Why Work-Based Learning?
Many learners crave relationships, real world experiences, and access to meaningful career paths beyond what’s available in their immediate community. Employers desire a diverse talent pipeline that is ready for the workforce. Our education system and our employers will only align when we change the architecture of K-16 schools to embrace work-based learning and make it easy for them to collaborate. Work-based learning activities that help learners make informed choices, plan their educational pathway and provide actionable steps to take in school or training settings are vital to learner achievement and ultimately a positive connection to the labor force.
Additionally, WBL provides a lever to advance equity and opportunity in the workplace in the face of educational systems that have disadvantaged those who are racially and ethnically diverse, differently abled, and low-income. In addition to the career exposure and skills gained via Work-Based Learning, these experiences also connect learners and professionals who might not have been connected otherwise.
Earn & Learn Approach
The Earn & Learn approach in supporting learners in career-related programs of study is the deliberate focus on the three facets of achievement needed for success in the labor force: the acquisition of academic, technical and core employability skills. Regardless of industry, employers consistently underscore that candidate must have experience and mastery in all three areas, with a growing priority on the development of employability skills. Alongside efforts to enhance the rigor and effectiveness of classroom instruction, the approach requires new ways to deliver authentic workplace experiences such as Career Days, Workplace Tours, Mock Interviews and Internships in partnership with employers. In some cases, these experiences can be delivered remotely or virtually with employer partners visiting remote classrooms or connecting with learners over online platforms.
Online Activity Options
Quality Work-Based Learning includes both remote and virtual options for most activities. Remote activities promote “live” learner contact with adult professionals and front-line workers via the use of technology. Virtual activities are generally simulations that provide learners with employer exposures through recordings, online research and related classroom activities.