Work-Based Learning Opportunities for High School Students

Work-based Learning (WBL) — which provides students the opportunity to learn technical, academic and employability skills by working in a real work environment — has the potential to prepare students for their future careers. As such, WBL should be a core component of a high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program.

This report from the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) draws on data collected through literature reviews, web searches, telephone interviews and site visits to articulate a conceptual framework for WBL technical assistance. The report examines three major WBL models — internships/ co-operative education, youth apprenticeships and school-based enterprises — and provides recommendations for state leaders to improve WBL programs through professional development, employer resources, and by defining a clear purpose for WBL opportunities.