- Long-term WBL activities (i.e. internships and co-op placements) merit earning high school credit.
INDICATOR: Schools identify how WBL activities enhance their core curriculum.
Integrating Academic Standards with Work-based Learning
A well-planned continuum of career development incorporates high-level academic achievement. Career exploration activities such as job shadowing give students a chance to see the connection between what they are learning in school and what skills are required in the workplace. By observing people at work, students understand first-hand the importance of math, science, technology, communication, teamwork, critical thinking and so on. Through WBL activities, a student's classroom is extended to the workplace. Students actually put skills learned in the classroom to use in the workplace while learning new, job-related skills. When students can see the connection between schools and their future, they often gain a new appreciation for schoolwork. As described in the Common Core State Standards, integrating academics with work-based learning is essential to ensure students are college and career ready.
The American School Counselor Association's National Standards suggest that "Students will understand the relationship of academics to the world of work and to life at home and in the community." According to the ASCA, in order to relate school to life experiences, students must:
- demonstrate the ability to balance school,
studies, extracurricular activities, leisure time
and family life Seek co-curricular and community
experiences to enhance the school experience;
- understand the relationship between learning
- demonstrate an understanding of the value of
lifelong learning as essential to seeking,
obtaining and maintaining life goals Understand
that school success is the preparation to make the
transition from student to community member;
- understand how school success and academic
achievement enhance future career and vocational
Awarding Academic Credit for Work-based Learning
Students enrolled in a WBL program should be eligible to earn credit for both the classroom instruction and the supervised work experience. The actual amount of credit earned will vary depending on each school's policies and practices. In the case of internships, students sometimes earn credit rather than wages, but that is determined by the school and the employer, and needs to adhere to applicable labor laws.