Internships & Work Based Learning

Last Updated: 1/26/2021 9:54 PM

Work-Based Learning (WBL) at MHS

At Merrillville High School, you have the opportunity to earn credits as you work through Work Based Learning! Our mission with Work-Based Learning is to give our students an opportunity to gain real world experiences with local industries and community professionals. Students in WBL will be able to acquire job skills in a field they are interested in pursuing once they complete their high school education.

Take some time to review the different Work-Based Learning opportunities below to see which you would be interested in!

Three Types of WBL

  1. Working at a job that is affiliated with your CTE pathway. ( i.e.:  If you are in the Culinary Pathway you can get a job at a restaurant or if you are in the Automotive Pathway you can get a job at a car dealership).  
  2. Certain CTE classes also provide you with unpaid internship opportunities during the time that you take your CTE course. (i.e  Auto Tech II intern at Bosak)
  3. Enter into a paid internship through our Internship class that does not have to be affiliated with your graduation pathway. (Enroll at Internship Class at MHS and find a business and get placed at a paid internship for part of the year during school hours)


  Advanced CTE Course WBL through
Cooperative Education
  1. CTE Capstone (paid)                                    
  2. Internship experience embedded within an advanced CTE course aligned to course class (unpaid)    
ICE (5902) (paid or meaningful)
Key Characteristics
  1. Students working onsite at employer workplace                                                            
  2. Mentoring from workplace practitioners
  3. Gradual release of responsibility to Students from workplace practitioners                     
  4. Tied to course standards and industry certification skill requirements                    
  5. May be embedded in course
  1. Standalone course or embedded within an advanced CTE course
  2. Credit bearing
  3. Aligned to CTE program of study
  4. Student employed (in most cases)
Grade Juniors or Senior Senior
Length 1-3 trimesters 1-3 trimesters
Academic 2.5 minimum 2.5 minimum
Behavioral no discipline infractions no discipline infractions
Attendance 90% or better 90% or better
Credits 1-2 per trimester 3-9 per year
Application Required Required
References 2 Staff Required 2 Staff Required
Transportation Provided by student unless Internship
embedded in course
Provided by student
Hours Required Course Requirements 200-480
Related Instruction Seminar with CTE Assistant Principal each week for 1 hour (Monday) Seminar each week by employer or CTE instructor
Diploma Core 40, Academic Honors, Technical Honors Core 40, Academic Honors, Technical Honors

How WBL through CTE works:

CTE Capstone

  1. Students will need to be enrolled in a graduation pathway and become employed at a workplace that is affiliated with that pathway. (i.e. If you are in the Culinary Pathway you can get a job at a restaurant or if you are in the Automotive Pathway you can get a job at a car dealership.)
  2. Parent must approve and sign permission.
  3. Students must have four credits earned in this career pathway in order to participate.
  4. Students must have all of their required classes fulfilled in either to leave school early to go to work.
  5. Student must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the Graduation Pathway in order to qualify.
  6. Student will turn in a weekly report of what skills they are learning during their WBL Experience
  7. Student will attend a one hour seminar once every week with the CTE Assistant Principal
  8. Student will turn in timesheet to the CTE Assistant Principal to the CTE Assistant Principal every two weeks 
  9. Students may qualify for up to two credits per trimester
  10. Students provide their own transportation
  11. Evaluations will be completed by the business and turned in to the CTE Assistant Principal during the Seminars
  12. Grades will be determined by Mr. Knocke in conjunction with business evaluations.

Internship that is Embedded in Class

  1. Certain higher level CTE courses have unpaid Internships embedded in the class (Auto Tech II, Early Child Education, Education Professions II).
  2. School provides transportation in most cases. In cases that involve student transportation, students must have their own vehicle; parents must approve and sign for permission.
  3. Evaluations will be completed by the business and turned in to the CTE Teacher and will be a part of the students’ class grade.
  4. Poor evaluations may result in removal from the CTE class.

How WBL through Cooperative Education Works

  1. Qualify for the internship (see above chart)
  2. Students attend 1st and 2nd hour classes and intern from noon to 3 p.m. each school day.  For the first 10 days of the semester and the last two-three days of the semester, students spend the afternoon with the Internship Coordinator (the teacher in charge of overseeing the students).  After those first 10 days, every Monday is a seminar day where student interns are required to attend concurrent classroom instruction during 3rd hour at school.
  3. Resumes and interviews (both with their teacher & the business) are required to get the internship and time cards are required for every week of work. (We'll work on your resume, cover letter and interview skills in Seminar.)
  4. Observations at work can be expected at any time by the Internship Coordinator.
  5. Students sign legal training contracts with the business.
  6. Students get three (3) hours credit per internship, so make sure all of your work is top quality all the time! If you get an "A," that's three "A"s on your report card.
  7. Students provide their own transportation from school to work.
  8. Students will eat lunch BEFORE they go to their internship and NOT take a break while at work.  (You're only there for three hours.)
  9. Businesses and your teacher determine your grades.

For additional questions, email Mr. Knocke at

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