WORK BASED LEARNING
My name is Pepper Busbee, and I am the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at Blythewood High School. My mission is to help students jump-start their careers, help businesses find skilled talent, and, ultimately, help the economy grow. Everyday I work to open doors for students by helping them prepare for their careers, college, or both! I think Work-Based Learning is the best kind of spark for young minds. Through experiences such as internships, apprenticeships, and co-ops, and job shadowing, students are able to take the skills they are building in their classrooms out into the real world.
Work-Based Learning has the power to ignite excitement in students and help them turn their dreams into the successful futures they have envisioned for themselves. I am honored to help students dream big, and I look forward to working with each of you!
Work-Based Learning students get to "test drive" a job to see if they want to make it their first career. If that experience confirms their career choices, students are well on their way to meeting their goals. If their test drive doesn't inspire them to continue on that path, it's still a victory. Work-Based Learning, especially experiences that rule out career choices, can save students years of their lives and thousands of dollars pursuing a college degree in a pathway that doesn't help them meet their life goals.
WORK BASED LEARNING FORMATS
A short-term, school-coordinated career exploration in which the student is introduced to a particular job role or career by being paired, one-on-one, with an employee at the worksite. The student “shadows” (follows) the employee for a specified time to better understand and observe work expectations and requirements of a variety of job tasks. Job shadowing is less intensive than the other WBL methods and is usually the first form of worksite assignment given to a student. Prior to job shadowing, the student should receive formalized instruction about careers and the process of career choice, develop appropriate questions to ask, and know the expectations as related to school rules and guidelines for grooming, dress, and behavior in the workplace. On-Site Job Shadowing does not provide any form of course credit. A classroom speaker is not considered a job-shadowing experience.
Cooperative Education (Co-Op)
A structured training program for high school level students requiring a written contract and training plan between the high school and sponsored worksite. The program coordinates secondary studies with a job role in a field related to the academic and/or technical education objectives. The written training and evaluation plans guide workplace activities in coordination with classroom instruction. Students receive course credit for their Co-Op completion. Academic credit, compensation, and activities are district specific and may vary within the course of study.
A progressive, school-coordinated experience that places students in real workplace environments so that they develop and practice career-related knowledge and skills needed for a specific level job. An internship provides hands-on experience in a particular industry or occupation related to a student’s career interests, abilities, and goals. A learning contract outlines the expectations and responsibilities of the high school and worksite including a specified number of hours in the training agreement. The high school intern works regularly during or after school in exchange for the worksite mentor’s time in teaching and demonstrating. Internships usually lasts 1-2 semesters and may or may not include financial compensation. Prior to an internship, the student receives the established criteria and guidelines from the workplace supervisor. Throughout the internship, the supervisor evaluates the student and the WBL administrator evaluates the student through on-site visits. In order for an internship to earn a WBL credit, students must work / serve a minimum of 120 hours. The position must also align with the student's IGP / career cluster.
An earn-while-you-learn training model that combines on-the-job training, job-related education, and a scalable wage progression.
Registered Apprenticeship: An adult educational program that is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. The traditional program is designed for adults; however, it may be linked to an approved youth apprenticeship program in grades 11-12 with a minimum student age requirement of 16 years old.
Youth Apprenticeship: A structured program giving youth at least age 16 or older an opportunity to earn while they learn. This forward-focus program combines classroom instruction with one to two years of on-the-job training with an end result in a “certification of mastery of a specific technical skill.” A youth apprenticeship may matriculate to a registered apprenticeship after high school. High school completion is a requirement of the program.