program can be a great way for students who plan to attend college after high school to gain industry and work experience, test out a career pathway/industry while still in high school, and earn money while doing so. Many of our business partners have shared that students who have had experience learning and working the technical side of their business make for even more valuable professional employees given their unique experience and knowledge of that industry. For example, an engineering student hired out of college who has had experience actually working on the shop floor is a more valuable hire for that company, given their unique understanding of the entire manufacturing process. GPS Ed students can receive that experience in a fully immersive environment while still in high school. 

As we debunk these misconceptions, we hope you now have a clearer understanding of GPS Ed’s Education Center & Youth Apprenticeship Program. Whether you’re a hands-on learner, eager to work, or looking to build a strong foundation for your future, GPS Ed has something to offer.

Explore more about how our program can work for you or someone you know at https://gpsed.org/interested-students/.

Written By

Andrew Zimdars
Partner Services Manager
GPS Education Partners

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