Work Based Learning
Work-based learning (WBL) activities connect students and teachers with employers to learn about the world of work. Join our WBL Mailing List or check our current activities to find upcoming events with employers. Use our tools to maximize the impact WBL has on your students.
If you're looking for virtual resources, our virtual WBL database has over one hundred recorded activities with employers from every sector.
Types of Work Based Learning
Classroom Guest Speaker (1-2 hrs)
Host a professional from a regional employer to speak about their career path, work and the skills they look for when hiring.
Employer-Designed Project (1 sem)
Students learn and apply real-world skills while completing a project or product for an employer.
Site Tour (1-2 hrs)
Take a tour of an employer's worksite and hear from employees about what it's like to work in their field and at their organization.
Internships (Paid or Unpaid, ~100 hrs)
Students gain on-the-job work experience and learn important entry-level skills while in a professional environment.
Career Fairs and Industry Events (2-6 hrs)
Employers set up booths with work samples, equipment, and hands-on demos, and may present as a panel to hundreds of students.
Mentorships (~20 hrs)
Professionals advise students on their academic and career pathway goals.
Job Shadow (1-5 days)
Students or teachers follow a professional as they work. Gain first-hand knowledge of the skills needed to succeed in that field.
Project or Presentation Reviews (1-4 hrs)
Employers review and provide feedback on student projects and presentations, lending an industry perspective.
Increase the Impact...
...of your work-based learning activities by using these instructional tools and logistical guides.
Preparation and Reflection Strategies
Use this list of Classroom Strategies - compiled from classroom teacher suggestions - for student preparation before and reflection after a WBL activity to ensure your students get the most out of the experience.
Student Reflection Form
Keep students engaged during a WBL activity and teach them to focus on the significant information by having them complete this Reflection Form.
Questions for Employers
Having trouble coming up with good questions for your presenter or site tour host? This List of Guiding Questions for Employers can help you get started, so that you and your students obtain the information you need from each activity.
Activity Preparation Checklists
Make sure you have all of the logistics taken care of before your WBL activity. These "To Do" checklists contain helpful tips and reminders:
Guest Speaker Checklist
Site Tour Checklist
Creating an internship program at your site or district and need employer and student agreements? Use our contract templates to get started.
Labor Market Data
Curriculum, instruction, and work-based learning should be guided by labor market data. What are the skillsets and jobs projected to be in-demand when our students graduate? Which industry sectors are projected to grow in wages and job openings?
Use labor market reports from our workforce development board, the San Diego Workforce Partnership and the Community Colleges to learn more about our regional economy.