Research Focusing on Work-Based Learning

Making Work-Based Learning Work

This paper guides the design and implementation of effective models of work-based learning that expand access for the many people who don’t currently benefit from these opportunities. It includes the introduction of seven principles for effective work-based learning that Jobs For the Future (JFF) has identified based on more than three decades of experience in promoting and implementing education and workforce strategies that support youth and adults seeking to launch and advance in careers.

Cahill, C. (2016). Making Work-Based Learning Work. Boston, MA: Jobs for the Future.

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Removing Legal Barriers around Work-Based Learning

This report explores an issue that is often a stumbling block for K-12 work-based learning–ensuring these experiences are safe and legal for students. This report features New Jersey, Kentucky and California and their approaches to dismantling work-based learning’s legal barriers, including training teachers to understand the state and federal legal, health and safety requirements for work-based learning and mitigating work-based learning liability concerns for schools and employers. 

Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work. (2016). Removing Legal Barriers around Work-Based Learning. Silver Spring, MD.

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Measuring Work-Based Learning for Continuous Improvement

While many work-based learning programs are designed and operated at the local level, several states have begun building a data collection and evaluation strategy to ensure program quality, identify and scale successful programs, and share promising practices. This issue highlights examples from West Virginia, Tennessee and Massachusetts that demonstrate either a systems-level or student-level approach to measuring work-based learning activities.

Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work. (2016).Measuring Work-Based Learning for Continuous Improvement. Silver Spring, MD.

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Leveraging Intermediaries to Expand Work-Based Learning

Managing work-based learning requires layers of coordination, which is typically done by an individual or organizational intermediary. This document, part of Advance CTE’s “Connecting the Classroom to Careers” series, provides guidance and examples of how states can support intermediaries to expand work-based learning. 

Advance CTE: State Leaders Connecting Learning to Work. (2016). Leveraging Intermediaries to Expand Work-Based Learning. Silver Spring, MD.

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Work-Based Learning: Model Policy Components

This Special Report outlines state-level policy components that help ensure work-based learning opportunities for high school students are well-coordinated, broadly accessible, aligned to state or regional workforce demands, and of high quality.

Zinth, J. (2018). Work-Based Learning: Model Policy Components. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States.

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HEIs and Workforce Development: Helping Undergraduates Acquire Career-Readiness Attributes

In today’s world, it is essential that undergraduate students gain career-relevant skills to be successful in the complex, global workforce. While employers raise concerns about students’ career-readiness, higher education institutions (HEIs) are facing numerous challenges, such as unprecedented access to a college education, funding allocations and students working while attending college. All these factors lead to an arduous situation. Since learning is not merely relegated to the classroom, this qualitative multisite case study focuses on experiential learning opportunities offered through university-affiliated business incubators to gain a better understanding of how they may assist undergraduate students prepare for the workforce.

Mayorga, L.K. (2019). HEIs and Workforce Development: Helping Undergraduates Acquire Career-Readiness Attributes. Industry and Higher Education, 33(6), 370-380.

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Additional Research References:

  • Raelin, J. A. (2008). Work-Based Learning: Bridging Knowledge and Action in the Workplace. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Reeders, E. (2000). Scholarly Practice in Work-based Learning: Fitting the glass slipper. Higher Education Research & Development, 19(2), 205–220.

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