Work-based learning is one of 12 elements of high-quality CTE, defined in ACTE’s comprehensive, research-based Quality CTE Program of Study Framework. This element addresses the delivery of a continuum of work-based learning involving sustained, meaningful interactions with industry or community professionals that foster in-depth, firsthand engagement with the tasks required in a given career field. Experiences may be delivered in workplaces, in the community, at educational institutions and/or virtually, as appropriate, and include a range of activities such as workplace tours, job shadowing, school-based enterprises, internships and apprenticeships. The following reports, articles, guides and toolkits can help you develop and implement high-quality work-based learning.

Work-based Learning Strategies

This webinar provides resources for leaders at all levels to implement and consider in order to have a dynamic work-based learning continuum. Led by Candice Mott, Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Washington DC, and Najmah Ahmad, Career Readiness Program Director for Council of Chief State School Officers.

These case studies examine how employers across industries have engaged with education institutions, both secondary and postsecondary, to develop career pathways and provide meaningful work-based learning that leads to careers.

Career exploration is offered to middle school students through exploratory and introductory CTE courses, personalized education and career planning, and opportunities to explore future options through career and technical student organizations and work-based learning activities. This report from ACTE, with support from Career Cruising (now Xello), provides examples of these delivery methods and recommendations to help teachers, counselors and administrators implement and improve these practices at the program, school and district levels.

KY FAME created an apprentice-style hybrid model designed to develop globally competitive talent locally.

This article describes Tennessee’s development of a process for career preparation across a “kindergarten to job” continuum, premised on early intervention and ongoing exposure, and how policy is translating to practice.

Learning at work functions as an immersion experience that engages the senses and focuses students’ attention on the tasks at hand, speeding up the creation of brain-based connections.

Staff from New York’s Orange-Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Education Center describes how, over 25 years, the school has built connections to provide meaningful work-based learning.

The National Council for Agricultural Education, an umbrella group that represents all sectors of agricultural education, is mounting a campaign to bring supervised agricultural experiences back into every high school agricultural education program.

A teacher describes the professional development workshop process she designed for her students, including college and career research in the classroom, a single job-shadowing day within the career the student researched, reflection on the experience and a classroom presentation.

This report describes similarities and differences, as well as strengths and limitations, across three major work-based learning categories—internships/co-operative education, youth apprenticeships and school-based enterprises—supplemented by vignettes, case studies and descriptions of selected work-based learning sites.

The brief highlights examples from West Virginia, Tennessee and Massachusetts that demonstrate either a systems-level or student-level approach to measuring work-based learning activities.