When choosing the right college, it all comes down to the things that are most important to you. The location is important. The size of the school and student-teacher ratios are important. The extra-curricular offerings, dorms, and student organizations are all important. But the questions that often weigh heaviest on the minds of high school seniors deciding where to go to college are about the future: “Does this school have the degree I want?” “Will it help prepare me for my career? For the real world?” “How much is it going to cost?” “Why this school over others?”
The Work College model addresses these questions. It is different from the traditional education model, because it pairs intellectual formation with meaningful employment, with the goal of helping students enjoy a holistic and balanced college experience that prepares them for a successful professional career.
There are several reasons why the Work College model at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family could be the right fit for you. Here are five potential reasons:
You want community service to be a major part of your college education.
The Work College model employs a work-learning-service approach, and encourages students to find balance in all areas of their life. At Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, we believe that it is our duty to help students develop intellectually, professionally, physically and spiritually. Additionally, we believe it is our duty to help build up servant leaders, ready to assist in their homes, communities, and places of work. As a Catholic school with a Franciscan spirituality, we see community service as an integral part of personal formation and education. It is not enough to just be professionally qualified, we strive to help students be ethical, morally upstanding, and conscious of their fellow man as well.
This ethos is captured in our first Work College principle: Respect work as a learning opportunity. The Work College model offers students a unique opportunity for reflection and learning. Students are encouraged to think about what they are learning at their job, and how they can carry those specific skills into the workforce. Likewise, community service, an important part of the work-learning-service approach, offers students the opportunity to reflect on the lessons they learn and the skills they acquire. This gives students a sense of perspective and gratitude.
You want to develop professionally applicable leadership skills.
Maybe you already know what you want to do once you graduate. You have mapped out a professional 10-year plan, and you are well on your way there. Work College programs can help, not only by giving you valuable professional experience, but also by strengthening your leadership skills. Students who participate in Work College programs develop key professional skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and decision-making. Working throughout college in professional environments and with feedback from the Work College staff and faculty, will help you start out on that plan to becoming the boss in your thriving career. Additionally, research shows that Work College graduates were more likely to rank their school as having a positive impact on “developing and using effective leadership skills,” than those who attended other private or public four-year schools.
We highlight this in our second Work College principle: Begin your leadership journey. Students are given a realistic picture of what post-college employment is like. Through the Work College program, students have the opportunity to learn what it takes to be a leader, and how they can work throughout their career to attain that position. By starting with entry-level jobs, students see what it really takes to move up the professional ladder, and develop the skills to help them do so.
You want a well-rounded college experience.
At Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, we are invested in you and in your college experience. We know that by offering a well-rounded education that helps form you spiritually, academically, professionally, socially, and otherwise, you will graduate happier and more confident, ready to engage in a successful career. Additionally, the work-learning-service approach unique to a Work College program, helps students learn a “critical balance of study, community service, and managed work expectations.” Professors and faculty are understanding of your commitment to work, study, and service, and challenge you to find a healthy and functional balance.
Quality academic + professional preparation = a successful life. Students who participate in a Work College program can expect to be successful in every area of their life. By participating in this model, students are offered an experience that shapes their whole person, preparing them for the reality of the professional adult world, after they graduate college.
You want a better chance at a job you will really enjoy upon graduation.
When you graduate from Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, you receive both an academic and work transcript. This unique feature of our Work College program will help you secure a job in your desired field. Additionally, students often have the opportunity to begin working in their desired field, while still in school. This gives them practical hands-on experience, and a competitive edge when applying for jobs post-graduation. Research shows that students who participate in Work Colleges felt their college experience better prepared them for their job after graduation, than those who attended private or public four-year schools.
We emphasize this principle throughout our Work College: Be passionate about your work. Sometimes employment is not as glamorous as we want it to be, but it pays the bills - so we do it. The Work College program teaches students to find meaning and ignite passion in whatever job they hold. From working in the dining hall, to the facilities team, to the library and recreation center - everyone is encouraged to work diligently in their job, and find purpose in their work. Adopting this attitude will make you a more competent and desirable choice for future employers.
You want to graduate college with little to no debt.
Let’s face it - college can be expensive, and the prospect of sitting through class for four or more years, only to then jump into the working world to have to pay off loans, doesn’t sound like a party. While there are many options for reducing college expenses and debt, a Work College program is the only option that keeps the student’s interests and well-being at the forefront. One of the goals of all Work College programs is to help students graduate with limited or considerably less debt than their peers.
This is the goal of our final Work College principle: Embrace stewardship and personal responsibility. Not only does the model help students to reduce their debt, but it also helps keep them out of debt and financial trouble for the remainder of their lives, by instilling in them sound fiscal management skills. The Work College program also teaches participants to appreciate money and helps them develop responsible spending habits.
If these are things that you want in a college, then Silver Lake College of the Holy Family may be the place for you. We want you to be the most well-rounded leader you can be, and happily, successfully, and gainfully employed upon graduation. The Work College program at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family is your first step to getting there.