Work-Based Learning Program
Work-based learning, or WBL, is an educational approach that enables students to connect learning to work and life through an intentional, goal-driven experience. Students hone and apply technical skills and develop professional skills and competencies in a real-world work experience that prepares them for a wide range of post-secondary opportunities. Such WBL experiences span a range from simple workplace tours and job shadowing all the way up to full-blown internships and apprenticeships. Possible WBL locations can be anyplace from a full scale industrial job site to a school campus as part of a school-based enterprise. A key component of a work-based learning experience is the coordination among student, employer, and mentor to define and accomplish specific goals.
WBL benefits multiple stakeholders, as students get a chance to practice skills and develop competencies in a real-world setting, business partners can participate in work force development and retention, and schools see increased attendance rates and higher student achievement scores on inventories that extend beyond the classroom and graduation. As a result, WBL is a near perfect vehicle for the type of holistic learning and development that best serves not only the student, but his/her community and society as well.
To see a printable version of our WBL flyer, please navigate to the following file: Work-Based Learning FLyer
In FUSD middle schools, WBL takes the form of awareness / exploration, and work has begun establishing a more explicit and intentional WBL component utilizing the AZ Career literacy Standards as a foundation. These standards find a home in multiple ways across the curriculum - examples include incorporation in technical and leadership classes, advisory periods, and academy / team project-based learning. Budding partnerships and support from organizations like Arizona Business & Education Coalition, Center For the Future of Arizona, and STEM City also provide guidance and opportunities.
In FUSD high schools, our WBL Program is facilitated through an elective Diversified Cooperative Education (DCE) course and a Success Class that draw heavily from FUSD Career & Technical Education programs. This model combines explicit classroom instruction of the AZ Professional Skills with structured, goal-driven work place experience based on student interest. Because of the employment component, students must meet a few requirements in order to be eligible to enroll in a DCE course, and parent / guardian awareness of program requirements is essential.
Among the resources referenced on this page, one will find contact information for each site WBL Coordinator, and links to the documents required for participation in a DCE course.