Collaborative Field Experience

Valley High School’s Collaborate Field Experience offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to gain real-world experience by working with various businesses and organizations within our community. Students work together on projects for these businesses, collaborating to establish goals and meet deadlines. This practical experience is done off school grounds at a central location where businesses and organizations visit students.  They introduce the project and return several times throughout the semester to gauge progress, provide suggestions, and review the final results.

Students who will enter their junior or senior year during the 2018-19 school year can register for the semester-long course. Because this course is limited in size, seniors may receive priority placement. See below for more information on this exciting opportunity!

Student Expectations

  • Represent the West Des Moines community and school district.
  • Degrees of professional dress may be required depending on expectations of the business or organization.
  • Students must be able to provide or organize their own transportation.
  • Students will be partnering with each other while working in collaboration with adults from professional organizations.
  • Must be able to work with some or little supervision at times.
  • Must be able to prioritize and meet deadlines for class and businesses.
  • Businesses will determine guidelines and expectations for projects. Student performance on these projects will be reflected in the grade.
  • Students are not allowed to independently arrange a collaborative field experience outside of this course.


  • Is DMACC credit available?
    Yes. Both DMACC credit and high school credit are available.
  • How long is the course?
    The course is one semester. Students may take the course twice depending on space.
  • What fields will students be participating in?
    Through this experience, students will be challenged to take ownership of their learning. Students must learn, practice, and refine employability skills like working in dynamic teams, managing work pace, adapting and adjusting quickly, calendaring and scheduling, email/phone communications, etc. Students experiences will be matched to their interest areas to the extent opportunities are available.
  • What kind of projects could be offered?
    Below are a few examples of what students may experience:

    • Create entertaining and community-building videos for social media.
    • Create an informational brochure including overarching English Language Learners profiles of student data.
    • Create a chamber of commerce app for smartphones.
    • Plan and execute a professional development conference; work with staff at the business to determine topics, speakers, etc.

Business Opportunities

  • Be a part of student growth by enhancing their perspective of what the working world entails.
  • Provide opportunities to collaborate with the future workforce and build relationships.
  • Provide students with real projects appropriate for high school level students at no cost to the employer.
  • Gaine fresh ideas from a millennial perspective.
  • Give back to the community.