Work Based Learning

Work Based Learning at MOBOCES

Contact: Paula Orr
, WBL Coordinator, 315-361-5700

Work-based learning is a partnership that links school, community, and business/industry to provide a real-world work environment in which students have the opportunity to apply and enhance the knowledge and skills obtained in the career and technical education (CTE) classroom. The goal of work-based learning is to prepare students for jobs in the area through service learning, internships, and co-op work experiences. Other partnership activities include guest speakers, worksite tours, job shadows, and project work for actual clients/customers.

Work-Based Learning provides opportunities for students to demonstrate and develop industry and employability skills at a worksite. It helps to develop transferable skills, including initiative, interpersonal relations, and the attitudes and behaviors necessary for success in the workplace and community.

Internship Program

The internship is related to the student’s CTE program of study with the primary goal to develop career relevancy and competence. Internships typically take place for 2-3 hours a day, up to 4 days a week, during the regular CTE class time; however, it may take place outside of school hours depending on employer needs and student availability.  An internship can last from several weeks to several months and are unpaid. Students are covered by the BOCES liability insurance policy during their internships.

Internships are supported by training plans developed cooperatively by the employer, certified work-based learning (WBL) coordinator, CTE instructor, and student. There is ongoing communication between the job mentor, CTE instructor, and the WBL coordinator concerning the student’s performance and needs. The job supervisor is an employed adult and serves as a mentor, directing the student to observe and participate in a variety of activities related to their curriculum and the job.

Internship Eligibility

Student and employer safety is a critical component of the internship program. To be eligible for participation, a student must have satisfactory attendance, grades, and skills; demonstrate consistent, safe work habits; display proper work attitudes; and receive teacher recommendation. Students age 16-17 must have a current work permit (working papers). Some employers will require an interview and industry specific criteria. The goal is for all CTE students to participate in this valuable work experience program.

Our WBL coach works with students who need extra support. A short-term or trial basis internship may be arranged. Real-world work experience, relevance, and employment opportunities often motivate students to work harder at school and take on challenges outside of his/her comfort zone.

Cooperative (Co-op) Work Experience

The co-op work experience functions the same as the internship program except that it is a paid work experience. The student is hired by the business but remains covered under the BOCES liability insurance. As an employee, the student often works additional hours outside of the CTE class time and has the opportunity to further develop and become a productive and valuable employee.

Internship/Co-op Benefits

CTE students are often hired for part-time, summer, or full-time jobs as a direct result of their performance during their internships.

Benefits to Students

*Brings relevance to classroom learning
*Gain experience to determine interests and abilities in the field
*Apply and expand technical skills
*Develop positive work habits and attitudes
*Network with professionals in the field to assist with future job search
*Builds resume through relevant work experience
*Gain exposure to earn employment recommendations or offers
*Earn money through co-op experience
*Bridges the gap between school and the world of work

Benefits to Employers

*Preview a pool of skilled and motivated potential future employees
*Reduce recruitment and training costs
*Offers low-cost training and development programs
*Provides opportunities to communicate business and training needs to school
*Improve employee retention
*Provides a community service

Benefits to Community

*Assists young people in becoming productive citizens
*Increases the stability and well-being of the community workforce and economy
*Increases skilled and reliable workers who remain local after graduation
*Improves employee morale and motivation by becoming mentors and teachers
*Provides leadership in the education of the local workforce

Service Learning

Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that engages students in service through mutually beneficial and reciprocal relationships with approved community partners. These opportunities enrich the learning experience, integrate reflection, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Service learning differs from volunteer experience in that the work experience is related to the students’ career field of study. Service activities are embedded within CTE classes and are meant to help student achieve specific learning goals.