Work-Based Learning and Career Opportunities

Work-Based Learning

Work based learning examples logo

Work-Based Learning (WBL) consists of school-coordinated workplace experiences in partnership with local businesses and organizations based on student career interests and goals. WBL students apply classroom instruction in a real-world business or service-oriented work environment.

Types of Work-Based Learning

PWCS and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recognize eleven Work-Based Learning (WBL) experiences:

Job shadowing, service learning, mentorship, externship, school-based enterprise, internship, entrepreneurship, clinical experience, cooperative education, youth registered apprenticeship, and registered apprenticeship.

Work-Based Learning in the Classroom

All CTE programs include the following elements:

  • Classroom instruction - Students build a foundation of academic and technical competencies, attitudes, and develop a work ethic that supports career success and lifelong learning
  • Career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) - Professional organizations that provide experiences that reinforce and strengthen classroom learning. CTSOs prepare students for individual responsibility, teamwork, and leadership in their chosen career pathways
  • Work-Based Learning (WBL) experiences - Opportunities for students to apply and refine knowledge, attitudes, and skills through professionally coordinated and supervised work experience directly related to career goals

Benefits of Work-Based Learning

  • Builds on classroom and CTSO experience, easing the classroom to workplace transition
  • Supervised, authentic experiences shape and enhance knowledge, skill, and attitudes
  • Students develop careers beyond their secondary and postsecondary education
  • Students who participate in WBL experiences are often able to continue to work for their placement companies after high school graduation or even after college graduation
  • Employers increasingly seek new hires with Work-Based Learning (WBL) experience

Become a PWCS Work-Based Learning Partner

Becoming a Partner

PWCS CTE wants to partner with your business! PWCS CTE is looking to partner with organizations that have work-based learning or career opportunities for current high school students or recent PWCS graduates.

If you are interested in pursuing a partnership with PWCS CTE, please complete the partnership questionnaire. A member of our staff will be in touch after the application has been reviewed.

Become a Business Partner

Questions? Please contact