Getting Started:
Work-Based Learning Opportunities

Work-Based Learning
Learning opportunities that occur in part or in whole at the workplace and provide the learner with hands-on, real world experience.

Understanding the Demand

A thriving work-based learning community understands the problems plaguing their talent pipeline, recognizes the value in business-led work-based learning as a solution, and works collaboratively to effect systemic change. To better understand your community’s current level of involvement in WBL, Talent Found has developed an Assessment Guide as part of its Work-Based Learning Continuum: Learning About, Through, and At Work.

The Continuum

Work-based learning includes a continuum of activities ranging from those that are more educator led, to those that are more business led–though all work-based learning should be built around a strong partnership between educators, business and industry leaders, and higher education and training providers.

The important thing to remember is that ALL work-based learning opportunities for students help to better prepare them for postsecondary opportunities. We encourage all businesses to engage at some point on the continuum, and to push themselves to consider how they can provide meaningful experiences for students.

Work-Based Learning Opportunities

Explore these work-based learning opportunities for resources, suggestions and best practices, Colorado program examples, as well as individuals you can contact for expertise and support.

Ranging from guest speakers to interactive job-shadowing, awareness and exploration are critical in helping students learn more about their passions and post-secondary options.

Capstones and projects are opportunities for students to address a relevant problem while demonstrating what they know and can do. Also a low/no risk way for businesses to see what students are capable above.

Industry recognized examination or licensure that assess and validate an individual’s mastery of specific competencies, knowledge and skills. A great opportunity for students to demonstrate their preparedness for jobs.

Opportunities for students to experience a professional environment where they develop essential and technical skills while learning about professionalism and the day-to-day duties for potential careers.

An employer-driven model that combines on-the-job learning as a paid employee with related instruction and training to accelerate a student’s future skill level and earning potential.

Partnership between a district, community college(s), and one or more local industry employers where students receive both a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree.

Educators spend time in a workplace learning about trends in technology, skill requirements, and career opportunities in industries related to their subject area so they can bring relevance and hands-on experience to their teaching and students’ learning.

Work-Based Learning Success Stories