The New Bedford Whaling Museum High School Apprenticeship Program is a three-year journey requiring a significant time commitment and yielding meaningful rewards. Exploration and preparation are central to the Apprenticeship Program journey. Not only do apprentices receive assistance in the high-school-to-college transition, they explore their interests and passions, helping them to define their future paths. The program lasts three years, but the connection and support extend from high school graduation into post-secondary education and beyond.
The Apprenticeship Program runs year-round, beginning the summer before a students’ sophomore year, and continuing through high school graduation. An apprentice’s day begins at 10:00 am and ends at 4:00 pm, Monday through Thursday in July and August, with occasional evening and weekend events. Following a short break, the program resumes in the fall after school with activities from 3:15 to 5:00 pm, Monday through Thursday through June.
Learn more about each year and the time commitment below.
During year one, apprentices learn about the the history of the region and the biology of whales as well as develop personal and career skills through a series of engaging, hands-on trips and workshops. Apprentices visit other facilities including New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, Mystic Aquarium, Woods Hole Science Aquarium, The African American History Museum, RISD Museum and Nature Lab and the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum to bridge their museum learning to the real world. Students participate in a Career Success course offered by Junior Achievement and have opportunities for tutoring and other academic supports. Students visit local college campuses, hone their public speaking skills, and collaborate on projects for a variety of events.
In their second year, Apprentices continue to learn about the museum and engage in various projects and events with different museum departments to further develop career skills and cultivate a better understanding of how a museum functions. Students will again visit local college campuses and will receive help with SAT preparation and guidance through the college search process. Students participate in a Personal Finance class offered by Junior Achievement and a series of other workshops to help them excel in school as well as prepare for college and career.
In addition to museum projects and events, an apprentice’s’ final year consists primarily of preparation for post-high school life. Apprentices receive aid in visiting and applying to colleges, completing FAFSA and other financial aid forms, and guidance preparing for post-secondary education. Apprentices have opportunities for Career Shadows through Junior Achievement as well as a series of other workshops. Third year apprentices also take on a leadership role in helping to teach and train new apprentices.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum’s High School Apprenticeship Program (YouTube video 6:58)