Types of Work-Based Learning Experiences


    The District encourages prospective partners to support the following work-based learning opportunities:


    Provide Internships where learning objectives are specific and student learning is assessed.  These can be paid, unpaid, or students can be granted class credit


    Career-related Student Competitions – Students can demonstrate mastery of career-related skills through presentations or competitions that are judged by professionals.  Presentations represent a culmination of student effort over time, often involving teamwork


    School-based enterprise – School-based enterprises produce goods and services for sale or to be used by people other than the students involved


    Social enterprises for learning – Focus on social rather than commercial activity


    Service Learning – Combines academic work with service.  Students use their skills and knowledge to meet the need in a school or community


    Simulated workplace experiences and enterprises – Online simulated enterprises are work-based learning activities that are set up by students


    Technical mentoring – offers direct, systematic professional input to students’ actual work.  Can happen in the workplace as part of an internship or in a classroom


    Work Experience – First-hand exposure to the workplace.  Is connected to the curriculum and is meant to extend students’



    District Policies and Forms


    The following are District policies and forms that will help to facilitate the development of partnerships between businesses, students and schools:


    Fingerprinting and Criminal Background Compliance for Contractors - This bulletin provides information on all fingerprinting and criminal background compliance requirements for vendors and contractors.


    School Volunteer Guidelines - This bulletin provides information to ensure that all volunteers meet the necessary requirements in order to carry out their duties.


    Field Trip Handbook - This reference guide reflects policy and procedures for all Field Trips taken by school staff, students and volunteers.


    Fundraising Policies - This bulletin provides information regarding Board of Education policies for school fund-raising activities.




  • Work-Based Learning in Linked Learning: Definitions


    Definition of Career Awareness


    Career Awareness experiences are those that help students build awareness of the variety of careers available and of the postsecondary education expected for these careers.  Career awareness experiences also broaden students' options by helping them become aware of opportunities available across a wide range of industry sectors that might not otherwise had known or considered.
    A single Career Awareness experience has the following defining characteristics:
    • The experience contributes to the student's achievement of the Career Awareness outcomes.
    • Industry or community partners from outside the school are present (actually or virtually) for what is typically a one-time experience and most often offered to students in groups.
    • The experience is designed and shaped primarily by educators and partners to broaden the student's options by introducing the student to careers and occupations about which he/she may never otherwise have known.
    • The experience calls explicit attention to the types of careers available, the people in them and what they do, and the postsecondary education associated with those careers.
    • The student has the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and begin to identify interests to focus further exploration.


    Career Awareness experiences might include the following:

    1.  Workplace tour
    2.  Guest speaker
    3.  Career fair
    4.  Visit parents at work

    Ideally Career Awareness experiences are intentionally provided at elementary and middle schools grades, may occur in 9th and 10th grades as needed, and also continue more informally throughout our lives.  A quality Career Awareness program is coordinated and designed using many experiences to introduce young people to a range of careers and industry sectors in a sequenced way over the course of several years.


    Definition of Career Exploration

    Career Exploration provides students with the opportunity to explore career options in a way that contributes to motivation for learning and informs students' decisions about further experiences and career and educational options.   Compared to Career Awareness experiences, Career Exploration experiences are designed to enable students to learn about targeted careers more deeply, are more personalized to the student's interests, and give the student a more active role in selecting and shaping the experience.
    A single Career Exploration experience has the following characteristics:
    • The experience contributes to the achievement of the Career Exploration outcomes.
    • The student has direct interaction (actual or virtual) with professionals from industry and the community in what is typically a one-time experience that provides opportunities for an individual student or very small groups of students to interact with partners.
    • The experience is personalized to connect to emerging student interests and helps the student refine areas of interest and explore a variety of careers and interests more deeply.
    • The student takes an active role in selecting the experience and applies growing knowledge and awareness of careers to interact with partners, analyze information gained, and reflect upon, refine, or identify new interests
    • The experience contributes to the student's ability to make informed decisions at key transitions in his/her education and career including decisions about pathway selection in the transition from middle school to high school, decisions during high school about the selection of courses and other learning experiences, and decisions about postsecondary options.
    • The experience contributes to preparing the student with the basic skills necessary for higher-intensity work-based learning experiences (Career Preparation and Career Training).


    Career Exploration experiences might include the following:

    1.  Informational interview
    2.  Job shadow
    3.  Virtual exchange with a partner

    Ideally, Career Exploration experiences are intentionally provided in middle school to inform students' decisions about which high school or pathway to attend and are also provided in 9th and 10th grade to inform students' decisions about their high school experiences and postsecondary options.  Career Exploration experiences continue more informally throughout high school, postsecondary education, and adulthood.  A quality Career Exploration program is coordinated and designed using many experiences to provide students with the opportunity to explore and refine areas of interest and prepare for higher intensity Career Preparation experiences.


    Definition of Career Preparation

    All Career Preparation experiences support higher-level college and career readiness student outcomes, include extended interaction with professionals from industry and the community, and are designed to give students supervised practical application of previously studied theory.
    While Career Awareness and Exploration have levels of awareness as a primary outcome, Career Preparation marks a shift in the continum to support a student's level of performance relative to particular learning outcomes.
    A Career Preparation experience has the following characteristics:
    • The experience contributes to the student's achievement of Career Preparation outcomes.
    • The sudent has direct, systematic, two-way interaction with professionals from industry and the community over an extended period of time.
    • The student engages in activities that have consequences beyond the class or value beyond sucess in school and are judged by outside professionals from industry and the community using industry standards.
    • Learning for the student and benefit to the partner are equally important to all involved.
    • The experience is an integral part of a sequential preparation for college and career and is also explicitly integratedinto the student's current academic and technical curriculum.
    • The depth and length of the experience is sufficient to enable the student to develop and demonstrate specific knowledge and skills.
    • The experience prioritizes the development of transferable, applied workplace skills applicable to multiple career and postsecondary education options, while also reinforcing and providing opportunities to apply the basic and higher-order academic skills and technical skills being learned in the classroom.


    Career Preparation experiences are most suitable for high school students, typically in the 10th to 12th grades, after sufficient student preparation in class and through Career Exploration experiences.

    Career Preparation experiences might include the following:


    • Integrated project with multiple interactions with professionals
    • Student-run enterprise with partner involvement
    • Virtual enterprise or other extended online interactions with partners
    • Project with partners through industry student organizations
    • Service learning and social enterprises with partners
    • Compensated internship connected to curriculum


    Ideally, students have more than one Career Preparation experience in high school.  Each Career Preparation experience is designed to support all student outcomes.  Career Preparation includes internships and Practicum.


    Definition of Career Training


    Career Training experiences prepare students for employment in a specific range of occupations.  Career Training experiences in high school are more suitable for 11th- and 12th-grade students, and Career Training is a primary strategy in postsecondary education and often connects to work leading to industry certification.


    Career Training experiences have the following characteristics:
    • Students have direct, systematic, two-way interaction with professionals from industry and the community over a period of time.  The benefit to the industry partner takes on a primary role, and the student produces valuable work that furthers the partner's organizational goals.
    • Students have the opportunity for in-depth discovery and experience of a particular career and range of occupations.
    • The depth and length of the experience is sufficient to enable students to develop mastery of college and career readiness skills and occupation-specific skills.
    • Students complete certifications, apprenticeships, or other training required for a particular career or range of occupations.


    Career Training experiences might include the following:


    • Internship required for credential or entry to occupation
    • Apprenticeship
    • Clinical experience
    • On-the-job training
    • Work experience