SAIL students chart their own course

SAIL students chart their own course

At a time when many firms want employees and lots of college students want a versatile method to training, the SAILING Academy in Pigeon gives a mannequin of how a neighborhood can work collectively to fill these gaps in a means that could be a dream come true for some college students.

SAIL Academy – Pupil Studying and Individualized Studying – shares a downtown Pigeon location with Emma’s Espresso Home. There, the highschool studying expertise is tailor-made to the various wants of scholars – for hands-on skilled coaching, educational flexibility, and peer interplay.

The one-year program permits college students to earn a highschool diploma whereas finishing core programs on-line; take part in native internships and life abilities workshops; take conventional highschool electives resembling choir or orchestra; or play sports activities.

Who loves SAIL?

Some college students might have fallen behind and want a little bit assist to catch up. Others could also be to this point forward that they respect the liberty of a versatile college day. Others thrive on the emotional help {that a} tailor-made training plan and grownup mentorships can present.

SAIL college students have to be of their second 12 months to completely enroll and be 16 to take part in internships. As well as, they have to move an admission interview. “To enroll in e-learning, our college students should reveal self-motivation and good time administration abilities,” says Caitlin Stone-Webber, director of the academy.

A 24-credit commencement requirement—4 credit lower than conventional highschool within the district—will get college students in want of credit score again heading in the right direction and permits these on the lookout for a workload lighter to have extra time for the internships.

Each pupil is completely different, and every pupil at SAIL works with adults to develop an academic roadmap tailor-made to their targets and talents. This might embrace:

  • Learnings
  • Non-Profession Technical Training Work-Based mostly Studying
  • In-person electives at Lakers Excessive College resembling band, artwork, mechatronics, and so forth.
  • In-person classes on the native technical heart
  • Emotional and psychological well-being workshops
  • Group partnerships
  • Learnings

The way it works?

“We presently have 15 college students enrolled, with three internships beginning within the second semester,” says Stone-Webber. “Our program has two elements, e-learning and internships/apprenticeships. We work intently with our enterprise companions to make sure that internships are appropriate for each the corporate and our college students. »


Pupil internships are presently obtainable within the manufacturing, healthcare, accounting, and customer support/meals {industry} sectors. “We’re all the time working so as to add extra and welcome all industries,” says Stone-Webber.

If a pupil has a profession curiosity in thoughts, employees attempt to discover one thing that matches these long-term targets, Webber-Stone says. In different instances, college students might not know the place they’re going after commencement. “We will work with them and with profession coaches/assessments,” she says, “to discover a path that they may very well be profitable in to search out the position that is greatest for them.”

Alternation in opposition to apprenticeship

SAIL Academy works on internships as apprentices, in addition to on-the-job studying – two several types of packages.

In an apprenticeship, college students earn an industry-standard wage, {industry} hours towards a real, transferable certification or license, and highschool or school credit. These are packages registered with the US Division of Labor, and Academy employees work with firms and Michigan Works to implement them.

Wanda Bigelow, apprenticeship supervisor for Genesee Shiawassee Thumb MIchigan Works!, says apprenticeship packages for highschool college students present college students with the inspiration to select from a number of pathways after highschool – enrolling in school, enter an apprenticeship program, begin a full-time job, or a mix of the three.

Variations between internships and apprenticeships embrace:

Period: Internships are typically of quick length (1 to three months) and apprenticeships are of longer length (1 to three years).

Construction: Apprenticeships embrace a structured coaching plan centered on mastering the precise abilities an employer must fill a place inside their group. Internships are unstructured and sometimes concentrate on normal entry-level work expertise.

Mentorship: Apprentices obtain individualized coaching with an skilled mentor who guides them via their course of. Internships don’t all the time embrace mentoring.

Compensation: Apprenticeships are paid experiences that usually result in full-time employment. Internships are sometimes unpaid and should not result in full-time employment.

Diploma: Apprenticeships result in an industry-recognized credential. Internships typically don’t result in a level.

Faculty credit score: Internship and apprenticeship experiences can each result in school credit score, though some apprenticeship packages result in a debt-free school diploma.

The SAIL Academy work-based studying placement permits for salaries and faculty credit within the type of The Village Schoolhouse. On this mannequin, college students work 4 to 5 hours per week, earn a small wage, and be taught job abilities.

“That is for our college students who might not be prepared for an apprenticeship, however wish to achieve employable abilities and real-life expertise,” says Webber-Stone. On this program, every pupil works with a office mentor to information them.

What does the varsity day appear to be?

Pupil schedules are utterly versatile. An off-campus constructing is open to college students day-after-day of the week in accordance with the district schedule. Two employees – Webber-Stone and a pupil coordinator – are on this website to assist with any issues or questions college students might have. College students are solely required to attend in particular person in the event that they fall behind of their lessons. In any other case, they’ll come and go as they please.

Pupil work schedules differ, so in some instances when a pupil finishes on-line, they accomplish that for the day. In different instances, they may go on to the development website.

This system follows the eligibility standards for athletics, so college students within the sport observe a strict pacing schedule and keep the grades required to take part. Moreover, highschool electives are all obtainable to SAIL Academy college students.

Transportation is offered when potential.

Tabitha Scott began the SAIL program final 12 months on the advice of her college counselor to assist relieve the panic assaults and nervousness she had lengthy had in common lecture rooms.

“If I felt as much as it, I might sit on the sofa with air cushions and do my job,” Scott remembers, and the employees “all the time made me really feel welcome and secure in a faculty atmosphere.

“Being at SAIL gave me many alternatives, like my part-time job at Emma’s (Espresso Home),” says Scott. “I really feel like going crusing was the most effective decisions I’ve made.”

Scott’s targets are to complete highschool and probably get into magnificence college to grow to be an eyelash technician and beautician.

Sooner or later, she would even wish to dwell in Hawaii for a bit.

“I simply discover that with the ability to go to a extra open-minded and concerned college has helped me get via a few of my hardest occasions,” she says.

How SAIL began

That is the result Laker Colleges Superintendent W. Brian Keim had in thoughts when he labored with the crew to make Sail Academy a actuality.

This system might not be one of the best for all youngsters, says Keim, but it surely’s nice for others, “and people are the scholars we’re right here to serve.

“We did not beforehand have an alternate college in our district, and we had been seeing college students transfer on to different packages that provided alternative ways to be taught,” Keim says. “We felt like we let these college students down by not with the ability to help them via to commencement. On the similar time, our neighborhood enterprise companions instructed us they wanted younger employees who may very well be educated whereas in highschool and retained as workers past their college years.

One scholarship visited an progressive college in Ohio that despatched college students to youth apprenticeship packages that led to profession alternatives after highschool, Keim says. Impressed, he took the thought dwelling and located a potential route for making a program via the US Division of Labor’s Registered Youth Apprenticeship Packages.

“The issue was that there was no credit score system for this in Michigan like there was in a number of different states,” says Keim. “One other downside was that we did not have the funds to start out a brand new program.”

An surprising increase – from a pandemic

Enter COVID, the place college students throughout the nation have been pressured into distant studying and faculties have been pressured to adapt to a brand new means of instructing and studying.

Keim says many college students have discovered they’ll be taught remotely, and in some instances have most well-liked it. As well as, authorities funding has begun flowing to varsities beneath the Relief program for elementary and secondary schoolswhich gave faculties the monetary help to attempt new issues.

And after

The Sail Academy is about to launch its first apprenticeship within the second half of this 12 months, the primary such program within the state. SAIL will have the ability to place college students in actual apprenticeship packages, permitting them to earn {industry} hours and aggressive salaries, whereas getting ready for his or her levels.

The aim, or promise, of every apprenticeship placement is a full-time job provide from the position firm upon completion of this system.

Be taught extra

For extra details about SAIL Academy, name 989-453-4765 or electronic mail [email protected]

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