Work Based Learning

Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning (WBL) is a progressive, multi-year sequence of instructional activities that extends students’ learning from school into a real-world, work-related context. These experiences allow students to build a bridge from adolescence to adulthood


WBL activities can occur in any grade – at any school; it is a core strategy in Career and Technical Education (CTE). Below are just a few examples of different types WBL that prepare your students to fully participate outside the classroom:

  • guest speakers
  • field trips
  • worksite visits
  • job shadowing
  • off-site projects (outside of the classroom)
  • school-based enterprises
  • civics and business simulations
  • internships


Work-Based Learning gives students opportunities to receive authentic feedback from adults in a particular industry and guides them to:

  • identify and develop their strengths – the intersection of their interests and their abilities
  • map a set of accessible career pathways where there is a demand for workers with their strengths
  • develop a portfolio of accomplishments that show they play a role within a larger organization and demonstrate, for themselves, a degree of mastery in authentic settings (including professional credentials and content for resumes and application essays, etc.)
  • build relationships with adults outside the classroom – with peers and elders, mentors and sponsors who can provide a bridge into postsecondary working communities and guide students to a meaningful definition of college and career success

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