Statewide Initiatives

North Dakota Work-Based Learning Guide

What is Work-Based Learning?

Work-based learning (WBL) is a set of instructional strategies that engages employers and schools in providing learning experiences for students. WBL activities are structured opportunities for students to interact with employers or community partners either at school, at a worksite, or virtually, using technology to link students and employers in different locations.

The purposes of WBL are to build student awareness of potential careers, facilitate student exploration of career opportunities, and begin student preparation for careers. These awareness, exploration, and preparation activities help students make informed decisions about high school course and program enrollment and about post-secondary education and training. Exposure to careers through an individual WBL activity can be beneficial, but students attain best results when WBL activities are structured and sequenced over several years.

WBL should be integrated with classroom learning to help students draw connections between coursework and future careers. Students need time and assistance to prepare for WBL activities as well as opportunities to reflect on the activities afterward.

This WBL manual has been developed by Succeed 2020 to guide implementation of WBL activities. Before jumping to a chapter about a specific WBL activity, users should review the entire introduction. It provides information pertinent to all WBL activities, which will enable regional education association (REA) and school staff members to implement WBL activities in a broader, well-planned context.

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