Work-Based Learning in New Mexico

Academic Career Experience (ACE) is the work-based learning program for Las Cruces Public Schools in Las Cruces, NM.  In this program, students earn credit through participating in work experience or an un-paid internship related to their chosen program of study and career interests.  This is the oldest work-based learning program in NM.  Juniors and seniors are eligible for ACE and there are approximately 400 students from six high schools in the program.

Once selected for ACE, students are assigned a mentor in their career field.  Students attend a weeklong orientation to prepare them for their internship.  Students create an elevator speech to introduce themselves and then they write a resume with help from LCPS Career Specialists.  Next, students practice interviewing and learn about professionalism and how to dress on the job.  As part of the program, students attend bi-weekly seminars to get more employability training, earn certifications such as Stop-the-Bleed, learn basic automobile care, financial literacy, etc.  Students also have opportunities to grow their leadership and teamwork skills.

As a career specialist and agriculture teacher, my job is to place all of the students interested in anything agriculture related into internships.  This includes everything from animal and plant science to auto and diesel mechanics, to building and construction trades and welding.  Many of my students do such a good job during their internship that they get hired on with the company.  It is very excited to help student begin their career journey and to help get them ready for the workforce!


Rachel Knight

Region IV Experienced Fellow