Work Based Learning
What is Work Based Learning?
Work-Based Learning is an authentic learning experience that allows students to explore their career goals, abilities, and interests while applying their academic and technical knowledge and skills in a real-world context. These experiences are planned and supervised by instructional staff in collaboration with business, industry, or community partners.
Students learn by observing and/or actually doing real work. Learning in the workplace or from industry professionals, in person, supports academic learning and promotes the development of broad transferable skills.
Quality Work-Based Learning includes related virtual activities for most WBL activity types. Virtual Work-Based Learning Activities are defined as those that promote “live” student contact with adult professionals and front-line workers through the use of technology. Other Virtual Activities are defined as those that are generally simulations or classroom activities and provide employer exposures through recordings, online research and related activities. Hybrid activities are defined as those that combine both virtual components
When offering virtual options to students, it is important to pay attention to technology access and equity in the distribution of opportunities in addition to ensuring the necessary permissions, protections and guidance are in place to promote student safety.
How do we use Work Based Learning at Flushing High School?
High-quality Work-Based Learning provides opportunities for the acquisition of academic, technical and workplace professional skills among students engaged in career-related programs or course of study in New York City Schools. Regardless of industry, employers consistently underscore the fact that new workers must have experience and mastery in all three skill areas, with a growing priority on the development of core employability skills. To support students in developing these skills, authentic workplace experiences are important when combined with academic study, classroom training and other college and career-readiness activities. Mock Interviews, Career Days, Workplace Tours, Guest Speakers, Informational Interviews, Job Shadowing, Work Experience, Career Mentoring, Workplace Challenges, Work Experience, Internships and Apprenticeships provide real-world context and the opportunity to learn about the workplace and prepare for the future. Providing authentic workplace experiences and bringing employers into the classroom as part of the career development process can create powerful learning experiences and deepen the educational experience for students.
Work-Based Learning activities engage the employer as both a customer and a partner, providing developmental experiences for students in the workplace while helping build the future workforce. These experiences augment school-based classroom activities and offer the opportunity to learn about potential careers and to practice and demonstrate professional and defined work-readiness skills.
Work Based Learning in the NYC DOE
The NYC DOE supports Work-Based Learning (WBL) as a key activity that allows students to build a bridge from adolescent roles in the classroom to adult roles in professional settings. WBL activities include exposure to a range of occupations and career options, and classroom or
community activities that incorporate employers as speakers, advisors, instructors or career mentors. Students learn by observing and/or actually doing real work. Learning in the workplace or from industry professionals supports academic learning and promotes the development of broad transferable skills
Benefits For our Students
Through Work-Based Learning activities, students build awareness of potential careers in a particular industry and can explore options and start preparing for their future. Work-Based Learning provides opportunities for hands-on learning and the development of relationships with professional adult role models. Participating students acquire experience and build core employability and occupational skills while learning about the training or education required to succeed in specific careers. They are better able to understand real-world applications of academics and occupational training, and can answer the question, “Why do I need to learn this?”
By integrating a range of workplace exposures and experiences with school-based activities and guidance over time, students will often set their sights higher than an immediate job and are likely to remain committed to their education though completion of their personal and career-related goals.
Work-Based Learning extends the classroom to the workplace and brings employer volunteers into the school and classroom. It helps build awareness of industry-identified skills to incorporate in the classroom curriculum among educators and validates curriculum instructional models. It provides touchstones in authentic workplaces to help make classroom learning relevant and helps schools and programs build relationships with the community. WBL also provides opportunities for networking and relationship-building to promote future collaboration with employer partners.