1. Guest Speakers- The ideal speaker is familiar with your curriculum and is prepared to address specific academic, technical or career topics you want covered. Students are prepared with background knowledge and can engage in discussions relevant to the topic.
2. Workplace Tours and Field Trips- An activity to promote career awareness. Students should have the opportunity to learn about the business, meet employees, ask questions and observe work in progress.
3. Job Shadowing- A career exploration activity in which students observe the workday of a professional, attend meetings, and interact with customers or clients. An ideal job shadow engages students in active research, information gathering, and learning.
4. Mentoring- A career exploration activity which matches students with adult professionals in a chosen field of interest. Career mentors should be prepared to provide guidance and insights about careers and education.
5. Externships- Career awareness for teachers. Externships for teachers can last one or two weeks and allow them to spend time working in a career related to their pathway. This is an opportunity for teachers to learn the most current trends in a field or career connected to their academic or technical curriculum.
6. Internships- A career preparation activity in which students are placed in a business for a defined period of time to participate in and observe work firsthand within a given industry. Internships are highly structured, time-limited experiences that occur at a worksite. Unlike work experience, internships often allow students to rotate through a number of departments and job functions.
7. School-Site WBL- Not all work-based learning takes place in the workplace. Students may practice workplace skills and competencies as part of any number of academic and technical endeavors on the school campus. These might include student-run businesses, career-related student competitions, service learning, and work done in “classroom labs” where specialized equipment allows for the replication of a work setting.
8. Curricular Input- Involving community partners at the design phase of integrated project-based curriculum can help to infuse real-world rigor leading to richer, more relevant projects. Partners can also be invaluable in assessing student work during the presentation phase of a project.
One of the first steps in developing a strong Work-Based Learning program is to create career awareness among students and faculty. Here are some excellent resources for promoting career awareness, exploration, and preparation.
Online College and Career Resources
Career Exploration Tools
California Career Planning Guide
Online Writing Lab (Job Applications, Letters and Resumes)