Wildcat Community Connectors Efficiently Documents Student Interns’ Career Discovery Process

Wildcat Community Connectors Efficiently Documents Student Interns’ Career Discovery Process


The Challenge

Maintaining a Detailed Log on Internship Hours

Ohio-based Kenton High School (KHS) used to have students manually track their hours for its Wildcat Community Connectors (WCC) Internship Program. Students who participate in the program must record the time they spend working in the field, interviewing with their mentor, job shadowing, receiving training and completing their capstone project. Mentors, in turn, approve their interns’ hours. It’s a daunting amount of information to record on paper—and for KHS, it was unsustainable.

In the spring semester of 2016, when Christina Cross was preparing to assume her role as WCC’s new coordinator, she researched potential solutions online. She discovered Time2Track and introduced it as the program’s new recording mechanism.

“Before Time2Track, students kept paper logs, which were quite easy for our students to misplace,” Cross recalled when she first took over the program. “I thought, ‘There’s got to be a better way, a technological way to capture their hours so that everyone is on the same page about where the intern is in terms of fulfilling their hours requirement.’”

Before implementing Time2Track, the former program coordinator had difficulty determining whether students were fulfilling the required hours at their internship sites. This was a problem considering accurately documenting students’ hours, and then reporting that information to the school district and the state, is a requirement for students to obtain course credit for their internship.

“We needed something to prove that these students were at their internship sites and that they were fulfilling the requirements of the program,” Cross said.

Cross herself, who also teaches American Government courses at KHS, needed an efficient paperless and online time tracking solution to manage the students’ hours without dealing with paper internship timesheets which in the past were lost, needed to be presented and signed-off by internship mentors and/or were not filled out accurately.


With Time2Track, the Kenton High School Wildcats Community Connectors Internship Program:

Created a sense of order
in a previously chaotic environment by replacing an unreliable and labor-intensive manual tracking system with streamlined, easy-to-use technology

Instilled accountability
in students by enabling them to maintain organized logs on their progress, motivating them not to fall behind in their internships

Established credibility
for the internship program by ensuring the accuracy of the reports it delivers to the school district and the state

Time2Track is an essential component of the internship program. Thanks to the online tracking tool, our students, mentors and myself, as the program coordinator, can instantly know how many required hours the students have completed to date for their internship and how many hours they have left to fulfill.

The Solution

Seamless, Technology-based Tracking with Real-time Updates

Time2Track offered WCC one place where internship hours could be recorded and reviewed in real-time, by everyone involved with the program. Students gained the ability to conveniently enter hours from their smartphone or laptop.

“At any time day or night, I can go in and see exactly where a student is,” explained Cross, who uses the information to follow up with students who are falling behind in either fulfilling or recording their hours.

KHS students feel Time2Track keeps them organized, while mentors enjoy the new streamlined process of using the software to approve interns’ hours, which frees them from the burden of reviewing and submitting physical timesheets.

“The school purchases the students’ subscriptions to the program which includes the mentor approval piece — when the hours are inputted by the students, an email is sent to the mentor to approve of them. So, the mentors like using the program, because it is not something they have to purchase and it’s a convenient tool for them to see how many hours their intern has completed,” Cross noted.


The University’s Outcome

Accountability, Improved Attendance and a Coherent Narrative

Time2Track has helped introduce a sense of trackable accountability within the internship program, which ultimately improves students’ actual attendance.

Cross said she sends the mentors electronic updates on their interns’ hours so they can know, for instance, if half the class has 40 hours and their particular intern only has 20, meaning the student needs to start coming in more to the internship site because they’re behind.

“I’ll also print out that report so my interns can see exactly where they are, or I’ll compare their performance to others in the class,” she said. “That helps either motivate them to turn in their hours or to get over to the internship site because there’s only so much time in the semester that they have to complete their internship for the semester.”

Further, KHS students use Time2Track as a de facto diary in which they reflect on their day-to-day activities at the internships. They revisit these entries when compiling their capstone projects for the semester.

“Time2Track helps them piece together their experience, and they incorporate that narrative into their paper or presentation about the internship,” said Cross. “Overall, Time2Track has helped students keep track of when they did things for their internship, so that when they talk about it or prepare their capstone projects, their work is more accurate.”

About the Wildcat Community Connectors Internship Program

The Wildcat Community Connectors (WCC) Internship Program is a semester-long, career skills course and internship program for Kenton High School juniors and seniors. Students meet local business leaders who influence hiring in their companies; learn about educational/training requirements for careers of their interest; and develop job skills that help them qualify for employment opportunities. Through the skills developed and the contacts they make during this program, KHS students increase their opportunity to be accepted into post-secondary programs and/or obtain quality, full-time employment following graduation from high school.

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