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Resource Spotlight of the Month: Work-Based Learning

January 27, 2022 | Robert Curtis

What is Work-Based Learning?

To prepare young people for high-impact, in-demand careers, Linked Learning pathways offer a continuum of work-based learning experiences. It is a critical pathway component that:

  • Drives community and industry partnerships
  • Connects what students are learning in the classroom with real-world workforce applications
  • Provides a continuum of opportunities including career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation integrated throughout career technical and academic courses
  • Aligns with student learning outcomes and prepares students for success in postsecondary education and careers


Work-Based Learning Resources

A Guide for Pathway Educators and School Leaders


This Getting Started with Linked Learning guide, developed by the Linked Learning Alliance, outlines a process to design, implement, and improve authentic work-based learning opportunities for students. It also provides a vision for creating and sustaining an advisory board of industry professionals to inform the pathway's curricula and mentor students in their career interests. | Explore Getting Started with Linked Learning: A Guide for Pathway Educators and School Leaders

Work-Based Learning Continuum

The Linked Learning Alliance's Work-Based Learning Continuum, adapted from Long Beach Unified School District, details a strategic flow of experiences that help students gain an awareness of a wide-range of careers, more deeply explore careers of interest, and participate in hands-on learning opportunities including internships and apprenticeships. | View the Work-Based Learning Continuum

Work-Based Learning Landscape Analysis

The Work-Based Learning Landscape Analysis helps pathways identify what experiences are currently available to their students, and what experiences may need to be incorporated in order to provide young people a full range of career learning. To support pathway teams in identifying new work-based learning experiences for their students, Fresno Unified School District has created a High-Quality Work-Based Learning Characteristics matrix. This resource can help deepen and expand your pathway's work-based learning experiences. | Use the Work-Based Learning Landscape Analysis

Questions to Consider

  • What are the current opportunities for work-based learning?
  • How is work-based learning aligned with student learning outcomes or integrated with curriculum or courses?
  • What are the current barriers to scaling equitable work-based learning experiences?
  • How will work-based learning be mutually beneficial for students, educators, and partners?
  • How will you integrate the supports necessary to ensure opportunities for all students to experience work-based learning success?

Work-Based Learning in Action

Students and educators from Fresno Unified School District bring work-based learning to life in a brief video about the power of hands-on career education opportunities. Looking for more great ideas from Linked Learning communities? Explore San Bernardino County's microinternship program, Pasadena's ROSE Program, or San Jose's SJWorks.

Taking Your Advisory Board to the Next Level: An Industry Perspective

Great work-based learning experiences takes great partners! Advisory boards not only support pathways in developing hands-on, community career learning opportunities, but also help inform pathway curriculum, provide feedback on project-based learning presentations, and ensure career-focused learning is relevant to today's job market. Join the Linked Learning Alliance on Tuesday February 15, 3:30pm PT for Taking Your Advisory Board to the Next Level: An Industry Perspective. Participants will hear from employer partners from a variety of industries and regions on how pathways can engage, empower, and sustain a robust advisory board. | RSVP for Taking Your Advisory Board to the Next Level: An Industry Perspective

"Living in the Bay Area, there's so many rich opportunities for our students. There are a lot of artists and designers coming forward to collaborate with us. I get so excited whenever the collaborations are happening in my classroom. It's so inspirational and relevant to what our students are going through. These connections allow our students to go out into our communities and have a fashion show, install artwork, or have a gallery show." -Alicia Arnold, CTE Educator, Fashion, Art, and Design Academy, Oakland Technical High School, Oakland USD