Cooperative Education

The Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) at Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School is designed to acquaint students with the world of work in their related programs and give them the work-based learning opportunities which cannot be duplicated in the classroom.

Students placed in the program enter at an entry-level position. The combination of job experience and a well-written training plan gives students opportunities for continual advancement in their chosen field.

  • All seniors are eligible with a recommendation from their program instructor
  • Recommendations are based on skill, attitude, work ethic, and attendance 

Benefits of Cooperative Education

For the employer:

  • A cost effective method of evaluating the potential of future employees
  • An opportunity to bring the latest technical skills and techniques into the organization
  • A year-round supply of well-trained, highly motivated students who want to learn
  • Relief for permanent professionals during peak work periods
  • Develop a work force of young people who have employment skills
  • No recruitment costs, higher employee retention, and reduced training costs
  • Community recognition for being a partner in education
  • Develops good relationships between business and young people and their parents

For the student:

  • Explore potential career interests
  • Develop professional work habits and improve human relations skills
  • Gain practical, on-the-job, career-related experience before graduation
  • Improve the chances of permanent employment
  • Defray the costs of education
  • Make more effective educational and career choices
  • Develop maturity and self confidence
  • Earn a wage in their desired occupation
  • Land that "first job" in the occupation desired as a career

Cumberland Perry AVTS currently has 41 seniors enrolled in the Cooperative Education Program, while 77 took advantage of the program during the 2018-19 school year.

Program Spotlight- Masonry

Program Spotlight- Masonry

Teacher Spotlight- Mr. Weber  


What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year?

“Increased enrollment. Moving the mixer to outside area similar to what you would see on a job site.”


What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS?

“Bricklayers, laborers, tele handle operators. Self- employed is another option some take.”


What particular training/unit do employers seek that helps students get their foot in the door?

“Basic skills are really important, like using the trowel, level, laying to the line. Also basic knowledge of the trade itself.”


What is some of the recent technology and/or trends in the profession, with which students become familiar?

“Learning to set up and work from mobile scaffolding platforms. Students were given the opportunity to see and use the Mule at the Bricklayers Union Open House last year. (Mule- Material Unit Lift Enhancer).”


What unit/topic do student struggle with the most in your program and why do you think that is?

“Learning to use a foot rule or tape measure.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“Students come in to the class, get changed and answer a daily question and math question. Students then proceed out into the shop area to work on assigned projects or their own designed project, depending on the lesson and level of student. Multiple assignments outside are done also, even things around the school campus.”


What advice would you give student who have completed your program?

“Keep a positive attitude, be motivated and believe in your ability.”


How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“I am now entering into my 4th year at CPAVTS.”


What is your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I went to Dauphin County Tech, and graduated in 1985. I worked two years as a residential mason. I entered into the Bricklayer Union in 1988. I worked as a jobsite foreman for 29 years before starting as a Masonry Instructor at CPAVTS.”



Student Spotlight- Masonry Student

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“You learn how to work together to plan out designs and then how to execute that build design.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“Retaining information. There is a lot to learn.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“For me building with my own hands and being creative with work is the best part.”


What is some recent technology you are learning to use in your program that is specific to your profession?

“Mixers, saws, material unit lift enhancer (MULE).”


What is your plan for after high school?

“Upon graduating, I plan to work in the trade with Caretti Inc.”



What is going to be the highlight of the year in your program?

“Graduating with my classmates.”

What are you the most proud of learning in your program?

“Learning how to cooperate with others in the field when it comes to building a design that requires more hands.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“Get off the bus and into shop, get dressed in my uniform, answer EQ for the day and get to work for the next couple of hours on the shop floor.“


How is your program at CPAVTS different from other classes you have had in the past?

“Just being able to do work in a trade during the school day, and learn something I find useful.”


What advice would you give to a beginning Level 1 student who is just starting the program or to a student who is considering enrolling in the program?

“Always make it a point to watch, and learn, from the students who work the hardest and work well.”

Catching Up With… Sarah Junkins, Class of ‘11

Sarah Junkins is a Cedar Cliff High School graduate, who attended CPAVTS at part of the Criminal Justice program.

She was invited to CPAVTS, as an Alumni guest speaker for the Criminal Justice program. 

Although she attended CPAVTS under instruction from our retired CJ Teacher, Mr. Page, she joined the Occupational Advisory Committee for CJ under Mr. Shannon’s new instructor regime.

Sarah was gracious enough to take a moment and fill us in on her exciting career advancement since graduating CPAVTS. 


Describe the company or industry in which you currently work.

“I work for the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, specifically in the Victim Services Division.”


What is your job title and what do you do?

“I am a Crime Victim Advocate. I assist victims through the criminal justice system.”


What other employment have you had related to your program areas at CPAVTS?

I haven’t had any other employment. I interned while I was in college, and that turned into a job with the DA’s Office.”


What additional education and training did you receive after leaving CPAVTS?

“I obtained a four year degree at Penn State University. I also received lots of training within the DA’s Office, in the areas of Homicide and Special Victims Training."


How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“The school appealed to my interests and needs, outside of my home school.”


How has you industry changed since your time at Cumberland Perry?

“There has been an increase in computer use!  Ability to use computer programs to process information.”


What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?

“Becoming Chief of my Criminal Justice class all of my senior year.”

CPAVTS Comprehensive Plan 2020-2022

Click here for the Comprehensive Plan

The new Emerging Health Professionals program for 2019-2020

CPAVTS will offer a new course called Emerging Health Professionals for the upcoming school year.  This course is a dual enrollment with Messiah College that offers skills-based training with a university learning, while students shadow the health care profession at UPMC.  This is a senior only course for those interested in a health care profession, which students will get to explore first hand with this course. 

This half day program for seniors will be for the duration of the entire school year.  Students will spend two days a week taking college courses, two days in a health care profession environment, and one day developing skills.  Students will take college courses such as anatomy and physiology totaling eight credits towards their post-secondary education. 

This is a great opportunity for students who want to pursue a health care profession like a physician’s assistant, dental medicine, sports medicine, or a registered nurse.