• Rationale for Red Lodge High School Internships

    Youth Internships allow students the opportunity to consolidate and apply the learning from their high school course work into a meaningful and relevant on-the-job-experience.

    As defined in IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) 2004, transition services is a coordinated set of activities designed “to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation” (x602). Secondary transition personnel must address a wide gamut of post school outcomes for students across multiple settings—including home, school, and employment as appropriate for each student, and IDEA 2004 stipulates that transition services must focus on improving students’ academic and functional achievement (x602) based on each student’s individual needs, strengths, preferences, and interests. Through working with an adult mentor at the worksite, students have the opportunity to develop a foundation of general workplace skills and to acquire the information and skills needed in their chosen career.


    Red Lodge High School Internship Overview

    An Internship is an opportunity for a student to work with one or more employers at a business, non-profit organization, or government agency. The objective is to provide an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in how business and industry work. The internship experience is based on the student’s chosen career path, and enables the instructor to communicate to students what skills and knowledge are necessary to enter specific careers.


    Internships help students:

    • Gain hands on experience at a local business to build upon skills learned in the classroom.
    • Establish a clear connection between education and work.
    • Develop an understanding of the workplace under the guidance of an adult mentor.
    • Explore and research a variety of careers.
    • Develop workplace responsibility and learn about workplace realities.
    • Establish professional contacts for future employment and mentoring.
    • Establish positive work habits and attitudes.
    • Learn technical skills that will be invaluable for future employment.


    Internships help teachers:

    • Make education more relevant and valuable for students.
    • Access the latest tools and equipment.
    • Acquire information on proficiencies required by employers/occupations.
    • Interact with the business community to secure resources (e.g. knowledge, equipment, software, etc.)


    Internships help employers:

    • Gain access to an expanded pool of qualified applicants.
    • Reduce employee training costs.
    • Establish close working relationships with local schools and educators.
    • Introduce students to their business and careers available within their company.
    • Generate positive publicity and public relations for their business.
    • Assist students to make better-informed educational and career choices.
    • Communicate required job-specific proficiencies to educational personnel. 

    Criteria for a Quality Internship Program



    1. Students are selected for the Youth Internship based on an application process that includes: school attendance and behavior, year in school (junior or senior), and qualification as an individual with disabilities with an Individualized Education Plan.
    2. Student worksite placement is based on the student’s transition goals, interests, and aptitude assessment results.
    3. Students will receive one high school credit per 150 classroom and internship training hours in career and technical education for the Youth Internship experience.
    4. Students must be at least 16 years of age and in their junior or senior year of high school.
    5. Students must provide their own transportation to and from the worksite.
    6. Students will not be placed in worksite situations where they are supervised by or working directly with family members.


    Worksite Experience:

    1. A Youth Internship contract must be signed and kept on file by the student, parent/guardian, school representative, and employer.
    2. A job description is prepared, outlining job duties and student learning competencies and is agreed to by all parties.
    3. Students will work as trainees and adhere to the duties specified in the training agreement and job description.
    4. The Youth Internship may be a paid or unpaid experience at the discretion of the school or worksite experience.


    Classroom/School Experience:

    1. A certified teacher provides the classroom learning worksite experience and also serves as the teacher of record for the worksite learning experience.
    2. Students must receive training in basic employability skills before the on-the-job experience.
    3. Students will complete a capstone project incorporating the following:
      1. A portfolio including, but not limited to: personal reflections, photos of the worksite experiences, evidence of academic and technical skill attainment, and a resume.
      2. An oral presentation on their internship experience using multimedia materials (i.e. PowerPoint, interviews, photos/video, etc) before a panel of school and worksite personnel.

    Framework for Red Lodge High School Internship Program


    Program Goals

    • Align Individualized Education Plan goals with Montana Standards for Workplace Competencies and/or Montana Common Core State Standards
    • Career exploration
    • Employability skill development
    • Preparation for post-secondary education or training and independent living


    Roles and Responsibilities

    • Red Lodge School District Administration
      • Communicate the goals and expectations of the Internship program to the school and community
      • Provide resources to support the program
      • Conduct program reviews as needed
    • Red Lodge High School Special Education
      • Develop and implement internship program adapted from the Youth Internship Program Framework by the South Dakota Department of Education
      • Internship Coordinator & Instructor
        • Inform the program participants of their roles and responsibilities, including the process and requirements of securing and participating in a Youth Internship
        • Oversee Internship implementation elements, such as goal setting, contacting employers, obtaining training agreements, etc.
        • Schedule internship seminars with appropriate outside service agencies to provide specific skill instruction
        • Provide academic instruction and evaluate the learning derived from the Internship through pre- and post- Internship data, including but not limited to post-secondary education, training, employment, and independent living
        • Facilitate communication between the school, the worksite, the student, and the student’s parents
        • Address questions and, and if necessary, mediate problems and issues among the participants in the Internship experience
      • Montana State University Billings
        • Montana Center for Inclusive Education
          • Connection to post-secondary education
          • Develop and coordinate mentoring program between Montana State University Billings Disability Support Services and Red Lodge High School Internship Program
            • Primarily a technological-based mentoring program through email, video-conferencing (Skype or Face-to-Face)
            • Recruit and screen potential mentors from Disability Support Services at MSUB
            • Train mentors concerning policies, confidentiality, boundaries, record keeping, and other expectations of participating in the program
            • Match mentors with students in the program
            • Support/supervise mentors
            • Coordinate a minimum of two face-to-face meetings on the campus of MSUB between mentors and students
            • Evaluation of mentors and mentor program
          • CSPD/MREA3 Transition Council
            • Vocational Rehabilitative Services
              • Provide funding for a job coach or paraprofessional
              • Provide funding for necessary curriculum and supplies
            • Worksite Supervisor
              • Interview student interns
              • Determine qualifications of the position
              • Provide adequate equipment, materials, and other facilities required in order to provide an appropriate learning experience for the student
              • Inform the student about the business regulations regarding confidentiality and public access to information
              • Serve as a mentor, sharing the pros and cons of a career in the field and giving suggestions for entering the profession
              • Complete mid-term and final evaluations of the Internship experience to the school, describing achievements and providing suggestions for improvement
            • Parents/Guardians
              • Support the student Intern in developing, implementing, and reviewing their annual Individualized Education Plan
              • Support student goals, pointing out strengths and accomplishments, encouraging the student to explore a range of alternatives for their future
              • Assume responsibility for the personal conduct of the student intern
            • Students
              • Develop goals with Internship Coordinator, including expectations, responsibilities, and schedule
              • Complete the required number of hours of work and academic instruction
              • Maintain high standards of professionalism throughout the Youth Internship Program, including dressing appropriately and safely for the work site
              • Learn about and adhere to business regulations regarding confidentiality and public access to information
              • Seek supervision and assistance as needed
              • Understand the responsibilities of placement and site outcomes that will help determine grade and credits awarded


    Red Lodge High School Internship Course Syllabus


    1. Course Description


                This course is designed to provide valuable, hands on experience in a career field of  interest identified by the student. Students spend ninety minutes per day in an instructional seminar or supervised work experience. Each internship site has a set of learning goals the student will work toward accomplishing. This course is available to juniors and seniors with disabilities for up to four terms. Students must provide their own transportation, and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.


    1. Instruction

     Students are expected to meet course goals and demonstrate required concepts. Students will work independently with the worksite supervisor and the internship coordinator to learn career-specific skills and to update career search materials. Internship site experiences require students to draw upon academic skills in mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, and interpersonal skills.

     The community plays a vital role in the success of the Youth Internship Program. Community members serve as site supervisors and mentors for the internship  students, as well as seminar instructors.

     Student assessment and evaluation is based on attendance, punctuality, initiative, completion of assigned tasks, quality of work, and completion of final project.


    1. Course Goals

                The student will:

    • Participate in a supervised internship experience
    • Complete learning goals outlined for the internship site
    • Prepare a professional resume
    • Create a digital portfolio
    • Share information about the Red Lodge High School Youth Internship Program with others
    • Relate the importance of lifelong learning to career success
    • Explore appropriate employment opportunities and further education or training
    • Meet Montana Standards for Workplace Competencies in the areas of:
      • Workplace Resources
      • Interpersonal Workplace Skills
      • Workplace Competencies
      • Workplace Systems
      • Workplace Technologies
      • Workplace Readiness/Life and Career Planning
    1. Assessment

                Student evaluation will be based on:

    • Attendance and tardies: student must abide by school policies
    • Completion of required assignments and projects according to assessment rubrics
    • Completion of professional resume
    • Completion of digital portfolio and presentation
    • Quality of work at the internship site


    Montana Standards for Workplace Competencies

     Due to the explosive growth of technology and the globalization of commerce and industry, today’s workplace demands that workers work smarter not harder. Thus, school must help students acquire workplace skills by assisting them in developing the necessary intellectual abilities and personal traits that help them secure and maintain employment in the business world. Schools should encourage students to use creative and critical thinking skills, which are transferable from the classroom to the workplace and to the community.

    In the schools, these workplace skills must build upon the basic skills, higher order thinking, and the practice of personal qualities that emphasize such things as respect and responsibility. Also, these workplace skills need to be taught and understood in an environment that accurately represents the realities of today’s workplace.


    Content Standard 1 – Workplace Resources – Students identify, organize, plan, and allocate workplace resources of time, money, materials, facilities, and human resources.


    Rationale: In order to be productive members of society, students must be able to manage workplace resources.


    Benchmarks: Upon Graduation – End of 12th Grade

    1. select goal—relevant activities, rank them, allocate time, and prepare and follow schedules.
    2. Use or prepare budgets, make forecasts, keep records, make adjustments to meet objectives, and evaluate financial records.
    3. allocate and evaluate time, materials, facilities and resources to set and achieve goals.
    4. assess skills and distribute work accordingly, evaluate performance and provide feedback toward the accomplishment of personal team goals.


    Content Standard 2 – Interpersonal Workplace Skills – Students acquire and demonstrate interpersonal workplace skills.


    Rationale: Interpersonal skills play a major role in workplace success. It is essential that an individual has the ability to: Participate as a member of a team; teach new skills; exercise leadership; negotiate/compromise; work with individual differences and cultural diversity; and serve clients and customers.


    Benchmarks: Upon Graduation—End of 12th Grade

    1. practice various roles required as a member of an effective team while recognizing individual differences and cultural diversity.
    2. demonstrate and teach a learned skill including performance evaluation of self and others in the process.
    3. communicate ideas to justify position, persuade and convince others, and responsibly challenge existing procedures and policies.
    4. practice and exercise negotiating process including researching, goal setting, presenting, listening, clarifying, adjusting and compromising.
    5. practice and evaluate positive service skills (e.g., resolving misunderstandings, customer complaints).


    Content Standard 3 – Workplace Competencies -- Students acquire and use workplace information.



    Students must be able to use information from a variety of resources to assist them in making informed workplace decisions. A student must be able to: acquire, evaluate, and interpret data; organize and maintain; process and communicate workplace information using current technologies.


    Benchmarks: Upon Graduation—End of 12th Grade

    1. gather, compile and analyze data from a variety of sources, and evaluate relevance and accuracy in making informed decisions in the workplace.
    2. organize, process, analyze, and maintain written and computerized records and other forms of information using systematic methods.
    3. select, analyze, and present information using a variety of methods (e.g., oral, written, graphic, pictorial, multimedia).
    4. acquire organize, communicate, process, analyze and evaluate information from print and electronic sources.


    Content Standard 4 – Workplace Systems -- Students demonstrate an understanding of how social, organizational, and technological systems work.



    A system is a set of related parts that together form a whole designed to accomplish a purpose. Complex social systems (e.g., family, community group), organizational systems (e.g., government, school, workplace), and technological systems (e.g. computer network communications) impact outcomes in the workplace. Students must understand these systems and system relationships and function effectively within them. Students must use knowledge/experiences to: understand how systems relate to achieve goals; demonstrate competence in monitoring and correcting system’s performance; provide input to alter/improve existing systems or develop new systems; and use analytical skills to design creative solutions.


    Benchmarks: Upon Graduation—End of 12th Grade

    1. evaluate quality and performance of a variety of systems (e.g., impact of technology on production).
    2. practice and analyze principles of successful system management considering external factors and planning for uncontrolled variables (e.g. balance professional and personal lives).
    3. design, evaluate, and refine a system composed of subsystems (e.g., community service project, peer mediation, web page design).

    Content Standard 5 – Workplace Technologies -- Students work safely with a variety of workplace technologies.



    The students must be able to select technology, safely apply technology, maintain, and troubleshoot equipment.


    Benchmarks: Upon Graduation—End of 12th Grade

    1. choose procedures and technology to complete a task.
    2. create new knowledge by evaluating, combining, and extending information using multiple technologies.
    3. prevent or identify and solve problems using technology.
    4. practice and advocate ethical behavior in the use of technology.
    5. manage and maintain technological systems and follow troubleshooting protocol.


    Content Standard 6 – Workplace Readiness/Life & Career Planning – Students acquire and demonstrate skills in life and career planning and workplace readiness.



    The foundation for a rewarding life and productive employment is built through exploration and an understanding of life and career choices.


    Benchmarks: Upon Graduation—End of 12th Grade

    1. describe how skills developed in academic and occupational programs relate to life and career planning.
    2. display workplace readiness skills (e.g., responsibility, sociability, self-management, job-seeking skills).
    3. demonstrate decision-making and problem-solving skills.
    4. describe and evaluate life and career choices and the effect on family and lifestyle.
    5. discuss and demonstrate strategies to overcome bias and stereotyping in the workplace.
    6. develop, evaluate, and adjust life and career plans.


    Workplace Competencies Performance Standards: A Profile of Four Levels


    Advanced: This level denotes superior performance.


    Proficient: This level denotes solid academic performance for each benchmark. Students reaching this level have demonstrated                                             competency over challenging subject matter, including subject-matter knowledge, application of such knowledge to real-                                                     world situations, and analytical skills appropriate to the subject matter.


    Nearing Proficiency: This level denotes that the student has partial mastery or prerequisite knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient                                 work at each benchmark.


    Novice: This level denotes that the student is beginning to attain the prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for work at each benchmark.



    Career Portfolios

    Definition: Student managed collection of accomplishments and progress toward career goals.

    Job-Related Skills

    • Internships or job-shadowing experiences
    • Documentation of skills demonstrated on the job
    • Class projects
    • Competency certificates
    • Photographs or videos of work and/or projects
    • Instructor and mentor evaluations
    • Progress reports

    Educational Skills

    • Technical skills
    • Academic skills
    • Transcripts
    • Test scores (ACT scores)
    • Writing or research projects

    Employability Skills

    • Teamwork interpersonal skills
    • Attendance/punctuality
    • Initiative
    • Written and verbal communication skills
    • Critical thinking and problem solving skills

    Career Development Plan

    • Resume
    • Letter of recommendation
    • Aptitude, interest inventories
    • Career and educational goals

    Activities, Awards, and Volunteer Service

    • Leadership activities
    • Sports, clubs, hobbies, extracurricular activities
    • Awards
    • Volunteer or service-learning activities