Work-Based Learning

From School to the Work World

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

internships for students with disablities

Career & Technical Education (CTE)

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 of 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:


And develop their strengths – the intersection of their interests and their abilities


A set of accessible career pathways where there is a demand for workers with their strengths


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.)


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