When I was in Southeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri, I was not an interested student. If I liked a class I got A's. Like Choir and Algebra. If I didn't care for the subject, you can only guess what kind of a grade I got. I just wanted to get out of high school and get on with my life.
I had enough credits to graduate if I took only three subjects in my senior year (1951-1952). They offered a class called Co-operative Occupational Education (C.O.E.) much like ROP is today. You took the class as your last class of the day and here you discussed things that go on in the workplace. General situations at any employment no matter where you worked were discussed. I could add my two cents concerning the job I had. In the summer of 1951 I got a job at the Sears Mail Order plant in Kansas City. So during my senior year I was allowed to leave school and work at Sears from 12 noon to 6 p.m. every day. That is only 2 hours short of a full time job. During the Summer (1951-1952), I worked full time.
The picture above is one of me taken at Sears Mail Order by our school and appeared in the 1952 yearbook called Crusader.
My job was to sort packages going to the various retail stores in the area. Orders were filled in other departments and sent to our area for sorting and mailing to the retail stores.
The country was in the middle of the Korean Conflict and had the military draft. I had no intentions of going to college when the war broke out in June 1950 but as I entered my senior year, the war made you think that it wasn't such a bad idea. You could get a 2S (student) deferment if you attended college and maintained a "C" average.
During this year I decided it would be better to attend college to keep from being drafted into the Army. I applied to Pasadena Nazarene College (PNC) in Pasadena, California and was accepted. My job at Sears gave me money to start attending a private college. My 2S deferment lasted all four years and just before graduation, our son, Rick, was born deferring me because I was now a father. Thank you President Ike.
This work experience and the C.O.E. program helped me in future job opportunities. I'm glad it was offered in high school.