Work-based learning (WBL) is a critical bridge that connects the classroom to the world of work and helps learners make informed decisions about their educational and career goals. In February 2020, the Oregon State Board of Education approved the following work-based learning definition:
Structured learning in the workplace or simulated environment that provides opportunities for sustained interactions with industry or community professionals that foster in-depth, firsthand experience of the expectations and application of knowledge and skills required in a given career field.
Work-based learning allows learners to gain the experience employers are seeking and acquire the skills and credentials they need to enter and succeed in their careers. Work-based learning experiences are beneficial for all students, but can be particularly important to focal student groups and other students who have historically experienced disparities in our schools, including students of color; students with disabilities; emerging bilingual students; and students navigating poverty, homelessness, and foster care. The access to social networks and connections that work-based learning provides to learners has the potential to open doors and opportunities that are not available through classroom education alone.
Oregon Career Connected Learning
Work-based learning fits within the broader framework of Career Connected Learning, which contains four key stages:
- Career Awareness -- learning ABOUT work
- Career Exploration -- learning FOR work
- Career Preparation -- learning THROUGH work
- Career Training -- learning AT work
Work-based learning is a component of Career Connected Learning that occurs in the career preparation and training stages.
For further details, please refer to:
WBL Implementation Resources
Quick Reference Links
State and Federal Policies
For your Perkins V WBL questions, please contact
Eric Juenemann (Postsecondary Career Connected Learning Specialist, HECC) or
Brandie Clark (Secondary Work-Based Learning Specialist, ODE).