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CHS Becomes MontCo’s First Traditional High School to Offer a PDE-Approved Diversified Occupations Program

DO students with McKenna(October 20, 2023) Cheltenham High School has become the first traditional high school in Montgomery County to offer a Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved Diversified Occupations program.

Now in its third year, the program provides career-driven seniors the opportunity to explore career pathways and learn technical and employability skills. The program enables seniors to earn credit toward graduation while completing paid, work-based learning experiences that align with post-secondary career goals.

Program coordinator Brittney McKenna identifies, develops and manages interdependent relationships among the school, employer, and student, in addition to providing job coach support. Co-op employers utilize her support as needed during and in-between assessments of success in the work environment. Employers pair students with mentors who provide support and supervision. McKenna visits students’ worksites, conducts performance evaluations, and collects performance evaluations from their mentors. The area of training may be in any career and technical education area where there are needs for trained persons and must relate to the student’s career objective.  

“With work-based learning, each student has opportunities to personalize their education based on their career interests,” said McKenna. “Work-based learning provides students with opportunities to explore a career theme of interest, including technical and employability skills, in a way that would not typically happen in the academic classroom.”

Previous and current partners include ACME Market-Jenkintown, Cheltenham Township Library Systems, Dicks Sporting Goods, Five Below- Willow Grove, Fresh Grocer of Cheltenham, Greater Phila YMCA, Homesense-North Wales, Kids First Swim Schools, Lang Chiropractic, Lauro Painting, Lucky Dogz, Minuteman Press- Glenside, Nothing Bundt Cakes-Abington, Old Navy-Cheltenham, This Way ONward Gap Inc. Program, Pandora, Play & Learn-Abington, Play & Learn-Fort Washington, Produce Junction-Glenside, Save A Lot-Cheltenham, ShopRite of Cheltenham, Sofive Elkins Park, Sprinkles Ice Cream Shoppe, St. Miriam School, Sussman Kia Auto, Swaayze Properties, Tashman Tech Group, Unidine @ Rydal Park, Walgreens Pharmacy, Walmart, Wawa, and Whitsons Culinary Group.