Handouts New and Emerging Models for Work-based Learnin
1. Exerpt from:
Guide to Effective Work-Based Learning (WBL)
August 2, 2010
Work-based learning experiences must be clearly linked to expected student learning outcomes.
In each experience, learning objectives should be specified and student performance should be assessed to:
1. Align with the personal and career interests of the student
2. Reinforce and improve academic learning (as defined by the content of core academic classes)
3. Engage students in new modes of thought (e.g., higher-order critical thinking and problem solving) and
otherwise facilitate learning through contextualization offered in social learning and communities of practice
4. Develop students’ career/technical skills as a means to learning
5. Advance students’ social/emotional development, including identity, self-efficacy, and interdependence
6. Expand students’ social networks and access to opportunities
7. Enhance students’ general workplace competencies, such as communication, teamwork and project planning
8. Enable career exploration through breadth of exposure at the worksite
9. Enhance students’ understanding of particular careers through depth of experience
Linking the workplace to the classroom is central to high-quality work-based learning.
There are three important stages in the creation of these connections:
Identification of learning opportunities in the workplace and alignment with standards:
Observations in the workplace before students are placed, called “workplace audits” by Jobs for the Future
(2001), enable teachers to have a full understanding of the learning potential in a given workplace, informed by
first-hand experience and conversations with employers. Alignment of the skills and knowledge to be gained in
the workplace with standards is the next step. This alignment has long been a tenet of high-quality work-based
learning (Hamilton and Hamilton, 1997). Academic and career technical education standards, when combined
with the Work Ready Essential Skills, ensure that work-based learning experiences meet educational objectives.
Development of learning plans:
Agreed upon by the teacher and the employer, learning plans identify the skills and knowledge areas that
students will focus on while engaged in a work-based learning opportunity. It is important for all involved to be
clear about the learning objectives, expectations and time commitment required (MDRC, 1994).
Ongoing supervision and communication:
Teacher supervision and close communication between the teacher and the employer ensure that learning is, in
fact, tied to standards and students’ learning objectives.
Standards Alignment Model
In this model, teachers in the pathway identify key academic and career technical education standards, along
with work-ready/essential skills, in order to establish common learning objectives for students for the pathway
by year. Alignment of the skills and knowledge to be gained in the workplace with standards is critical to high-
quality work-based learning experiences for students.
Academic and career technical education standards, combined with the Work Ready Essential Skills, should be
used to ensure successful work-based learning experiences for students. A learning plan should be developed
for each student to identify the skills and knowledge areas the student will focus on while engaged in work
based learning and project based learning experiences with industry partners. Potential industry partners are
identified based on workplace audits. Teacher and employer supervision and communication, as well as student
assessment, help ensure that key learning objectives are met.
2. THE ACADEMY FOR ENGINEERING
DESIGNING A GREEN ENVIRONMENT
Duration Controls – GenOn site visit 9th / Intro to Engineering
Pathway Outcomes •EDGE Academy completers utilize engineering knowledge and skills to design effective
solutions for positive improvement in their community.
Objectives •Students will experience how controls are used in the workplace and view changes that
have occurred in control technology.
Industry Involvement •Our industry partner will demonstrate the use of controls in the generation of electricity
at the Marsh Landing Generating Station .
Academic Standards •English 2.1 Reading
Demonstrate use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical directions.
•English 2.2 Writing 1.3
Use clear research questions and suitable research methods to elicit and present evidence
from primary and secondary sources
•English 2.2 Writing 2.6
Write technical documents: a. Report information and convey ideas logically and
Students understand fundamental automation modules and are able to develop systems
that complete preprogrammed tasks.
CTE Standards •4.0 Technology
Understand the use of technological resources to gain access to, manipulate, and produce
information, products, and services.
•5.0 Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
Understand the systematic problem-solving models that incorporate input, process,
outcome, and feedback components.
•Engineering D9.3 Program a computing device to control an automated system or
Work-Ready Skills •Technology
•Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
•Professionalism and Ethics
•Workplace Context and culture
Pre-Activities •Students will study machine controls; how they are designed, constructed, and
Experience •Students will tour manually operated generation system to learn how machines were
controlled prior to automation.
•The students will then move to a modern fully automated generating plant and learn
how computers and sensors have been implemented to perform the tasks formerly done
by numerous employees.
•The students will also observe a variety of digital and analog monitoring systems used in
the operation of the generating plant.
3. Wrap-Up •Due to the size limit by GenOn of how many students could actually participate in the
on-site visit, the students that completed the experience will be reporting back to their
respective classmates about the experience and what they learned.
Practice •Students will be given several different scenarios for which to develop flowcharts.
Formative Assessment •Students will create several simple machines and controls to demonstrate the various
computerized control systems.
Summative Assessment •Students will develop a computer controlled machine in response to a request for
proposals for a machine which is capable of sorting clear and colored glass marbles. This
must be completed using Fischertechnik and Robopro computer software.
Next Steps •Upon completion of the Machine Controls unit, the students will begin learning the
applications and uses of Fluid and Pneumatic power systems, and how controls are
integrated into machines to monitor and control these systems.
4. Career Practicum:
A Work-Based Learning Strategy
Developed in partnership with the following organizations as well as the individuals listed on the inside of this cover.
5. Special thanks to the members of the Linked Learning Alliance Pathway Development Working Group Work-
Based Learning Subcommittee for their contributions to this document.
Rob Atterbury ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career;
Chair, Work-Based Learning Subcommittee of the Linked Learning Alliance Pathway
Keith Archuleta Emerald Consulting
Patricia Clark Career Academy Support Network
Svetlana Darche WestEd
Deanna Hanson National Academy Foundation
Mike Henson National Academy Foundation
Penni Hudis ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career;
Co-Chair, Linked Learning Alliance Pathway Working Group
Cindy McHugh National Academy Foundation
Kristin Maschka ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career
Dan Schlesinger Long Beach Unified School District
Michael Strait National Academy Foundation
Michelle Swanson Swanson & Cosgrave Consulting
April Treece Contra Costa Economic Partnership/Contra Costa Council;
Co-Chair, Linked Learning Alliance Pathway Working Group
Randy Wallace Tulare County Office of Education
Dave Yanofsky ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career
6. Why Career Practicum?
Defining Career Practicum as a distinct set of work-based learning experiences supports a shift in mindsets
and practices around work-based learning within high school college and career pathway programs.
If work-based learning experiences are to become a primary vehicle by which all students make progress
toward pathway student outcomes, then more work-based learning experiences will need to be:
• Student-outcome driven rather than activity driven.
• For all students rather than some students.
• Focused on college and career readiness rather than only career or job readiness.
• Integrated and essential to the program of study rather than a separate and extra program.
• Supported by a team of academic and career-technical teachers rather than only by career-technical
• Centered in the workplace, at school, and supported by technology or a combination of all of these
rather than only located in the workplace.
Career Practicum experiences are defined by the specific student outcomes they support and the specific
criteria for implementation, not by the type of activity in which students participate. All Career Practicum
experiences support higher-level college and career readiness student outcomes, include extended interaction
with professionals from industry and the community, and are designed to give students supervised practical
application of previously studied theory. Career Practicum can be implemented through a variety of different
activities including, for example, integrated projects, internships, student-run enterprises and virtual
An additional reason for defining Career Practicum is to expand the range of higher-intensity work-based
learning experiences available to students. Commonly, internships are viewed as the only or most important
in-depth work-based learning activity. Career Practicum includes internships as one important activity option
and also supports a broader range of higher-intensity work-based learning experiences that can be effectively
scaled to reach more students.
The purpose of this document is to define and support the implementation of Career Practicum as a set of
work-based learning experiences that play an important role on the continuum of work-based learning.
7. How Does Career Practicum Relate to Other Types of Work-Based Learning
Work-based learning is a continuum of educational strategies stretching from kindergarten into adulthood
that are intentionally designed to help students extend and deepen classroom work and make progress
toward learning outcomes that are difficult to achieve through classroom or standard project-based learning
The term “work-based” does not mean the experience must occur at a workplace. Work-based
learning may take place in a workplace, in the community, at school; be supported virtually via technology; or
take place across a combination of all these settings.
Work-based learning has three
• Learning ABOUT work.
• Learning THROUGH
• Learning FOR work.
Traditionally, the work-based
learning continuum has
Awareness, Exploration, and
Preparation. Career Awareness
and Exploration experiences
support learning ABOUT work.
Career Preparation experiences
support learning FOR work, namely preparation for a specific range of occupations.
Introducing Career Practicum as an additional component of the continuum gives the field a clear way to
discuss and implement experiences that support learning THROUGH work.
Career Practicum bridges Career Exploration and Career Preparation, as they have commonly been defined,
by providing clarity about the possibilities for experiences in between the two. A specific activity, such as an
internship or a job shadow, may be used in several places along the continuum depending on the student
outcomes it supports and how it is designed.
Work-Based Learning Continuum Definitions
Career Awareness Students build awareness of the variety of careers available and begin identifying
areas of interest.
Career Exploration Students explore career options for motivation and to inform decision making.
Career Practicum Students apply learning through practical experience and interaction with profession-
als from industry and the community outside of school in order to extend and deepen
classroom work and support the development of college and career readiness
knowledge and skills (higher-order thinking, academic skills, technical skills, and
applied workplace skills).
Career Preparation Students prepare for employment in a specific range of occupations.
8. Definition of Career Practicum
Career Practicum is applied learning that provides students with practical experience and interaction with
professionals from industry and the community outside of school in order to extend and deepen classroom
work and support the development of college and career readiness knowledge and skills (higher-order
thinking, academic skills, technical skills, and applied workplace skills).
Career Practicum experiences have the following characteristics:
• Students have direct, systematic interaction with professionals from industry and the community over a
period of time.
• The experience is an integrated part of a sequential preparation for college and career and is also
explicitly integrated into students’ current academic and technical curriculum.
• The depth and length of the experience is sufficient to enable students to develop and demonstrate
specific knowledge and skills.
• The experience prioritizes the development of transferable, applied workplace skills while also seeking
to reinforce and provide opportunities to apply the basic and higher-order academic skills and technical
skills being learned in the classroom.
• Students engage in activities that have consequences beyond the class or value beyond success in
school and are judged by outside professionals from industry and the community using industry
• Students develop skills and knowledge applicable to multiple career and postsecondary education
Career Practicum experiences do not have to occur at a workplace. They may take place in a workplace, in
the community, or at school; be supported virtually via technology; or take place across a combination of all
Career Practicum experiences are most suitable for high school students. Ideally, students have more than
one Career Practicum experience in high school, each of which may support subsets of appropriate student
learning outcomes such that over the course of their experience they have the opportunity to make progress
toward all of the outcomes associated with Career Practicum. In addition, a Career Practicum experience,
whether in the form of an internship or an alternative form, can serve as the culminating work-based learning
experience for a high school student in a college and career pathway program.
9. Student Learning Outcomes Supported by Career Practicum
Student learning outcomes drive all work-based learning, just as they drive all other learning experiences.
Career Practicum experiences are driven by high-level college and career readiness outcomes that integrate
and reinforce academic, technical, and applied workplace skills. This set of outcomes for Career Practicum is
supported by extensive research around college and career readiness cited at the end of this document.
These outcomes are a minimum set of learning outcomes a Career Practicum experience aims to support.
Many Career Practicum experiences will also support additional outcomes specific to the student’s individual
learning plan, the school program (i.e., pathway outcomes, graduation requirements, ROP, CPA, WIA, etc.),
or additional industry-specific technical skills.
Category Student Learning Outcome
Collaboration Builds effective collaborative working relationships with colleagues and customers; is able to work
and Teamwork with diverse teams, contributing appropriately to the team effort; negotiates and manages con-
flict; learns from and works collaboratively with individuals representing diverse cultures, ethnici-
ties, ages, gender, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints; and uses technology to support
Communication Comprehends verbal, written, and visual information and instructions; listens effectively; ob-
serves non-verbal communication; articulates and presents ideas and information clearly and ef-
fectively both verbally and in written form; and uses technology appropriately for
Creativity and Demonstrates originality and inventiveness in work; communicates new ideas to others; and
Innovation integrates knowledge across different disciplines.
Critical Thinking Demonstrates the following critical-thinking and problem-solving skills: exercises sound reason-
and Problem ing and analytical thinking; makes judgments and explains perspectives based on evidence and
Solving previous findings; and uses knowledge, facts, and data to solve problems.
Information Is open to learning and demonstrates the following information gathering skills: seeks out and
Management locates information; understands and organizes information; evaluates information for quality of
content, validity, credibility, and relevance; and references sources of information appropriately.
Initiative and Takes initiative and is able to work independently as needed; looks for the means to solve prob-
Self-Direction lems; actively seeks out new knowledge and skills; monitors his/her own learning needs; learns
from his/her mistakes; and seeks information about related career options and postsecondary
Professionalism Manages time effectively; is punctual; takes responsibility; prioritizes tasks; brings tasks and
and Ethics projects to completion; demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior; and acts responsibly with
others in mind.
Quantitative Uses math and quantitative reasoning to describe, analyze, and solve problems; performs basic
Reasoning mathematical computations quickly and accurately; and understands how to use math and/or da-
ta to develop possible solutions.
Technology Selects and uses appropriate technology to accomplish tasks; applies technology skills to problem
solving; uses standard technologies easily; and is able to quickly access information from reliable
Workplace Understands the workplace’s culture, etiquette, and practices; knows how to navigate the organi-
Context and zation; understands how to build, utilize, and maintain a professional network of relationships;
Culture and understands the role such a network plays in personal and professional success.
10. Criteria for Designing and Assessing a Career Practicum Experience
High-quality Career Practicum experiences have specific characteristics. The criteria listed here support rigor,
consistency, and equity when designing, implementing, and evaluating the effectiveness of the experience in
supporting the desired student outcomes.
The Career Practicum experience…
Purpose Has learning as its primary purpose and is an integrated part of a sequential preparation for
college and career.
Outcomes Is designed using student learning outcomes, relevant college and career readiness standards,
and context-specific professional and industry standards.
Relevance Is relevant to the student’s career interests, individual learning needs, and the pathway theme;
has consequences beyond the class or value beyond success in school.
Integration Is integrated into the student’s academic and technical curriculum.
Variety Involves a variety of tasks, opportunities to work with multiple adults, and opportunities to
work in individual and group settings—without compromising the depth of the experience.
Preparation Is prefaced by preparation for the student in class and in previous less-intensive experiences
with the academic, technical, and applied workplace skills needed for a Career Practicum ex-
perience; orientation for the student to the learning expectations for the experience and to the
individuals and/or organizations with which he/she will be engaged; preparation for the part-
ners prior to the experience with information about the student, the individual student learn-
ing outcomes, and other information relevant to the experience.
Interaction Provides opportunities for the student to interact directly with professionals from industry and
the community over a period of time.
Coordination Is coordinated by the student, teacher, pathway team, partner, and parent/guardian; each
understands their respective roles and responsibilities in supporting the experience, ensuring
progress toward student learning outcomes, and communicating with each other before, dur-
ing, and after the experience.
Reflection Engages the student in reflection and analysis throughout the experience and after it concludes
in order to link the experience back to the student learning outcomes and forward to career
and postsecondary options.
Assessment Involves the student, pathway team, and partner in assessing progress toward student learning
outcomes and the work produced against college and career readiness standards and context-
specific professional standards; asks the student to demonstrate what was learned from the
experience by documenting learning during the experience and presenting at the end to
teachers and those with whom he/she has worked.
11. Works Cited
Archuleta, K. (2010, August). Guide to Effective Work-Based Learning. Antioch, CA: Emerald Consulting.
Archuleta, K. (2008, November). Work-Ready/Essential Skills Framework. Antioch, CA: Emerald Consulting.
Originally published March 2007.
California Department of Education. (2008). 2008–2012 California State Plan for Career Technical Education.
Appendix A. Essential Skills Enumerated by Recognized Initiatives. Retrieved February 18, 2011,
Includes reference to:
• Framework for 21st Century Learning. Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
• Michael Kane, Sue Berryman, David Goslin, and Ann Meltzer. “Identifying and Describing
The Skills Required by Work,” Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, U.S.
Department of Labor. September 14, 1990. http://wdr.doleta.gov/SCANS/idsrw/idsrw.pdf
• Equipped for the Future: Work Readiness Skills.
• CTE Model Curriculum Standards: Foundation Standards. California Department of
• States’ Career Cluster Initiative Essential Knowledge and Skill Statements. National
Association of State Directors of CTE Consortium. 2008.
• National Career Development Guidelines.
• Are They Really Ready to Work?: Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge And
Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century Workforce, The Conference Board,
Corporate Voices for Working Families, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Society for
Human Resource Management. http://www.p21.org/documents/FINAL_REPORT_PDF09-29-
Conley, D. (2007, March). Redefining College Readiness. Educational Policy Improvement Center. Retrieved
February 18, 2011, from http://www.aypf.org/documents/RedefiningCollegeReadiness.pdf.
Darche, S. Nayar, N., and Bracco, K. (2009). Work-Based Learning in California: Opportunities and Models for
Expansion. San Francisco: The James Irvine Foundation. Retrieved February 18, 2011, from
National Academy Foundation. (2010, October). Supervisor Assessment of Student Intern: Glossary. Pilot
14. The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is an acclaimed network of career-themed
academies that prepare high schools students for academic and career success. Five
hundred NAF academies serve more than 50,000 students across 40 states, D.C. and
the U.S.Virgin Islands and focus on one of four career themes: finance, hospitality &
tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences.
For nearly 30 years, NAF has refined a proven model that provides young people
access to industry-specific curricula, work-based learning experiences, and
relationships with business professionals. Since its start, NAF has developed tools and
resources to assist academies in providing internships and supporting advisory board
In 2009, NAF convened a task force of business, education, and workforce experts to
develop standards for internships that resulted in “Preparing Youth for Life: The Gold
Standards for Internships.” The task force laid out a vision for high school internships
as the culminating experience of a continuum of work-based learning activities.
Building off this vision, we sought to collect the 30 years of wisdom and experience
from NAF staff, academy staff, advisory board members, volunteers, and experts in the
field in order to clarify the components of a comprehensive program of work-based
learning that will create the maximum benefit for all academy students.
Work-based learning came to the forefront of educational policy with the enactment
of the national School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994. Since then states, local
communities, and many organizations have defined and developed resources to
support work-based learning. This document is also based on a review of a wide range
of materials and reflects NAF’s beliefs and understanding of what defines quality work-
based learning. It is the foundation for the further development and implementation of
resources and support on work-based learning for NAF academies.
Thank you to everyone who assisted with this document, particularly NAF academy
staff and business partners and our colleagues at ConnectEd: The California Center for
College and Careers. We look forward to continuing this work together as we develop
additional resources, tools, and professional development opportunities to support
academies in strengthening the work-based learning component of the NAF model.
National Academy Foundation
15. NAF recommends
all academy students
preparing them to make
informed college and
career choices and
allowing them to acquire
the necessary college-
skills. NAF believes that
performance and post-
outcomes for students.
NAF endorses a
definition of work-based
learning that includes a broad range of experiences tied to student outcomes. Under
the NAF definition, work-based learning refers to a continuum of activities, both in
and outside the classroom, that provides opportunities for students to connect what
they are learning in the classroom to the world of work; to learn about careers and
the education and training requirements for occupations within and across industries;
to identify career interests and aptitudes, and to use the workplace for both learning
and applying college- and career-readiness skills and knowledge.
Quality work-based learning experiences should:
• Identify learning objectives
• Be developmentally appropriate
• Assess student performance, including self-assessment methodologies
• Include an orientation for all parties
• Provide opportunities for student reflection
• Link to the student’s next work-based learning experience
• Provide links between classroom learning and professional expectations
16. The Continuum of Work-Based Learning
The continuum of work-based learning includes career awareness, career
exploration, and career preparation culminating with an internship.
The foundation of work-based learning is career awareness. Students begin these
career awareness activities in elementary school and continue through middle school.
Career awareness experiences provide students with opportunities to understand
how school relates to the world of work. These activities typically include field trips
to businesses and parents or other adults speaking about their jobs and why they are
interesting. Students may also participate in projects in the classroom that are similar
to those undertaken in workplaces.Volunteer activities in which students interact
with adults in a workplace setting (e.g. visits to a nursing home) also help young
people understand their place within the community. A variety of early workplace
experiences can help to inform students’ decisions about whether to enroll in an
Career exploration provides students with a deeper understanding of the
workplace. Career exploration activities, which typically begin in middle school or
during the first year of high school, continue throughout an individual’s working life as
job opportunities shift and career changes occur. Career exploration activities provide
students with a full understanding of the range of occupations within the industry on
which their academies’ focus, the skill and education requirements needed for these
jobs, and an understanding of the relevance of academic and theme-based courses in
Career preparation activities are designed to help students acquire the foundational
skills needed for college and career readiness. Career preparation activities begin to
integrate academic skills acquired in the classroom with work-based skills obtained in
the workplace. Emphasis is on skill building, understanding the concept of transferable
skills, learning to work as a team member, establishing relationships, appreciating ethics
and honesty, and relating personal interests and abilities to career opportunities. Most
students participate in these activities beginning in the 9th and 10th grades. These
activities, whether classroom or workplace based, are essential preparation for a
student’s successful completion of an internship.
Internships are the culmination of high school career preparation activities. Internships
allow students to apply work-readiness and academic skills and learn specific
occupational skills in a workplace setting. Internships are paid or offer some form
of compensation to students in order to provide an authentic work experience.
Internships typically occur during the summer between the 11th and 12th grades;
though they may also take place during the school year, particularly during the 12th
The NAF curriculum supports work-based education in each of these areas. Courses
are organized around industry-vetted projects that replicate the types of tasks and
assignments done by professionals in order to prepare students for work-based
learning. The NAF curriculum is designed to involve advisory board members in the
classroom to provide information and guidance, thus establishing key relationships that
will benefit students.
17. Benefits of Work-Based Learning
Benefits to students
• Apply academic and technical classroom learning
• Develop workplace competencies
• Establish a clear connection between education and work
• Explore possible careers:
- Identify and analyze personal needs, interests, and abilities
- Identify and analyze potential opportunities in various career fields
- Develop plans and make decisions to achieve goals and aspirations
- Understand potential career paths
- Identify college options based on career goals
• Improve post-graduation options for employment and further education and
• Ongoing part-time employment and financial support for post-secondary
• Practice positive work habits and attitudes
• Understand the expectations of the workplace
• Motivation to stay in school, earn a high school diploma, and a career certificate
• Establish professional contacts for future employment, mentoring, and networking
• Earn industry certifications
Benefits to employers
• Create a pool of skilled and motivated potential employees
with the ability to adapt to an ever-changing, global job market
• Improve employee retention and morale
• Reduce training/recruiting costs for new employees
• Partner with schools to prepare students for their futures
• Provide developmental opportunities for current workforce
• Support local schools
• Generate positive publicity
• Establish meaningful relationships with young people
• Enhance capacity to manage a diverse workforce
Benefits to schools
• Expand curriculum and extend learning facilities
• Gain access to workplace techniques and technology
• Enhance the ability to meet the need of diverse student populations
• Provide opportunities for individualized instruction
• Promote faculty interaction with the community
• Contribute to staff development
• Make education more relevant and valuable for students
• Improve high school graduation rates
• Deepen community relationships
Well-designed work-based learning activities have clearly identified learning outcomes
and a method to assess whether the learning has been achieved, either through
formal or informal assessment. These outcomes are based on employers’ expectations
for future workers. NAF has worked with a group of organizations to define the
4 workplace competencies employers expect.
18. The following chart was prepared to support the Linked Learning initiative and is
reprinted from “Career Practicum: A Work-Based Learning Strategy,” with permission
from ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Careers. A majority of states
and local school districts have incorporated some version of these workplace skills
into their standards for learning. (Note: A number of states support the Framework for
21st Century Skills, developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a collaboration
of businesses, states and non-profit organizations.)
Category Student Learning Outcome
Collaboration Builds effective collaborative working relationships with colleagues
and Teamwork and customers; is able to work with diverse teams, contributing
appropriately to the team effort; negotiates and manages conflict;
learns from and works collaboratively with individuals representing
diverse cultures, ethnicities, ages, gender, religions, lifestyles, and
viewpoints; and uses technology to support collaboration.
Communication Comprehends verbal, written, and visual information and instructions;
listens effectively; observes non-verbal communication; articulates
and presents ideas and information clearly and effectively both
verbally and in written form; and uses technology appropriately for
Creativity and Demonstrates originality and inventiveness in work; communicates
Innovation new ideas to others; and integrates knowledge across different
Critical Think- Demonstrates the following critical-thinking and problem-solving
ing and Problem skills: exercises sound reasoning and analytical thinking; makes
Solving judgments and explains perspectives based on evidence and previous
findings; and uses knowledge, facts, and data to solve workplace
Information Is open to learning and demonstrates the following information
Management gathering skills: seeks out and locates information; understands
and organizes information; evaluates information for quality of
content, validity, credibility, and relevance; and references sources of
Initiative/Self- Takes initiative and is able to work independently as needed; looks
Direction/ for the means to solve problems; actively seeks out new knowledge
Resourcefulness and skills; monitors his/her own learning needs; learns from his/her
mistakes; and seeks information about related career options and
Professionalism Manages time effectively; is punctual; takes responsibility; prioritizes
and Ethics tasks; brings tasks and projects to completion; demonstrates integrity
and ethical behavior; and acts responsibly with others in mind.
Quantitative Uses math and quantitative reasoning to describe, analyze, and solve
Reasoning problems; performs basic mathematical computations quickly and
accurately; and understands how to use math and/or data to develop
Technology Selects and uses appropriate technology to accomplish tasks; applies
technology skills to problem solving; uses computer programs easily;
and is able to quickly access information from reliable sources online.
Workplace Understands the workplace’s culture, etiquette, and practices;
Context and knows how to navigate the organization; understands how to
Culture build, utilize, and maintain a professional network of relationships;
and understands the role such a network plays in personal and 5
19. In addition, the list below illustrates the kind of learning outcomes tied to each of the
components of the work-based learning continuum.
Students should be able to:
• Describe different careers and the pathways leading to a variety of careers
• Describe how core skills such as math and reading are used in the workplace
• Articulate the importance of post-secondary education and training following high
• Understand the skills needed to be ready for college and careers
• Know the skills needed for success in the workplace
• Understand how different elements of a high school academic experience are
related to the workplace
• Have basic knowledge of employability skills
• Be able to articulate the options available and importance of post-secondary
education to achieving career goals
• Connect individual skills and interests to variety of career pathways
Students should be able to:
• Describe how the workplace functions and the skills required to succeed there
• Identify the core knowledge necessary to be prepared for success in a particular
• Complete the process of applying for employment (resume writing, interviewing,
completing application form, etc.)
• Describe and use multiple resources to find jobs
• Identify and demonstrate appropriate work behaviors and etiquette
• Describe in detail a particular experience in a workplace, the skills necessary to
succeed in that workplace, and how their high school’s courses are related to it
• Describe how post-secondary college or training connect to a career path of
• Develop short and long-term employment plans
• Articulate the importance and elements of workplace safety
Students should be able to:
• Assess individual strengths and weaknesses in the workplace
• Demonstrate basic workplace competencies specific to applicable standards of
• Demonstrate job-specific knowledge and skills
• Apply basic academic skills appropriate to the workplace
• Articulate the connections between job requirements and academic skills
• Articulate to younger students, peers, and adults the value of the internship
• Develop career goals and a plan for achieving them
20. Career exploration activities include:
• Aptitude and interest assessment
• Job shadowing
• Informational interviews with adults
• Career fairs
• Classroom speakers and team teaching with industry representatives and/or post-
• Tours of local one-stop career centers to explore resources and services
• Simulated business/industry projects
• College visits
Career preparation activities include:
• Summer work experience
• Part-time jobs
• School-based enterprises
• Community resource mapping
• Work-readiness training: interview skills, resume writing, job finding techniques,
soft skills development
• Job fairs
• Unpaid, short-duration projects with business and industry partners
• Use of One-Stop Career Center and electronic job finding sites
• College research
• Work-focused clubs and national competitions, such as Junior Achievement
• Culminating projects provided within the NAF curriculum units for each academy
• Culminating internships
The “Career Practicum: A Work-Based Learning Strategy” identifies the characteristics
that apply to internships and other similar experiences:
• Students have direct, systematic interaction with professionals from industry and
the community over a period of time. This experience is an integrated part of a
sequential preparation for college and career.
• The depth and length of the experience is sufficient to enable students to develop
and demonstrate specific knowledge and skills.
• The experience prioritizes development of transferable, applied workplace skills
while also seeking to reinforce and provide opportunities to apply what is being
learned in the classroom.
• The experience is explicitly integrated into the student’s academic and technical
curriculum and reinforces basic and higher order academic skills as well as
• Students engage in activities that have consequences beyond the classroom or
value beyond success in school and are judged by outside professionals from
industry and the community using industry standards.
• Students develop skills and knowledge applicable to multiple career and post-
secondary education options.
• These experiences typically include a closing or celebration activity.
21. Additionally, NAF believes internships should meet the following guidelines:
• They are related to the academy theme
• Students are paid or compensated (e.g. stipend)
• There is an individual student learning plan with clear learning outcomes
• There is a formal evaluation by work-site supervisor with a feedback loop to
appropriate school personnel
• There are clear connections to academic or classroom instruction
Federal and state employment laws apply to internships, just as they do to any
employment. These laws cover child labor protection, safety in the workplace, and pay
for employment and workers’ compensation.
• The federal Fair Labor Standards Act applies to youth employment under the
age of 18. The law sets the hours students may work during the school year and
identifies the occupations considered hazardous for young people under the age
of 18. States also have their own child labor laws. Typically, the more stringent
requirements, either federal or state, are those that are applicable.
• Occupational health and safety laws are administered by the U.S. Department of
Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
• Whether an internship must be paid or may be unpaid or otherwise compensated
is also determined under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A fact sheet at: /www.dol.
gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm provides basic information around this
• Workers’ compensation requirements are determined exclusively under state
laws (unless the internship is with a federal agency). Generally, requirements for
workers’ compensation coverage apply to internships.
Roles and Responsibilities
Students’ roles and responsibilities:
• Actively participate in school and workplace experiences
• Develop meaningful learning objectives
• Participate in reflection activities to process workplace learning
Parents/Guardians’ roles and responsibilities:
• Ensure students complete paperwork and curriculum requirements
• Support successful completion of internship
• Communicate with school personnel to monitor progress
• Participate in celebratory activities
Teachers’ and other school staff’s roles and responsibilities:
• Provide support for students and employers
• Monitor student performance in the workplace and resolve any issues that arise
• Prepare students for the workplace
• Prepare employers to work with high school students
• Make the connection between academic learning and the workplace
• Work closely with the employer and the student to ensure regular and effective
22. School district roles and responsibilities:
• Maintain and support policies and protocols to make work-based learning a viable
method for helping students meet academic standards
• Support teachers’ professional development to ensure they maximize the
opportunities at the workplace
• Leverage available resources to make sure that work-based learning is supported
within small learning communities
Workplace partners and worksite supervisors’ roles and responsibilities:
• Collaborate with school staff to create learning opportunities for students at the
• Assist students in writing learning objectives
• Train, coach, and guide students while they are involved
• Evaluate student progress toward learning objectives and on their development of
• Maintain ongoing communication with teachers
Advisory board members’ roles and responsibilities:
• Review work-based learning activities and curriculum and provide input
• Assist in evaluating the effectiveness of the academy’s work-based learning
program and recommend improvements
• Connect individually with students around career plans
• Provide support in the classroom around topics relevant to the workplace
• Assist in fundraising to defer additional costs associated with work-based learning
• Provide internships and other work-based learning experiences
• Recruit businesses and other partners to provide internships and other work-
based learning experiences
Community agencies’ and organizations’ roles and responsibilities:
• Serve as an intermediary to connect teachers and other school personnel and
students with businesses
• Provide student referrals to work-based learning activities, including work
experience and internship opportunities
• Assist in preparing youth for the workplace
• Assist in supervising student workplace experiences
• Subsidize work experience and internships for eligible students
• Coordinate community-wide job shadow days
• Support the development of work-based learning experiences tied to classroom-
based academic and technical learning
23. Schools, business, and others involved in work-based learning need tools, resources,
and professional development to guide and support their efforts. The charts on the
following pages identify some of the resources that are available under each category
of work-based learning. NAF is committed to adding additional resources and
professional development to enhance academies’ work.
Many activities are appropriate at more than one grade level and students at each
grade level may be involved in activities that fall within all of the categories of work-
based learning. Career exploration and career preparation activities that begin at the
high school level typically continue through post-secondary education and adulthood.
The following charts provide guidance on how an academy might structure and
plan its work-based learning activities. The most important considerations are that
the activities are well-planned and properly sequenced to provide a progression of
learning experiences for students—each one building upon the last.
Career Awareness Resources Pre-9th Grade
National Academy Foundation Parent visits to classrooms to talk about
naf.org their jobs
America’s Promise: americaspromise.org Students accompany parents to work
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Field trips to business and industry
Community volunteer activities
The Fresh Air Fund
freshair.org/programs/career-awareness- Class projects with a work theme
that require work-related skills
Career Exploration 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade
National Academy Aptitude & interest Aptitude & College
Foundation assessment interest assessment research
Visit to one-stop Visit to one-stop
US DOL Career career center career center
careeronestop.org Visits to colleges Visits to colleges
Class speakers College research
Junior Achievement: ja.org
Job shadowing Guest speakers
Center Career fairs Job shadowing
Informational Career fairs
Simulated business/ interviews
10 industry projects
24. Career Preparation 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th
National Academy Work- Summer Job Fairs Part-time
Foundation readiness work employ-
naf.org training experience Summer ment
Job Start 101, sponsored by Summer Work- experience Use
the Business Roundtable work readiness one-stop
jobstart101.org experience training Part-time career
Cool Careers for Dummies School- Unpaid, and online
amazon.com/Cool-Ca- based short-term School-based job sites
reers-Dummies-Marty- enterprises projects with enterprises
Nemko/dp/0764553453 business and
Community industry Community
US Department of Labor resource resource
dol.gov/odep/categories/ mapping School-based mapping
Community stop career
resource center and
mapping online job
Internship Resources 12th Grade
National Academy Foundation Compensated internships
Career Academy Support Network
The School and Industry
Pipeline toolkits, School year
25. References and Resources
Arizona State Department of Education, “Arizona Work-Based Learning Resource
Guide,” January 2003, www.ade.az.gov/cte/info/LRGlinked070705.pdf
ConnectED: The California Center for College and Careers, “Career Practicum: A
Work-Based Learning Strategy,” June 2011.
Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, “Quality Work-Based Learning Toolkit,” 2002,
National Academy Foundation, “Preparing Youth for Life: The Gold Standards for
Internships,” March 2010.
New Ways to Work, “Supporting Youth in the Work Place Through High Quality Work-
Based Learning,” http://www.newwaystowork.org/librarycontents.html#seven
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, “Washington State Worksite Learning
Manual,” August 2008, http://www.k12.wa.us/careerteched/WorkBasedLearning/
Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), www.p21.org.
State of Iowa, “Work-based Learning Guide,” 2002,
U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, “Youth Rules!”
Utah State Office of Education, “Work-Based Learning Program,” April 2011,