Gunn Paly
Office: Room E-03  
Hours: Monday: 10:00am - 1:10pm Tuesday: 
  Friday: 10:00am - 1:10pm  Wednesday:
    Thursday: 
Tuesday Class: 6:00pm - 7:00pm (Room C-4) 3:00pm - 4:00pm (Room 103)

Work Permits

Download, complete, and submit to Ms. McDermott via locked dropbox in the Guidance Office: Work Permit

Course Description

Instructor:  Theresa McDermott

Work Experience Education

Work Experience Education, which consists of Exploratory and Work Experience in PAUSD, is a California Department of Education strictly regulated program that encompasses paid and non-paid internships and jobs in compliance with appropriate federal and state laws, California Labor Code, California Education Code, and California Code of Regulations, Title V, Work Experience Education.

Exploratory Experience

Exploratory Experience is an unpaid off-campus course that provides students with an opportunity to explore their specific career interests by direct observation and a hands-on experience. Professionals or individuals with established expertise serve as mentors in their specific fields for students in this program. Placement in this program is limited to experiences that are developed through the school district and excludes community organizations such as clubs, private lessons, and non-career focused service. Exploratory Experience qualifies for Career Technical Education credit. Many community service opportunities qualify for Exploratory Experience credits and still receive service hours.

Work Experience

Work Experience is a program that combines classroom instruction with part-time student employment. Juniors and seniors are eligible to enroll in this program. Attain your own job (safe and appropriate) or the Work Experience teacher will help you find a job. Work Experience students are given the first opportunity to apply and interview for jobs but employment cannot be guaranteed. This is an excellent opportunity to learn interviewing skills for college and employment and the necessary soft skills required by employers

Work Experience classes meet weekly at Gunn and at Paly. Attendance is mandatory either at Gunn or at Paly for students signed up for this class. Students should make arrangements with their employer so they can attend one of the Tuesday classes.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  1. Who is the Work Experience Teacher/Coordinator and how can I get in touch with her?
    1. Ms. Theresa McDermott

      Email: tmcdermott@pausd.org 
    2. Gunn office hours:

      Monday/Thursday 9:45-1:10 pm

      Office: E-3

      Classroom: C-4 (Tuesdays 6-7 pm)

      Paly office hours: Wednesday/Friday 9:45-12:20 pm & Tuesday 9:45-11:30

      Guidance Office

      Classroom: 103 (Tuesdays 3-4pm)
  2. What is the difference between Work Experience and Exploratory Experience?
    1. A student who is enrolled in the Work Experience program will have job off campus and is paid for their work.
    2. A student who is enrolled in Exploratory Experience will be a volunteer/intern and not receive payment for work.  Exploratory Experience is an opportunity to explore various career paths.
  3. What curriculum is covered in the Work Experience/Exploratory Experience class?
    1. The class follows the state guidelines and covers the following:
      1. Soft Skills
      2. Financial Literacy
      3. Labor Law
      4. Job/Work Cycle (job search, write a resume, letter of introduction, etc.)
      5. Career Exploration
      6. Guest speakers and industry experts will be invited to class to share their wisdom.
  4. Who is eligible to take this class?
    1. Exploratory Experience: 9 through 12 grades
    2. Work Experience: 11 through 12 grades (or at least 16 years old)
  5. Do I need to have a job or internship position prior to starting the class?
    1. Students who already have a job or internship/volunteer position are encouraged to take the class.  A student can start the class without a job or internship and the teacher will help the student to find a placement.  All students who are enrolled in the class will need to be working/interning outside of the classroom within the first few weeks of class. 
  6. What is the structure of the class?
    1. Class meets once a week at Gunn and Paly.  Class is held between 3-4 pm at Paly and from 6-7 pm at Gunn on Tuesdays.
    2. Students will need to work/intern/volunteer at least 3 hours a week throughout the semester for a minimum of 60 hours.
  7. What are the tangible benefits of the class?
    1. Students will:
      1. Understand the connection between academic learning and earning
      2. Increase awareness of and gain an understanding of the importance of Financial Literacy
      3. Gain exposure to the various professional industries and Career Pathways
      4. Gain Increased Awareness of the Role and Power of Soft Skills
      5. Gain an understanding of Labor Law and Workers Rights
      6. Gain Work Experience & and Income (Work Exp.)
        1. Receive real world feedback from employer, etc.
      7. Increase engagement with the community
      8. Experience individualized mentorship
      9. Build a Network
      10. Begin on the path to professionalism
      11. Create a portfolio
      12. Be career ready