What is Work Based Learning
Work-Based Learning (WBL) is an instructional strategy that provides students with career exploration opportunities and hands-on learning where knowledge gained in CTE courses can be applied to real-life work experiences. It bridges the gap between education and the working world by preparing students for future careers. WBL is beneficial for all students through access to career exposure, educational opportunities, professional networks, and social capital that often play a critical role in career success.
Washington state CTE Program Standards define and require WBL as a component of all CTE programs. It is an essential element of the total educational system and provides technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary to succeed in specific occupations and careers. It prepares students for the world of work by introducing them to workplace competencies.
The goal of every work-based learning program is to prepare students for the next generation of the American workforce. WBL program options comprise a wide range of activities that are conducted as an extended learning experience as part of a school program. WBL encompasses several different categories and options, including Worksite Learning, which grants school credit for hours a student works in a job outside of school. The wide array of WBL activities is outlined in the chart below: