Career Related Education (CRE) provides structured, age-appropriate experiences which prepare students to be college and career ready. The range of CRE experiences begins with Career Awareness and Exploration in middle school and culminates with Work-Based Learning during the eleventh and twelfth grade. Work-Based Learning provides students the opportunity to receive credit while working in an environment related to their career pathway.
Work-based Learning (WBL) is designed to provide relevant experiences in all career areas that will assist students in making decisions concerning their future. WBL Coordinators are the key to ensuring that placements and experiences are valuable and meaningful for students. In order for the WBL program to be effective, the WBL coordinator must make regular visits to student work-sites and confer with on-the-job supervisors at regular intervals to check and evaluate students for grading purposes.
Work-Based Learning placements represent the pinnacle of the Career-Related Education experience. Enrollment in a work-based learning course is an extension of the student’s work in their College and Career pathway. Credit earned for enrollment in work-based learning may count toward graduation as part of the student’s cluster or pathway. To qualify for a WBL placement, a student must be in grades 11 or 12 and at least 16 years old. Students must also have a defined Career Pathway in order to participate in the Work-Based component of Career-Related Education. This is especially important for successful completion of a student’s pathway in that their job placement is directly related to the curriculum of the pathway classes they have completed or in which they are concurrently enrolled. There are several opportunities for students to participate in work-based learning. These opportunities include Cooperative Education, Internship, Youth Apprenticeship, and Clinical Experiences.