Work-based learning is an educational strategy that links school-based instruction with activity that has consequences and value beyond school. Work-based learning is informed by professional workplace standards. It uses the workplace, or in-depth experience that includes employer or community input, to engage high school students and intentionally promote learning and access to future educational and career opportunities.
Work-based learning comprises a wide range of activities that are conducted as an extended learning experience as a part of any school program, including:
Build awareness of the variety of careers available and the role of post-secondary education, broaden student options
Examine career options and post-secondary education for the purpose of motivating students and to inform their decision-making in high school and post-secondary education
Apply learning through practical experience that develops knowledge and skills necessary for success in careers and post-secondary education
Emplower & Employ
Train for employment and/or post-secondary education in a specific range of occupations.
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Purpose and Benefits
All students should have opportunities to develop cognitively, to obtain workplace competence, and career management skills. Access to a variety of work-based learning experiences can facilitate this growth. In addition to the core academic and technical components of a pathway, we believe that students must also have a comprehensive and effective work-based learning experience that is connected to what they learn in the classroom. This exposure helps sharpen students’ desire to increase knowledge and develop skills that are relevant to their career interests. These work-based learning opportunities can take the form of job shadowing, intensive internships, virtual apprenticeships, and school-based enterprises.
Work-Based Learning gives students the opportunity to learn a variety of skills by expanding the walls of classroom learning to include the community. By narrowing the gap between theory and practice, Work-Based Learning creates meaning for students.
Work-Based Learning provides opportunities for students to learn a variety of skills through rigorous academic preparation with hands-on career development experiences. Under the guidance of adult mentors, students learn to work in teams, solve problems, and meet employers’ expectations. By introducing students to their areas of career interest, or providing occasions for solving problems and demonstrating skills in authentic settings, work-based learning can motivate, reinforce and augment student learning in ways not available to traditional classroom instruction.
Work-Based Learning Goals and Benefits
Through work-based learning, students have the opportunity to see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities.
Work-Based Learning provides the following:
- Active participation of educators, employees, labor, students, parents, and appropriate agency and community representatives
- Development of learning and workplace competencies
- Motivation to stay in school
- Improvement of student grades
- Improvement in student employability
- Increased awareness of nontraditional career opportunities
- Help for students in identifying Career Pathways