Apprenticeships are the core model of After School Matters and are programs in which teens learn marketable skills in a professional atmosphere from industry experts. The instructor-to-student ratio is 1:15, and the ideal program incorporates two instructors working with 30 teens. Most apprenticeships last 90 hours over ten weeks during the school year and 135 hours over six weeks during the summer.
Apprenticeships mirror real jobs in many ways. Prospective teen apprentices must fill out applications, interview with After School Matters staff, and maintain professional standards of attendance, conduct, and dedication. The professional concepts developed in these programs provide teens with the maturity and knowledge to enter the workforce. Some programs, such as our lifeguard and baseball officiating programs, certify teens for possible summer jobs with our public partner, the Chicago Park District.
A Pre-Apprenticeship is an introductory out-of-school-time program that focuses on job readiness skills, career exploration and school engagement. Pre-Apprenticeships should ensure participants can recognize and articulate the job readiness skills they develop such as communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and decision-making. Career exploration provides an opportunity to explore a variety of careers within a field and be supplemented with lectures and demonstrations from visiting professionals and trips to local industry leaders.
An Apprenticeship is a project-based out-of-school-time program led by expert industry professionals where participants develop marketable skills in a particular field (e.g. Web design, mosaics, stadium management, theater, etc.), as well as develop job readiness skills such as problem solving, communication, critical thinking, and decision making.
Advanced Apprenticeship Programs
Our most skilled and mature teens can refine their abilities in Advanced Apprenticeships. These intensive programs have more rigorous demands of dedication and quality, and more sophisticated and ambitious final projects. Such projects include professional performances, technology services, and commissioned projects such as public art installations funded by local corporations.
Internships are specialized work opportunities for skilled teenagers to work in a non-profit organization where they will refine their critical workplace skills and put the professional skills learned in apprenticeships to the test.