Work-based learning is an instructional strategy to prepare students for success in the workplace, college, and career. It includes a broad range of experiences, both in and outside of the classroom. Work-based learning provides opportunities for students to connect what they are learning in school to the world beyond the classroom.
Students work on developing workplace competencies, positive work habits, and attitudes. It also provides students with motivation to stay in school and seek meaningful post-secondary training and employment.
· Connecting the classroom and the workplace
· Developing workplace competencies
· Practicing positive work habits and attitudes
· Improving post-graduation options for employment
· Providing motivation to stay in school and seek post-secondary training and college
· Developing a plan for post-secondary training and career preparation
Work- Based Learning Students
Students in the Work-Based Learning Program need to be eager to work but also need to have a little extra support for a successful experience in the workforce. Students are independent yet do not have the employability skills needed to find that success. These students work closely with the school and the employer to develop the skill sets needed to meet the demands of today’s businesses. Combining classroom learning and work experience, students advance their knowledge and understanding of the expectations of the workplace.
Process for Entering the Work Based Learning Program
1. The work coordinator is invited to an IEP meeting to inform the parents as to what the work program entails and help determine if it may be an appropriate placement based on the students’ needs. The IEP will reflect the need and have a goal written into the IEP.
2. Prerequisite skills are needed, so attention should be paid to attendance, behavior, and grades. If the student does not meet the requisite skills, then it could be considered at the next annual IEP meeting or progress review time.
3. If it is deemed an appropriate placement, then the student would be enrolled in the Career Seminar and/or the Career Lab. This may take up to 3 periods of the day to be enrolled in both the Career Lab and the Career Seminar.Common Misperceptions
· If I’m on the work program I’m guaranteed a paid job.
· I can go to work even if I’m not in school.
· I don’t have to be passing my classes to be on the program.
· I can miss work and attend school activities.
· My non-paid site doesn’t care if I call in when I am absent.
· I can leave work early.
· It is OK to just act like I am working when really I am just standing around.Important: While the work program has many connections with members of the community and can be a good resource for positions, it is important to note that we help students learn the skills to work and to find a job; not find and give them the jobs ourselves.