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FSM 288 DO
Christian Vocational College Series--Part 1

© February 1996 by The Family, Zurich, Switzerland

       Recommended reading for age 14 and up. Parts or all may be read by or shared with those younger than 14.

by WS Staff

       What Is the CVC Program?       1
       Our Lifestyle Is Our Curriculum       3
       Our Practical Approach to Education       3
       How to Combine Your Present Training with the CVC Program       4
       Conventional Vocational Programs       6
       What Does the Term Non-traditional
       Education Mean?       7
       We Specialize in Vocational Training!       7
       What Are the Advantages of the CVC Progress?       7
       CVC Course Supervisors       10
       Evaluating CVC Course Program       10
       More Questions and Answers about the CVC Program       11
       Cooperative and Vocational Education (Excerpt from World Book Encyclopedia)       18
       A to Z of the CVC!--Goals and Objectives of the Christian Vocational College       20

       The CVC is the Family's high school and vocational college program. It offers essential academic studies, though it mainly focuses on Christian studies and vocational training. It is especially designed to serve the unique needs and experiences of our young people age 14 and up. We refer to it as a "college" program to distinguish it from a regular high school program, since it is far more than that.

We hope this program will:
       (1) help everyone better understand the specialized education and training you young people are receiving;
       (2) provide direction, ideas and guidelines for further training courses which you can take part in; and
       (3) help the Family to better explain our vocational training in terms that those outside of the Family will understand.
       The following excerpt from "Maria's Christmas Letter to Her Parents!" gives a good explanation of the Christian Vocational College program:

       David and Techi participate in a vocational high school training program, which they both very much enjoy. Many high schools, even in the US, have some form of program very much like this. They have all sorts of names for such programs, such as Cooperative Vocational Education, Work Study Internship, Career Exploration, Earn While You Learn, etc. And this kind of vocational program enables our young people to train for Christian service, plus learn trade skills while going through high school. Our students in the program have regular group or individual study classes part-time, and practical on-the-job-training the rest of the time. They learn their trade or vocation or specialized skills by working right with a skilled person actually doing the job! It's a tremendous opportunity and challenge for our teens, and very good preparation for the future since they get such a head start in life by being trained and qualified.
       This kind of training program is especially ideal for our Family kids since we already have so many vocational areas for them to choose from to be trained in. For example, as you know, we produce our own excellent videos. We also do a lot of performing. Plus we publish volumes of material every year that all needs to be written, edited, proofread, illustrated, printed, shipped and distributed! . . . Some of our teens are being trained to be our spokesmen with the media. There are just so many things to learn and do! Plus, in addition to a trade, our kids travel the world and learn all sorts of languages and witness to hundreds of thousands of people!
       David really likes the program, and besides being a real Biblical scholar, like many teenage boys, he is very interested in mechanics, motors, computers, etc.--So he is taking several courses in those things. And Techi is learning how to type and write articles for publication, and work with word processing and the computer; as well as having baby care classes and cooking. What's so nice about having vocational training is that by the time they're ready to graduate from high school they will not only have their high school diploma, but they'll be trained and experienced in any of several vocations; plus, of course, we hope they'll know their Bibles backwards and forwards! They already have a pretty good start in that, thank the Lord! They'll be good at witnessing to others, and well-versed in working with others. So really, they're doing at least three things at once: Their general high school program, vocational or technical training with on-the-job experience, and their Christian Bible school, or seminary instruction and training and experience all at once! It really keeps them busy, but as you can hear from what they've said, they're learning so much and they love it! I think they gave you some specifics and I'm giving you more of a general overall picture of their training and education.
       Somebody read me an article the other day that talked about how so many people in the US are unemployed nowadays. The skills that were once so important and useful are now not nearly so much in demand, and many of these people are going back to school to learn new skills. The experts are saying that the skills that are going to be most important in the future and most in demand are in childcare, sales, language skills, people handling and international skills.--And that's exactly what our Family young people are best at! They get lots of training in all of these skills. Of course, most of these are skills that every missionary needs, but it really is interesting to see that everything we stress with our children, because of our way of life, are the very things most needed these days everywhere! I thought that fact might really encourage you and set your hearts at peace to know that your grandchildren are very well and happy and learning lots (ML #2809:39-42).

       Many students around the world study 12 years to get high school diplomas that do very little to prepare them for life. In our Homes and communities, time is very precious, and you young people receive through hands-on experience valuable training and practical experience which will help you to lead fruitful, productive lives. In many ways, our very lifestyle is a Christian vocational "curriculum," and you receive almost continuous training from birth onwards to help you master the skills you need. While many kids sit in schools waiting for life to begin after they graduate from high school or college, you are already out there learning it, living it, doing it, seeing it, singing it, sharing it--in witnessing, counseling, interviewing, traveling, public speaking, performing, caring for children, doing handyman work, home economics, secretarial and computer work--and much more.
       Our training is largely based on practical daily experience, and like most young apprentices who do well and master a trade or skill, you deserve recognition for it. This is now possible as you young Home members (even adults) can receive secondary and post-secondary training, as well as Christian studies and vocational proficiency certificates through our Christian Vocational College--the CVC!

       Sometimes criticisms or questions arise about our methods of educating our youth, because people either don't fully understand our practical approach to education, or they have a hard time accepting a way of training that is different from the norm, or at least not yet widely accepted. Some of the main differences in our approach to education and methods of teaching, when compared to traditional schooling, include the fact that you don't spend as much time in conventional classroom situations, and are more accustomed to learning by experience than through textbook study and theory. Similar to the Amish, Hutterites, Hasidic Jews and other religious communities, we do not require the study of advanced scholastic subjects unless they are needed or useful in the student's particular field of expertise or are of particular interest to you.
       Evaluating the quality of a person's education requires much more than just examining their test scores or their "book-learning" skills. While we do place some emphasis on scholastics, we agree with educators who recognize that to make a true judgment, it's necessary to look at the whole person who is being educated. And to do that, you have to ask yourself such questions as: What kind of character is being formed? What daily habits are being learned? Is this person challenged and happy? Are they receiving the training they need to lead a fulfilling life?
       You young people excel in many areas of education and training that are valued by educators, sociologists and employers alike, such as knowing how to teamwork and communicate with others, how to make wise decisions, how to see a job through to completion, how to recognize problems and find workable solutions, etc.
       It is perfectly acceptable for you teens to principally be studying to be missionaries and full-time workers for the Lord. There's no reason for us to be on the defensive about the education you are receiving to reach that goal, especially when you consider the current results produced by the education system of many industrialized countries. When you take a look at the problems facing the education systems of the world today with all their drugs, gangs, dropouts, violence and severe lack of scholastic achievement, particularly the great drop in literacy, it's plain to see they are in no position to criticize our happy, productive, talented, skilled, mature young people!
       We believe the CVC program will help you to better explore and appreciate the wonderful education that is available to you in our Family!


       QUESTION: How does this new vocational program fit into the present high school section in our Home School Program?
       ANSWER: This completely Family-based program will replace the former high school section of the Home School Program, and will be for students age 14 and up. You will receive new forms, new curriculum materials, new student ID cards, etc. New workbook materials for high school students are recommended for this program, and we plan to have more educational videos made available to you as time and finances permit.


       With the introduction of this program, we are not suggesting everyone start up a whole new "High School in the Home" program, or "Vocational Trade School in the Home," but rather, as much as possible, look for ways to build on what each young person is already doing and learning.
       We want to help you see that there are many things you have learned and are learning that are worth formal school credit, as well as discover other things that you can study and achieve right in your present situation. Through the CVC program, you will be able to record your educational progress so far in the Family and develop a learning program that will earn you further credits. Visa trips, witnessing adventures, performances, meeting people, learning new skills, learning a language, daily ministry chores, are all valid ways to earn high school and even college level credits, if these experiences and what is learned from them are faithfully recorded. (Many universities give credits to their students for this type of activity.)
       A "vocation" is a calling, ministry or job. "Vocational training" is instruction, education, preparation and experience in how to do that job. Family teens are already very involved in vocational career training, but may not realize it! Until recently, our Family has not given great attention to documenting, recording and granting credits and giving recognition for your special studies and vocational training. If we stand back for a moment and look at the Family from an educational point of view, you could say we are actually one big vocational training "school" with a very unique and specialized curriculum. Our students are "in school" around the clock, and studying more than most vocational students. Our present training programs are not exactly like those in most high schools, in that many subjects are not presented in a classroom as a formal part of a fixed curriculum.       But you should be encouraged to realize that you are more immersed in vocational training than most schools are able to provide.
       You could explain your schooling in the Family as follows: "Sure, it's a lot of hard work, but I really like the challenge and I believe I am learning a lot more this way and enjoying it more than if I were just sitting at a desk all day in a regular school. This allows me much more freedom to get out and meet people, go places, and study the things I'm interested in. When I graduate I will have not only a diploma, but lots of experience and a guaranteed job doing what I love to do!"
       The CVC program allows you to evaluate all of the training, classes, excursions, ministries, seminars, etc., that you already participate in, plus new ones that you may begin as a result of this program, and then to document these learning experiences to receive school credits. The term "credit" refers to "the successful completion of a part of a higher education course. In some universities and colleges, you need a particular number of credits in order to be awarded a degree [EDITED: "or diploma or certificate"]" (Collin's Dictionary).
       In order to be eligible for a CVC diploma or certificate, you will need to evaluate what you have already done and studied in terms of "credits received," and determine what remains to be completed. (See The Student Guide for more details.)
       For example, many of you are very good witnessers, childcare workers, handymen, cooks, group leaders, etc., so you would receive credit for the training you have already had. If you read the reference material and fulfill the basic requirements, then these practical daily activities become an important part of the CVC certificate program in "Christian Counseling," "Childcare and Education" or "Industrial Arts." In our pubs we have a wealth of good classes that can serve as initial textbook material to help launch this vocational study program. If available and affordable, you can also supplement these with locally available books and resources.
       More and more conventional schools are recognizing the fact that only a small percentage of students will benefit from going to college or university (and doing so doesn't guarantee a job in today's world, as many are discovering)--and, therefore the best education for those who are not college-bound is one that teaches them a vocation. Vocational high school programs, in which students choose a vocational route rather than an academic one, are recognized as an appropriate and valid method of education in most countries. By choosing not to go to university, students do not have to be concerned about studying those more specialized subjects like advanced physics, chemistry, calculus, etc. They can instead concentrate on practical vocational skills and training, and Christian outreach and missionary training.


       QUESTION: How does the CVC credit system compare to credit systems in conventional high schools?
       ANSWER: Our credit system is based on the Carnegie Credit System which is used in a number of schools in the United States. The Carnegie Credit System assigns credit values of 1/4, 1/2, -- or 1 to the different subjects. In order to make the calculating of credits more straightforward, we have made four of our CVC Evaluation Credits (ECs) equal to one Carnegie Unit of Credit (CUC). In the Carnegie Credit System a student must have a minimum of 20 high school credits in order to earn his or her high school diploma. In the CVC a high school diploma would require 80 ECs. (For more details, see Question #5 on page 13.)


       It may surprise you to know that in many regular high schools, students are following vocational programs which are set up somewhat similar to ours, schooling combined with on-the-job training. World Book Encyclopedia describes this type of learning as "Cooperative Education." (See page 18.) Cooperative education is a work-study program, where students attend some classes in their school, but much of their school day is spent at work, outside of their school, learning the trade or occupation they want to specialize in. Teens in such programs usually do not plan to go to university, so they do not want to spend their school years studying things that will not be immediately useful in helping them learn a trade or job skill. The school "cooperates" with skilled people in the community who take students in and train them and treat them much as they do their regular employees.
       The US government in 1993 announced its full support for a special youth apprenticeship program. The program involves radically rethinking and restructuring education in high schools. The goal is to stop neglecting the vocational training of students who are not going to college, and start teaching more practical skills in high school. One big problem in the formal educational system is that students often cannot see any clear connection between what they are studying in school and what is needed for work in the world outside the school. Their new youth apprenticeship program would teach all the basic scholastic skills by the end of grade 10. Beginning in the 11th grade, students would begin a career-oriented curriculum, and several days a week they would work at various companies that specialize in health care, communications, computers, etc., where they could begin to learn how to make a living, communicate and solve real-life problems.
       In Europe, there are similar "apprenticeship programs." About two-thirds of Germany's students are part of the country's apprenticeship program, which offers training in over 350 occupations. Only one-third of German students attend college-preparatory schools, the rest go to vocational and technical schools that focus on job training. Similar to our CVC program, German students as young as 14 choose the skill or occupation they want to learn. Many German high school students work three or more days a week as apprentices in big German companies earning school marks and Deutsche Marks (the German currency). Students in these programs work for three years with their "training partners." They spend 10 to 12 hours a week in classroom-type studies, and the rest of the time they do vocational job activities.


       QUESTION: Are the credits we use based on hours or are they based on performance and accomplishment?
       ANSWER: For the most part, our credits are based on performance and accomplishment. You are free to go through any course as quickly as you like, and if you master the material, you will get credit for the course as soon as you are done. In many courses you may already know enough to pass the course, and/or have already read the reading material in the past, so you would not have to redo the course in order to obtain credits.
       There are, however, experience courses in many departments. These courses require students to complete a certain number of hours of practical experience to gain credit. We hope you will find that these hours will add up quickly when you start to record the time you spend in your ministry, witnessing, physical education, etc.


       One helpful term to be familiar with is "non-traditional education." This is a term for a growing number of approaches to education other than going to traditional, sit-at-a-desk schools. Educators who practice non-traditional or alternative schooling believe that education should not be thought of as only happening in school buildings with a textbook and a teacher, but that there are many other more effective, more meaningful ways to learn, such as through reading newspapers, talking to people, watching videos, using computers, traveling, reading books, etc. In non-traditional or alternative education, when the student can do the job, he is awarded the diploma or certificate.
       Non-traditional education often does not require a building, fixed classes or some "authorizing" agency; it is more self-directed, independent and based on the interests and abilities of the individual. It is more involved with the realities and problems of life. It is more often practical education, as opposed to theoretical. Non-traditional education teaches that learning never stops, but is a continual and lifelong process. Learning and education is not confined to school, nor does it stop after "graduating."

       Most of what we in the Family do each day is directly related to furthering our Christian work or ministry, or doing practical jobs and learning how to do them better. That's all vocational training, and we do a lot of it!
       In our Christian Vocational College program we apply several different approaches to learning ministry skills. Some activities require direct and specific training to do a certain specific job. These practical day-to-day vocational skills include areas like computer work, typing, writing letters and other office work, taking care of business, driving, fund-raising, shopping, photography, housekeeping, cooking, laundry, sewing, building, repairing, gardening, animal husbandry, agriculture, plumbing, welding, electronics, video filming, directing and editing, acting, musical performance, singing, study of foreign languages, etc. Other vocational areas such as childcare, witnessing, soul-winning, teaching others about the Lord and the Bible, praying with people, and counseling them in the Lord's solutions, require much deeper instruction, maturity, experience, wisdom, faith and personal concern and conviction.


       QUESTION: Can I take any course I want that is listed in the Course of Studies?
       ANSWER: For the most part, you should be able to find enough courses that relate to your personal interests or the ministries that you are learning to keep you going. Some vocational courses, however, may not be so easy for you to get practical experience in or find textbooks or reference material for because of where you live, or the ministries that your Home or Area is involved in.
       The CVC Course of Studies shows you an overview of the many things our Family teens around the world are actually doing and learning, or could be learning. Naturally, not everyone can learn or do the same thing at the same time in the same place, but no matter where you live in our worldwide Family, you are very likely doing a lot and learning a lot, or could be learning a lot, right where you are. In reality, everyone doesn't need to have exactly the same learning experiences and learning opportunities. That would be impossible<@151>and probably boring! Every situation is unique with its own unique opportunities. You are also unique, so please take what you have and build on it. What languages, what witnessing opportunities, what new people to meet, what new places to visit, what training opportunities, what new skills are you learning, or could you be learning, right in your situation?


       The CVC program is different from a conventional high school or vocational program in several ways and offers many unique advantages to Family young people. It is not so much a lot of new courses to study as it is a new way of looking at what Family young people already do and learn each day.
       (1) The CVC program allows our Family to give credit where credit is due for all the hard work, study, learning experiences, and special assignments our young people are engaged in.
       (2) In the CVC, students are put more in charge of their own education and are encouraged to take greater personal initiative in their own training. We believe this program will help you young people and adults better document, evaluate, organize, understand, appreciate, explore, and more effectively direct your own education.
       (3) The CVC program provides the means to earn high school diplomas and vocational certificates, plus provides a record of work experience and proof of studies that can be used inside or outside the Family to prove their qualifications for a job or to obtain further certification or even secular credentials.
       (4) We hope this program will help boost you young people's self esteem and confidence in your own education and qualifications, and help you realize that serving the Lord full time is a very respectable Christian vocation. Following this program should help remove any lingering feelings of being educationally inferior to teens in conventional schools.
       (5) The program should also help you explain in terms that non-members can understand, the intensive, yet often informal, vocational training you receive.
       (6) For those of you who have not yet decided on your field of specialty, the program will provide you with much opportunity to explore a wide range of study areas. The CVC program provides an effective way to keep track of the training each of you receives as you rotate through different ministries, or move from Home to Home.
       (7) You can begin the program immediately because you are already in the process of learning ministries and in effect are already taking, or have taken, many of the courses being offered in the program.
       (8) In the CVC program, each student has a great deal of choice in what he or she studies. Most of the courses offered are not age or grade-restricted. If you can do the work, you can take the course. In other words, a student working at a grade 8 level in one course could be working at a grade 12 level or even at college level in another area.
       (9) The program will help you discover the wealth of information contained in Family publications. In counsel with your CVC Course Supervisor, please feel free to add in new and future pubs to suitable courses.
       (10) The CVC program tries to be learning-efficient by offering practical and meaningful courses that have direct application to life or the chosen vocation of the student. We try to avoid time-wasting courses that have little real or lasting practical value. In fact, if you wish, you can create your own courses and, once approved, get credit for them.
       (11) Like the educational programs followed by Amish, Hutterites, Hasidic Jews and other religious communities, this program encourages young people to seek spiritual training foremost while receiving practical training in jobs and ministries of interest to them and useful in their service to God. The program provides a basic foundation in scholastic studies, but focuses on character development, spiritual growth, and practical and ministerial training more than advanced scholastic studies for university preparation.
       (12) The CVC program tries not to put time restrictions on students. In other words, if you can do a course in two months and meet the requirements for credits, then you are allowed to do so. In the CVC program we are more interested in what you know and are learning than in how long you are able to sit in a classroom. It is a "continuous progress" program because you can go at your own speed and not have to wait for others, or worry about catching up or skipping over things you personally want to study or learn in more detail. Like eating at a big buffet dinner, you just take the portions and dishes you like. Unlike conventional school, there are not very many courses that you are required to take.
       (13) The CVC program does not set location restrictions on learning. Students do not necessarily have to go to school; school is wherever you are. Wherever directed learning and training is taking place becomes the CVC "classroom." As a CVC student, you can say with confidence that you are "in school" wherever you are learning a skill. The program is a practical work-study "apprenticeship" hands-on approach to education that will help you explain to others why you are not in a regular classroom all day. All the learning and training activities you participate in each day can be planned and coordinated and become part of your vocational educational program, as long as you are learning and document what you are learning.
       (14) We allow our students to challenge or "contest" (pronounced con-TEST) a course. That means that if you already know the material being covered or taught and can prove it, you don't have to take the course in order to get credit for it. You can ask to be tested or evaluated, and if you pass the test or prove your skill in an area, you can get credit for the course and can go on to study something else.
       (15) The program encourages Homes to develop, organize and direct suitable study programs based on individual needs, interests and vocational opportunities. The program is designed to be very flexible and can easily be adapted and "added to" by way of student-created courses, new pubs, or unique local learning opportunities. We intend the program to serve as a springboard for innovative approaches when planning learning activities with you young people during your vocational and scholastic study times.
       (16) This Christian and vocational approach to education fits our Family life and goals better than a traditional scholastic high school program. It is more practical, meaningful and easier to use considering our way of life, our actual needs and the training opportunities our young people have. At the same time it is flexible enough to accommodate a very wide range of individual preferences.


       QUESTION: How will our teen shepherds and parents have the time to handle this program?
       ANSWER: The parents or teen shepherds may possibly be Course Supervisors for this program, although this responsibility can be filled by other adults or YAs. The Course Supervisor will only have to help supervise, counsel and provide some instructional help. Vocational Training Overseers in the different ministries will help provide the training and instruction needed. The teens themselves can, and need to, oversee much of the paperwork involved in this program. With teens more involved in keeping their own books and keeping up their studies, the program will not be so dependent on having teachers or teen shepherds do the work of keeping it going.


       Each Home should have a CVC Course Supervisor. This may be the teen shepherd, or another adult (or YA) in the Home, or someone who frequently comes to your Home. Course Supervisors do not need to be highly skilled in the various subject areas or vocational fields being studied by the students, since on-the-job-training will be given to the students by their work overseers. A Course Supervisor's main job is to provide counsel and encouragement for the students, direct them to good sources of information and training, help them achieve their goals, and coordinate their CVC-related study and job learning activities.
       Similar to CVC Course Supervisors, are the Vocational Training Overseers (VTO). VTOs are those involved with the actual teaching and training of various Christian studies and vocational skills. They do not necessarily have to be professionals in their field, but they should be skilled and competent in their area--be it Bible knowledge, carpentry, cooking, childcare, teaching, witnessing, or whatever. In some practical studies, students may learn from video courses, or perhaps by attending classes outside the Home. In those cases their VTO would be the course instructor on the video or the class teacher.
       It is your responsibility as students to keep track of all courses studied, work experience, etc., but Course Supervisors or Vocational Training Overseers will need to initial the records you bring them, acknowledging that the work has been done, or the course has been studied. They should encourage you to keep accurate records of all study and vocational work experiences. You should update these records regularly, possibly during your vocational study time.
       There will be a CVC Instruction Coordinator in each continental Area who issues diplomas and certificates; assists students and Course Supervisors in obtaining or researching needed books, materials, videos, courses, etc.; and maintains official CVC records for each student. (See The Student Guide for more details.)

       When a course has been completed, Course Supervisors and VTOs should have some way of evaluating what you have learned. This can be through a written exam, as for some academic courses, or a simple oral quiz, or a request for a practical demonstration of your knowledge or skill in some area.
       Many courses cannot easily be "graded," since they are ministry training or vocational courses. Where specific scores are not practical, the CVC courses will be evaluated with a method of grading used by some colleges called the "pass/fail" system. In other words, after you have completed the course material and, where applicable, have fulfilled the required number of hours, the work overseer only has to decide whether you are capable and proficient at doing the job on your own or not. If you do not pass a subject or a course, you can simply study or practice a little longer and try again!
       There are many different practical and easy ways to determine if someone knows enough to pass a course. These one-on-one methods of evaluating progress may seem quite simple, but they can actually be far more accurate than the customary way of testing a large group of students through a written test. Here are a few ideas:
       (1) Have the student demonstrate what they know in a real-life situation, while a Vocational Training Overseer and/or Course Supervisor observes and evaluates their performance (e.g., typing, cooking, caring for a baby, etc.).
       (2) Have the student teach someone else the elements of the course while an overseer observes their performance.
       (3) Quiz the student orally.
       (4) Have the student write about the things they have learned, or give (or tape) a talk on what they know about the subject.
       (5) Have the student create their own test and complete it and then have the overseer quiz them on it.
       Those are just a few ways to test without having an official, prepared test. Any of these will be acceptable ways to evaluate your progress.
       Once courses are completed and essential records filled in, you can then apply to your Area CVC Instruction Coordinator for certification. (See The Student Guide for more details.)


       QUESTION #1: Where will we get textbooks for this program?
       ANSWER: The foundation is already laid in our own pubs, and we can build on that using supplementary videos, tapes, workbooks, local library resources, etc. The "Reading Lists and Practical Requirements" section in the Course of Studies for each department lists reading materials already available for each course. We have materials available in our Homes that are rich resources for Christian studies, plus books and classes which present at least the basics in many vocational subject areas. When new pubs come out, students are free to add them to suitable courses, in counsel with their CVC Course Supervisor. Please help keep the CVC program up-to-date by sending in any such additions to your CVC Instruction Coordinator. Lord willing, updated lists of new pubs to use in CVC courses will be published periodically.

       QUESTION #2: I know our pubs contain a lot of material, but is there enough for us to study from without needing further textbooks? In most schools don't they use one or more textbooks for each subject?
       ANSWER: Our pubs contain a lot of reference material, but for some studies you will need to find supplementary or more up-to-date material. Please refer to the section in the CVC Program of Studies "Supplementary Courses and Resources" for a listing of non-Family materials. Realistically however, not all school courses require textbooks.
       Our Family reference materials are meaty and condensed. Thousands of pages have been prayerfully boiled down until only the best and most needed information is left in an article. The hard work of plowing through pages and pages of information, pulling out the essential facts for the Family's use, has already been done, thus saving everyone else's time and energy. Over the years, WS and many helpers around the world have digested and condensed literally thousands of articles that have gone into our existing instructional pubs. The result is that our pubs provide some of the most condensed and concentrated sources of information available. One page of our material is often like five or ten pages in an average book. Reading one WND is like reading the important information from several different newspapers for several days. "How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People" is 32 pages, but contains the key points of an entire 164-page book. Therefore, in using that article as the reading material for a public relations course, we are effectively covering the key points of the entire book, but more efficiently because all the information is condensed for you.
       Consider our 602-page Marvelous Marriage book: It is printed on Bible paper to make it the size of a normal 200-300 page book, yet it contains the essential information from well over 50 books, each about 200 pages in length! That means that about 10,000 pages of information are packed into one book! How to Love, How to Get Things Done, Raise 'em Right, Heavenly Helpers, Childcare Handbooks, Handyman Helper, etc., are all likewise information-packed pubs.
       The "textbooks" we do have are better suited to our use than most non-Family textbooks because they are tailor-made for our way of life. The key information is condensed to save our Family precious time and money. Our textbooks are ideal for our students who travel a lot and need to keep their belongings very portable, and who have to make the most of their valuable study time. They also save the needless expense of hundreds of dollars of textbook costs per student each year.       If a conventional program used the same materials we used, they would probably make it sound like the latest and greatest thing to happen in education. "This exclusive program uses multi-source, specially condensed textbook and source material for time-efficient study by students who want an accelerated learning program. Our unique 'Condo-comp Reference Books' are the best because they are so condensed, so carefully compiled...."--You see, a lot has to do with how you look at things!

       QUESTION #3: Do we have vocational reference material for all subjects? If not, what will we do for those subjects?
       ANSWER: In some subjects you will need to find additional reference materials. As time and finances permit, WS will continue to create and send out new vocational study materials as often as possible.
       Other very promising sources of information that are easy to use and ideal for vocational training are videos and instructional cassette tapes. Videos, along with computers, CDs and cassette tapes are beginning to take the place of textbooks nowadays. And why not? A sample on video is easy to grasp and remember, is quick and easy to use, and you can work with instructional videos pretty much on your own. Videos often cover material that a book on the same topic would take many chapters to cover.
       We already have a collection of educational videos available in the form of GAP and HSV videos. These are being updated and hopefully more will soon be available. A great number of commercial instructional videos that teach almost every skill imaginable are produced today, and some educational courses are taught almost completely by video. If you find good vocational materials available in your area, through libraries, schools, or video stores, we suggest you make use of them to supplement your vocational studies.

       QUESTION #4: Will a CVC course be as "good" as a course in a conventional school? Don't students have to spend a lot of hours in school for every subject?
       ANSWER: As you know, students in most public and private schools spend many hours there, but that does not mean that they are smarter or learn more because of it. In fact, there are many examples of home-schooled children who earn their high school diplomas by the age of 12 or 13! That is unheard of in a public school--they just don't allow it. But home-schoolers or independent learners can actually learn more and faster if they want.       One problem with many public school courses is that they drag out the tiniest bit of learning over the longest possible time. Home schoolers, however, have shown that in one or two hours of concentrated scholastics a day, they are able to keep up with--and in many cases even do better than--students who spend six hours a day in a public school. Public school teachers often have from 25 to 30 students in a classroom, making it impossible for them to spend more than a minute or so personally with each student during any class!--So even if a student sits in a classroom for 120 hours (that's how much time they allow for classroom study of a normal one-year high school course), at best they will only get a total of one or two hours of personal time with the teacher each year in each subject.
       In the CVC program we are more interested in what you know and are learning than in how long you are able to sit in a classroom. You can work through your chosen course of studies as quickly as you like and are able. We feel that if you have already read the reference material and know the subject well enough from having learned it on your own, and can demonstrate clearly to others your skills, then you deserve to get full credits for the course.
       The formal educational system likes people to believe that if you don't "learn" their way, then you can't learn, but that's just not true. You may be quite surprised at how little many textbooks actually cover, or if the textbook does cover a lot, many students still learn very little in a year because very few students finish reading all of those expensive textbooks they get each year. Much about formal education is just for show. Education reports on U.S. schooling say that eight out of every ten graduates from high school have only about a grade six level of schooling and many students are graduating now, in the U.S. especially, who cannot even read!


       The New York Times (April 28, 1995) reports: "The latest results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress are in: only one-third of the nation's high school seniors are proficient readers.... About 30% of the seniors failed to qualify for the basic reading level...."
       The Washington Post (June 6, 1994)states: "The once proud high school diploma ... in a century... has slid from a rare distinction to a mere 'certificate of attendance.'"


       You may also be surprised to discover that many courses offered by conventional schools are not all that hard or challenging either. Listen to this course description for a one-year vocational course in "Horticulture"--that's gardening--offered by one of the top three U.S. federally-recognized high school correspondence programs. Their brochure reads: "Horticulture 01 is a 5-credit course. In this course the student will learn how to plant and maintain a bluegrass lawn, prune flowering shrubs, evergreens and shade trees. No textbook is required and no final test is given. All instruction is provided on a cassette tape. The course costs $10." We are sure you will find the CVC courses far better in most cases, and up to that level, to say the least!
       As far as wondering if secular courses are "better," we would have to say that many of ours are better for us because they will all help our work and service for the Lord.

       QUESTION #5: Does a high school or college credit system work like the one the CVC program uses?
       ANSWER: In a high school or college credit system, each course is assigned a comparative "weight" or value. In other words, educators consider the workload and/or decide how important they think one subject is compared to others, and assign it a credit value accordingly. One credit system in use is the Carnegie Credit System. This system assigns credit values of 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 or 1 to the different subjects. Our credits are based on the Carnegie Credit System which is used in a number of schools in the United States. In order to make the calculating of credits more straightforward, we have made four of our "CVC Evaluation Credits" (ECs) equal to one Carnegie Unit of Credit (CUC).
       For example, if you study English for one school year, taking three classes a week, many schools would allow 1 (CUC) for that (which in the CVC program would be 4 ECs). However, for a one-year Physical Education course that you take once or twice a week, System schools may only award you 1/4 of a CUC (or 1 EC). "Academic" courses are often given more credits because they require more homework and students need to do more studying on their own. However, with many courses like Physical Education and other on-the-job and practical courses, there isn't as much homework or extra study needed.
       In the Carnegie Credit System a student must have a minimum of 20 high school credits in order to earn his or her high school diploma, (which would be 80 ECs). Carnegie Credits are based partly on the subject and partly on how many study hours a student puts into a course. Of course, just "attending" a course does not mean you learned it, so the valid argument has been made that credits should be given for what a person knows, and not how long he sits at a desk. In the Carnegie Credit System, 1 unit of credit is roughly equal to 120 hours of class-time study for academic courses, or 160 hours of class time study for high skill vocational courses, or 240 hours for on-the-job vocational training. The CVC program relies more on being able to demonstrate skill in an area, than hours spent in study. Only in the practical experience courses do we define the number of hours required to complete a course.
       Since many of our vocational experience courses fall into the on-the-job category of learning, we have often assigned these courses 240 hours of required experience to earn 1 CUC (4 ECs). This procedure is also what secular schools do. However, as some on-the-job training is very challenging and not unlike taking an academic course, we have assigned those courses either 120 hours, or 160 hours of experience for 4 ECs.
       Let's look at how what you are doing every day could be used to earn you credits: Imagine that Danny Disciple does the shopping for the Home today, while Sidney Scholar goes to his economics class where the teacher asks the whole class to budget and simulate shopping for a family of 10. At the grocery store, Danny and Sidney are both doing the same thing, but Sidney is receiving scholastic credit. The difference is in definition: Sidney is doing it for a course in a school, whereas Danny is doing it as part of his ministry and training in a Home. And actually, Danny's work is more practical and meaningful than Sidney's. What the CVC does is help Danny get organized and learn to record what he is doing and learning in terms of courses of study so that he, too, can get credit.
       Some private or Christian high schools such as Christian Light Education (CLE) use, or at least base their allotment of credits on, the Carnegie Credit System and count many of the things we study all the time such as Bible study, foreign language courses, typing, art, etc., as "academic" subjects. Just for fun, let's calculate what credits you could in theory be receiving for what you are probably already doing, based on a ten-month school year (even though you probably study or have vocational training for more than that). You may have 2 hours of Word time each day. So let's see how many credits       480 hours. Divide that number by 120 hours per "academic" Carnegie Credit and we get 4 CUCs. That would theoretically be 16 ECs earned every school year just in Word study. Wow!--And many kids in conventional schools only take the equivalent of 22 ECs total a year! Of course, to have a well-rounded education in System terms you would still need to take a few more courses in English, math, science and social studies.
       But wait, there's more!       Many schools only offer "academic" subjects; but we not only offer academic subjects, but operate much like a live-in vocational college, offering continuous vocational training throughout the day. You probably do at least three or four hours a day of on-the-job training in some vocational area, be it witnessing, cooking, childcare, handyman, etc. Let's say that each day you chalk up an average of four hours of on-the-job training in your various ministries. With a little more direction and study, those four hours could easily earn you course credits. In the Carnegie Credit System, for vocational studies you would need to work 240 hours in an on-the-job vocational training course to get one credit. So let's see how many Carnegie Credits you       960 hours. Now divide that by 240 hours per Carnegie Credit, the going rate for normal vocational courses, and you get a possible 4 more CUCs (16 ECs) every year towards your vocational training.
       Plus, you should have vocational study time 4 hours a week. If you do that       160 hours total, that would be worth at least 1 CUC (4 ECs). And considering the fact that your vocational training probably does not stop during the holidays, because even when you're not having school, you're usually witnessing, performing in shows, or helping in the Home--you could easily be earning one more CUC (4 ECs). So in theory you could be earning 10 CUCs or 40 ECs of educational credit each year, without a great disruption of your present life and activities. By recording your hours of training and study this way, you can see that in one year, one of our teens actually gets almost twice as much training as do many students in conventional schools! The point is that if you know how to properly direct your own study program, it could become a natural part of your daily life, which can then gain you real credits towards diplomas and certificates.

       QUESTION #6: How does our vocational program compare to conventional programs?
       ANSWER: Conventional vocational schools usually have more advanced technological training courses than we are able to offer. However because our field of specialty is providing students desiring to fulfill their place in the Lord's work with opportunities to learn many practical ministries (or vocations or trades), we do not feel it is necessary to offer advanced courses beyond what our students need in order to become capable and proficient in their ministries, or to explore other studies and ministries that they may be interested in. On occasion, some students will need more advanced training than our courses offer. For the most part we hope they will be able to obtain this through correspondence courses, reference books, CDs, videos, or short-term courses that will supplement their CVC training. (An example of such a supplementary course might be if your Home had several appliances break down, so after prayer and counsel together you decided to enroll in a short night school course on basic electronics so that the next time there was a breakdown you could fix it.)
       Other schools cannot train you for the special job only you can do in God's Family. Ours is a one-of-a-kind lifetime job, and we study for it all the time!
       The CVC package provides student cards, high school and vocational studies records, certificates of proficiency and diplomas, so that the results and documented proof of training that each student will have will be very similar to that of other vocational training schools.

       QUESTION #7: Is our high school and vocational training program accredited?
       ANSWER: At the time this pub is going to press, we have yet to be accredited, but we are working on it. Here is a comment about accreditation from one American commentator on schools:
       "Accreditation is perhaps the most complex, confusing ... issue in higher education." So says Dr. John Bear in a book called, Bear's Guide to Earning Non-Traditional College Degrees. Dr. Bear defines "accreditation" as "validation, or a statement from a group of persons who are, theoretically, impartial experts in higher education, who say that a given school has been thoroughly investigated and found worthy of approval." He goes on to say, "In fact, when a U.S. school says, 'We are accredited' that means nothing in itself--you need to know if the accreditor is reputable or not.
       "Accreditation itself is a peculiarly American concept," continues Dr. Bear. "It is an entirely voluntary process, done by private, non-governmental agencies." There is no national standard, and what is acceptable in one state may not be in another. In actual practice, many "good" schools in the U.S. don't bother to get accredited; it's such a hassle and it is not required by law to be accredited. Many American schools simply set up their own accrediting agency, so an "accredited" school doesn't mean very much, if anything, since there is no common standard.
       Actually, every new school at the beginning is unaccredited. Many good schools never bother to get accredited simply because it costs too much, or the school is too innovative for the crusty old traditionalists that run the more established accrediting agencies, and the school would have to give up many of their new and different approaches to education that their students like.

       QUESTION #8: I am over high school age, but I do not have a high school diploma. Can I earn a high school diploma through the CVC?
       ANSWER: The CVC program is aimed at both secondary (high school) and post-secondary studies, and is open to any age group (over 14), including our adult members. Many schools and educational centers offer special programs for adults who dropped out of high school before graduation, so they can study for their diplomas, either at a school or by correspondence. Young adults and even older adults do this--and so can you through the CVC!

       QUESTION #9: The section called "CVC Program of Studies General Introduction" has a lot of terms I am not familiar with. Do they really apply to the Family? For example, "Cooperative Education" seems to mean that you go out and actually work part time for someone at a job in order to learn the job.
       ANSWER: Because we are virtually a society in ourselves (a micro-society) and we even have our own terms and ways of describing things, we often don't realize how people outside our Family would view and describe what we are doing. Sometimes we virtually have to "translate" what we do into the language of the general public so they can relate to it or grasp what we mean.--Just like Bible translators found that it was easier for people in some Asian countries to understand what Jesus meant when He said, "I am the Bread of Life," if they translated that passage, "I am the Rice of Life." That sounds funny to us, but unless people live the way we do and have our experiences, it can be hard for them to understand what we are trying to say or describe. For this reason we try to relate things we do and our approach to study and schooling to fit within the experiences of non-Family people.
       For example, if you say to a person outside the Family that you are in an apprenticeship program, or a Cooperative Education program, if they know the terms at all, it will mean to them that you are learning a trade by doing actual on-the-job training as part of your schooling. Secular schools that offer these programs send students to train and work at local businesses and industries, and then help oversee their progress.
       On a Christian missionary training level, our teens have the convenient opportunity to study with talented people from their Home or Area, and also have a chance to learn from going out to organizations, institutions, and companies where they witness, sing, perform, sell tapes and videos, do Christmas shows, etc., etc. (As much as possible, in such a case, you should try to get the companies where you do shows, witness, sing, etc., to fill out a Recommendation Form on how you did, for your records and proof of your on-the-job experience. See "Verification of Vocational Experience" form, CVC form VVE-001.)
       Our Homes and combos are somewhat similar to institutions where people live and learn together, like some boarding schools, certain colleges, or training centers. And our teens do a lot of their training within our communities. Our Homes are also our "schools" or "churches" or "recording studios" or "video studios" or "offices" or "farms" or "construction sites" or "building projects," etc. We do learn a lot from people around us in our own Family communities, as well as in the larger community in which we live and witness. The people who run businesses where we witness or help in some way are all members of the community who are helping to provide our young people with opportunities to learn skills.
       Try to think of our Family vocational training as being something greater than just a school book and a teacher. Look at your whole life in the Family and your activities as being part of one big learning program. The Family is God's great big vocational training program, created just for you, and it is full of wonderful worldwide learning and job opportunities. PTL!

       QUESTION #10: Will the CVC program provide all the training I need for the ministries I choose?
       ANSWER: In today's changing world, it is almost impossible to learn everything there is to know about any field of study. It is, however, sufficient to become proficient and skilled in one's chosen ministry, and upon that foundation of experience, add the skill of knowing how to quickly become informed in areas that we encounter in life that are not in the textbook. Knowing how to solve problems, get answers and special information quickly about a certain subject or line of work or problem encountered is as important in our rapidly changing world as is the basic skills training. In the field of computer technology, for example, one's basic training and knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, and the "expert" must continually be a student, and keep learning and studying to "stay on top of it."
       About the only thing that does not change rapidly in our times is the certainty of the Word of God! Jobs and job requirements change rapidly, but the needs of the human heart and the need for people handlers, the need for spiritual guidance in time of trouble never changes. "The poor ye have always with you." The need for love, food, water, clothing and shelter never changes. The need for understanding and concern never changes. Space programs, computers, factory jobs, and special physical skills all change, but Jesus never changes. And the need for faithful disciples and witnesses for Him never changes. Talk about job security.--You have it! You are part of God's greatest vocational school ever--His children of the Endtime! Countries collapse and millions lose their earthly security in a moment, but you can have peace and give them peace even in the midst of a storm because you are God's child--the highest honor and greatest vocational calling in the Universe!
       (For more details about the CVC program, how it works, and how it can work for you, see "The Christian Vocational College Program of Studies: General Introduction," and "The Student Guide" in the CVC Program of Studies.)
       God bless you, dear teens, YAs and all! We pray this new program will be a blessing! We love you!


       (Excerpt from World Book Encyclopedia)

       Vocational Preparation involves learning a variety of skills. Some skills, such as being able to accept supervision and knowing how to get along with others, are learned through everyday experiences at home, in school and in the community. Other skills require specialized training. (Editor's note: For most people in the U.S., specialized vocational training begins after high school, but many high schools also offer special vocational courses to students. In European countries, many students begin vocational training at the age of 12.) Business and vocational courses prepare high school students to enter an occupation immediately after graduation.
       Vocational education emphasizes a teaching method known as "learning by doing" or "hands-on practice." Under this method, students learn job skills by practicing them with actual machines or tools. Instruction may take place in a laboratory, or in a special classroom called a shop that duplicates a real work place, or in the actual place of work. For example, students in the automotive department of a high school work on automobiles with the same tools used in repair shops. Such equipment makes vocational education one of the most expensive types of education.
       Most vocational schools offer individualized instruction, which enables an individual to study the material at his or her own pace. Students work independently with tape recordings, devices called teaching machines, computer-assisted instruction, and other materials. The teacher gives individual help.
       Many high schools offer college preparatory courses and have some vocation related courses. Some schools, however, have set up very good vocational programs in the community called cooperative education programs.

       Cooperative education is a method of education that combines classroom studies with practical work experience. Under these programs, students attend school part time while they hold a part-time paid or volunteer job or attend activities related to their fields of study or career goals. Business firms and other organizations cooperate with schools in employing the students. For example, a student in journalism may work for a local newspaper. (Editor's note: Likewise a student interested in becoming a missionary could study at home or abroad with missionaries.)
       A faculty member, frequently called a cooperative education coordinator, finds jobs that fit the goals of students and of the cooperative program. The "coop" coordinator and the employer judge the performance of the student, and the student usually receives some form of graduation credit for satisfactory work. Such programs got their name because businesses, industries, and organizations cooperate with schools in employing students. The programs are also called internships, cooperative work experience, work-study, career exploration, diversified occupations, and off-campus experience.
       Cooperative education operates in both colleges and high schools. In the United States, over 200,000 students at about 1,000 community colleges and four-year colleges and universities are enrolled in cooperative education programs. About one million high school students take part in such programs. Schools in Canada, Great Britain, China, and other countries have similar programs. Cooperative education began in the United States in the early 1900s. Herman Schneider, an engineering professor, developed the first cooperative education program in 1906 for engineering students at the University of Cincinnati. Other schools adopted similar programs during later years. Since 1960, cooperative education has expanded rapidly into all fields of study.

       Cooperative education programs operate in various ways at different schools. There are four basic kinds of programs: (1) alternating, (2) parallel, (3) field experience, and (4) extended-day. In alternating programs, the students are divided into two groups. One group attends classes while the members of the other group work at their jobs. After a certain period, usually a semester, the two groups exchange places. In parallel programs, each student attends school part of the day and works part of the day. Many high schools and two-year colleges offer such a program. In field experience programs, all participating students leave school for an extended work assignment. The length of the period spent on the assignment varies from 4 to 10 weeks. In extended-day programs, students work full time at a regular paying job and attend school part time. The students request faculty approval of their job as a cooperative assignment. With faculty approval, a student receives academic credit for successful performance at work.

       Cooperative education programs enable students to immediately determine how the information they learn in school is applied at work. Students learn that a job has many requirements, including subject knowledge, good work habits, judgment, and skills in communication and human relations. Students also gain practical experience and develop contacts with employers, which may help them obtain a job after graduation. Some students use the money earned from their cooperative education jobs to pay their school expenses.

       Some people oppose specialized job training at the high school level. They believe that such instruction takes too much time away from academic education. But some educators argue that many students who have difficulty with academic work become more interested in their studies after they begin vocational education. The students realize that mathematics, reading, and other skills are necessary in their working life.



A to Z of the CVC!--Goals and Objectives of the Christian Vocational College
       A: A high school program that accurately describes the training our teens are getting.
       B: Takes teens right where they are at, and shows that they are right now in an intense vocational training program.
       C: It's universal so that our teens around the world can use it.
       D: Helps build the confidence of the Family, and our teens in particular, and gets us away from any feelings of inferiority about our teens' training in the Family.
       E: Provides every teen with good ID, letters explaining his program and how it works, diplomas, résumés, portfolios documenting achievement, letters of recommendation, etc.
       F: Teens should be able to use the program to explain nearly every activity they do in the day, from witnessing to studying to changing diapers.
       G: It should be easy to understand and use and fit into, so that once it is set up, our teens themselves could easily supervise it.
       H: So flexible and adaptable that every individual teen can plug right into the program no matter where they live or what ministry they work in.
       I: Allows for granting school credits and recognition for any special training and experience that a teen might already have had in the Family (e.g., sewing, video production, etc.).
       J: Allows for advanced study, since many of our ministry studies go beyond high school level and are more like what is taught in seminaries, fine arts schools, technical and vocational schools and colleges, commercial business courses, etc.
       K: Provides an easy yet impressive way to document a teen's progress in all areas of study, so that each teen will have a current personal portfolio that he can produce at any time for investigating authorities.
       L: Encourages a basic academic standard so that all teens in the program will be skilled enough in reading, writing, mathematics and the 3 G's to assume the duties of shepherding and ministering to others in the future.
       M: Helps organize our teens' education so that no area gets neglected.
       N: Helps our teens become more familiar with our Family pubs and the riches we have available right in our Home Lit libraries.
       O: It is in line with our Family goals for our teens, helping set a standard for our teens and their scholastic training, their spiritual training, their practical ministry training and their personal social and emotional training, including preparation for parenthood.
       P: It should in itself give teens something to talk about in initiating witnessing conversations with students and others their age.
       Q: Having a valid high school/college study course like this can also be helpful in getting student visas in some parts of the world, explaining why our teens go to different countries.
       R: It may be useful in opening new witnessing opportunities, provisioning and distribution opportunities.
       S: It should be quick to set up and get rolling.
       T: Inexpensive to set up, and as much as possible uses the resources we already have in the Family and can easily add to (e.g., our pubs, videos, the fact that we witness, learn other languages, study the Bible and memorize, etc.).
       U: It takes advantage of everything we do and teach and learn, the places we go, the people we meet, the ways we support ourselves, the way we look after each other and work together, etc. Every aspect of our lives should be viewed as a plus in our vocational training.
       V: Helps explain the teens' way of life and activities to non-members.
       W: Easy to add to and build onto and adapt to local situations and Home conditions, ministries available to the teens, etc.
       X: All educational opportunities that our teens have should be recognized and credited. Seminars, for example, should be documented and teens given school grades and credits for attending.
       Y: As a valid high school/college course, we could also work towards having it accredited.
       Z: It should be fun, inspiring and stimulating for our teens, as they realize how much they have and are learning and accomplishing.


[EDITED: "End"]

Copyright 1996 The Family