Around the world, I can attest to that in many parts of Canada, as well as Germany, schools as early as high-school level have "officially" partnered with local business (technical/mechanical/banking, etc) in order to establish a more convenient way of receiving qualified individuals when they leave college. But the official partnership is qualified by the fact that many of these companies actually aid in the cost of tuition for the student, upon contractual agreement.
This accomplishes many goals - for every party involved.
First, as was mentioned, college graduates have been trained by this company over many summers and have usually maintained part-time jobs with the same organization, often times in various rolls. this prepares them, not only for the profession, but they have now been adequately been exposed to a variety of job descriptions within one area of interest and allows them to focus their studies accordingly.
Second, the students receive financial assistance, not federal debt. 'Nuff said.
Third, ok, I'll stop numbering. What a relief to know that all during your college experience you get a real good idea that your learning experience is tied to learning about what you are experiencing at the work place. I believe you could actually enjoy what you're learning about because you're getting to experience it early on, and on a regular basis!
1. Does your school actively encourage internships and job-shadowing (more than that one required day)?
2. What do you think about the work-place buy-in culture in the US?