What is the cost to expand student transportation and opportunities for the Student Internship Program?
At this time, there is no transportation cost incurred by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) for the Student Internship Program. However, historically the Montgomery County Department of Transportation has provided tokens to staff within the Office of School Support and Improvement (OSSI) to distribute to internship students with financial need. The tokens allowed internship students to ride the Montgomery County Ride-On Bus free of charge to and from their work assignment during school hours. Last year, OSSI staff was informed by the Montgomery County Ride-On Bus that they would no longer be accepting tokens for this purpose.
Currently, the size or expansion of the internship program remains with school-based leadership staff. The size of internship programs within a school is dependent upon the number of students who enroll in internship courses, the student’s ability to secure transportation, the staffing allocation provided for an internship coordinator position that is based on student enrollment, local businesses committed to supporting internship opportunities, and the experience of the internship coordinator.
Understanding of the program and commitment to grow and support the program by school based staff and leadership has been a critical component to expanding and growing internship programs in schools with large enrollments. Central service staff within the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs, Career and Postsecondary Partnerships (CPP) unit regularly meets with internship coordinators to discuss and provide best practices, review program expectations, and to support program implementation.
In order to assess the cost of expanding the programs, MCPS would need to collect data from each school on if there are students who do not participate in internships due to transportation, whether there are internships available for the students, and then determine the cost of adding transportation for these students.