To create exposure, there needs to be an attraction, benefit, or interest for both CAL and the prospective business partner. CAL takes the opportunity to research businesses with a direct link to our programs: Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing, Health Sciences, Computer Information Systems, and Digital Media and Design. The opportunities to develop professional relationships that offers work-based experiences for students is vast.
Although every relationship cannot be formed between both parties, CAL will generate interest to begin developing a partnership. To do this, CAL does the following;
Organizes field trips to businesses
Invite businesses to present their industry to students at CAL
Invite businesses to tour CAL
The reality is, not all businesses that CAL works with can develop a relationship past this stage. For example, media production studios cannot allow students to intern with them due to proprietary issues. Therefore, these companies remain at Tier 1, but remain and business partner to CAL.
However other businesses do develop a partnership. If CAL believes a strong relationship can form and will have a positive impact on the students, we will move the partnership forward to Tier 2.
CAL student visited Laika studios, when they were working on the movie “The Boxtrolls” in 2014. During this tour CAL were able to witness in depth of detail that production team puts into each and every scene.
Students also visited the National Guard and Daimler during this first stage. Health science students have also had numerous visitor to CAL.
Tier 2 involves CAL more directly. It is an opportunity for CAL teachers to prepare a plan with the business to take the partnership to the next level.
At this tier, work is created for CAL students in the classroom. Examples of this include:
Creating projects around the focus of the business partner.
Allowing business partners to create projects and tasks that involve the students.
Testing out new theories before the business go through with production.
An example of Tier 2 success is CAL’s work with Troutdale Fire Service. The Troutdale Fire Service visited CAL to give a presentation to the Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing students. During this talk, the Fire Service offered CAL students the opportunity to help them develop a project they needed to better to serve the community. The issue that Troutdale Fire had was that they were using a poor piece of equipment to look into deep water. At that time the fire service was using a piece of equipment that was put together by a stick, tape and a camera.
The CAL students took to the drawing board and designed different concepts to help the fire service. After weeks of planning, designing, building, and presenting, they produced a work able solution. In their teams, CAL students presented 7 prototypes. This was greeted with exceptional gratitude and the fire service took all 7 prototypes, to use in the field.
CAL has worked with other partners at this level including Pella Windows. Pella were researching ways to improve efficiency on their production line. So they approached CAL students. The students designed a new piece of equipment to use on their production line, this piece of equipment is now used by Pella.
Tier 3 is a work-based learning program. Once partnerships have been developed and they have dipped their toes into the water (Tier 1 and 2), we progress to the final stage of development.
Work-based learning gives the students the final level of exposure to see how their CAL education looks and feels at the worksite. As part of their studies, students are scheduled to take time at the worksite of the business partner. Here are some examples:
KCR Manufacturing – Begun as a presentation, KCR Manufacturing developed the Tier 2 level of mentoring in the classroom. Several CAL students have been hired and continue to work at this company. This is a continuous partnership that has grown into a Tier 3 level of involvement.
Legacy Mt. Hood – Due in large part to the experience of Legacy Mt. Hood Clinic staff working alongside CAL students scheduled for a clinical rotation (25 hours completed in a 4-week period), Brian Trickel, Director of Thoracic Surgical Nurses, enhanced this level of engagement for CAL students from one student per term, to 26-35 students per term! This is an excellent example, along with our other 35+ partners who support our health science program, of Tier 3 partnering.
Lewis: Creative and Troutdale Historical Society – Begun last year, Lewis: Creative Marketing partnered with CAL to develop an advertising campaign to boost awareness for the Troutdale Historical Society’s upcoming 2015 King of the Roads: The 100th Anniversary of the Columbia Scenic Highway. Over the 2013-14 school year, CAL’s Digital Media and Design students gathered still and moving images of the highway and proximal locations, as well as capture interviews of family members who were impacted by the highway’s development. Four students were selected to complete a paid internship during Summer 2014 to complete an interactive website, published October 2014. During the 2014-15 school year, incoming seniors will complete the campaign with brochures and marketing plan. LewisCreative has been an instrumental partner to bring real work values, work strategies, and professionalism to CAL students. This is a good example of a Tier 2 and 3 level of partnership.
Toyo Tanso Manufacturing – After the number of successful classroom visits and field trips, the Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing students were given the opportunity to participate in job shadows at the work site. Piloted in Spring 2014, Toyo Tanso will continue to build and expand the work-based learning experience for CAL students. During 2014-15, CAL students will continue to have the opportunity to experience this company’s work systems at the work site.
These are great success stories of work-based learning between CAL and its business partners. Not all of the partnerships make it through all Tiers but nevertheless each partner is valued. Now that the cycle is complete the business partner has a choice to make:
1. They can carry on to work with CAL students and create job shadows. 2. They have a break from the partnership. REMEMBER, this is a two year cycle where CAL makes what they want to achieve clear with any potential partners.