Work Based Learning

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Work-Based Learning

Work-Based Learning placements represent the pinnacle of the Career-Related Education experience. To qualify for a WBL placement, a student must be in grades 11 or 12 and at least 16 years old. Students must also have a defined Career Pathway in order to participate in a Work-Based Learning placement. This is especially important for successful completion of a student’s pathway in that their job placement is directly related to the curriculum of the pathway classes they have completed or in which they are concurrently enrolled. There are several opportunities for students to participate in work-based learning. These opportunities include employability skill development, Cooperative Education, Internship, Youth Apprenticeship, and Clinical Experiences.

Employability Skill Development

ESD students can work for up to one school year at a work-site which may or may not be linked to a specific career pathway. Unlike other forms of Work-Based Learning, ESD students may be involved in work activities that have only
an indirect relationship to previous or current classroom studies. This placement opportunity exists in recognition of the fact that almost everyone at some point must experience entry-level work and begin to understand the culture of the workplace. Training plans for ESD students concentrate heavily on the skills and knowledge identified as being important to success on the job. An ESD placement lacks the curricular connection evident in other placements such as Cooperative Education, Internships or Youth apprenticeship because there is no current or completed CTAE coursework that aligns with the placement.

Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education students participate in a structured program that connects school-based occupational instruction and related paid work-site experiences. These educational experiences provide a rigorous and relevant curriculum with an occupational specialty. Co-op students are guided by a formal, written training agreement that defines specific academic and workplace skills to be mastered. Students must be simultaneously enrolled in a course directly related to the job placement. The Work-Based Learning Coordinator is the school official responsible for supervision. An effective training plan for a co-op student will address the following three criteria: Attitudinal Indicators, General Work Skills, and Specific Duties and Tasks Performed on the Job. These three areas encompass very important foundational skills. However, without a fourth component, which addresses and evaluates the curriculum-specific, technical competencies taught in the classroom, the students are learning no more than students who simply get a part-time job on their own (outside of the school’s Work-Based Learning Program). Therefore, a fourth component may be included which consists of Curriculum Activities Aligned to the Job.


An Internship Course is a semester long course which involves much commitment in terms of time and effort. Because of the specific nature of the career pathways within the program concentrations, the Georgia Performance Standards curriculums developed for each program area is used to structure the internship experience. In order for a student to participate in a long-term Internship resulting in course credit, the Work-Based Learning Coordinator, most likely with input from the related area instructor advisory committees and other qualified parties, will be responsible for finding a placement which meets the requirements and conditions of the curriculum for that career path. The number of hours a student spends at the work site must meet or exceed an equivalent amount of seat time that would be required to earn credit in a class.

Youth Apprenticeship

Youth Apprenticeship provides the student with instruction in general workplace competencies as well as specialized training in all aspects of a chosen industry. Essential to the apprentice’s work-based experience is a detailed training
plan developed with the employer, apprentice and coordinator, according to a progressive skill standard. The apprentice receives a minimum of 720 hours of on-the-job training. An employee who possesses the skills to be mastered by the apprentice serves as an on-site mentor, providing instruction and feedback on the student’s performance. The school-based component of Youth Apprenticeship encompasses 144 classroom hours of related academic instruction, intensive career exploration and counseling, periodic evaluations, and selection of a career major by the eleventh grade. As envisioned by the State of Georgia, Youth Apprenticeship cannot fulfill its purpose with a limited application to a few students in selected industries. Rather, the program must be accessible to every high school student, and it must
provide the challenge of academic achievement coordinated with appropriate work experience.

Youth Apprenticeship is considered to be the most prestigious of all placement opportunities. YAP is a structured program that connects school-based occupational instruction and related paid work-site experiences in order to
prepare students for the world of work while providing Georgia with a highly skilled, technologically competitive workforce. YAP students are able to receive a high school diploma, a postsecondary certificate or degree, and certification of industry- recognized competencies applicable to employment in a high-skilled occupation. Compared to other work-based programs, Youth Apprenticeship is usually of a longer duration (two to four years).

Work Based Learning opportunities are available to students in the 11 and 12 grade.

Work Based Learning Application link click here
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