Best Practices for Increased Graduation/Completion Rates of
This list was compiled from comments received from apprenticeship programs
with above average graduation rates. It is intended to provide suggestions only
and is based on continuous learning and frequent improvement. Economy and
culture play a role in apprentices working through to graduation, but how a
program is run makes a difference as well.
1. Start with high expectations. Individuals will rise to meet the occasion.
2. Be very clear on what is expected of apprentices, even if you have to explain
something that seems perfectly obvious to you. It is not always obvious to the
3. Identify problems, both disciplinary and academic, early on. Put apprentices
in remedial classes if necessary. Provide access to English language classes for
non-English speaking apprentices.
4. From the start be consistent with discipline; hold apprentices accountable.
Establish these boundaries early on. If someone does not agree with the
discipline process they will be out early. Be firm but fair.
5. Make sure whatever disciplinary actions are taken are done evenly across
the board. Don’t favor an apprentice who is a good worker but had poor
attendance in the classroom.
6. For attendance and other disciplinary issues, build a system into the
program where the apprentice sees direct consequences to their actions and
take responsibility for themselves.
7. Check employer evaluations carefully; investigate every complaint, bringing
the apprentice forward to explain.
8. Encourage employers to emphasize to apprentices that their work is more
than a job, it is a career.
9. Have apprentices evaluate employers. Investigate the apprentices’
10. Provide counseling and emotional support but still require them to meet
their individual challenges.
11. Be committed to all who are willing to try as long as they follow the rules.
12. Hold regula