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Work-Based Learning, Policy No. 543

Work-Based Learning, Policy No. 543

Printable PDF Board Policy 543

It is the policy of Moore Norman Technology Center to provided structured and meaningful work-based learning experiences for students. The board recognizes the work-based learning (“WBL”) provides students with opportunities to study complex subject matter as well as vital workplace skills in a hands-on, "real life" environment. Students have opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the classroom to tasks performed in the workplace or community. As students see the connections between their school work and what is required by industry, they gain an understanding of the importance of their learning. It uses the workplace, or in-depth experience that includes employer or community input, to engage students and intentionally promote learning and access  to future educational and career opportunities.

WBL may be paid or unpaid and may last from a few hours to hundreds of hours. The activities are coordinated with school-based activities to show students the “why” of what they are learning. WBL supports students in developing career awareness,  exploring career options, developing appropriate workplace skills, and relating academic skills to real-world applications. Specific learning objectives are associated with each experience and often the experiences become more complex as the learners advance in their curriculum.  Moore Norman Technology Center has five defined types of WBL.

1.  Clinicals – Teacher/instructor guided activities designed to assist students to meet their program of study course outcomes and to safely apply new  practice related knowledge and skills applicable to the student’s program. These experiences may occur in a variety of affiliating agencies or clinical practice settings. This type of WBL usually requires a contract to be in place between MNTC and the health care facility. Students may also be required to purchase professional liability insurance in order to participate.

2.  Field Trips – A planned educational experience that reinforces and expands  on concepts taught in class to increase knowledge and supplement course curriculum. This type of WBL is usually done as an entire class, together, as a group. Examples: industry tour, museum, car show, college visit, or career fair.

3.  Industry Work Experience – Students are given the opportunity to perform a  set of skills in a particular industry, for a period of time determined by their area of study. MNTC and industry training sponsors work together to create a structured learning experience closely connected to the academic and technical content learning in the classroom. The following are all considered industry work experience:

  • OJT
  • Externships
  • Internships
  • Cooperative Work Experience
  • Technical Mentorships
  • Apprenticeships

Common to all of these is the element of careful planning and management to ensure a focus on learning consistent with the combination of academic and technical skills. A training plan is developed collaboratively by the instructor or school representative and industry training sponsors.  The training plan  will outline the expected training objectives to be accomplished during the student’s industry work experience. The instructor or school representative evaluates the job-related assignments and works with the training sponsor to evaluate the on-the-job performance. Industry work experience may or may not include financial compensation. Students may also be required to purchase professional liability insurance in order to participate.

4.  Job Shadowing – A career awareness/exploration opportunity in which the student observes or “shadows” an industry employee(s) for a designated period of time gaining insight into the workplace, daily responsibilities, and other aspects of a particular occupation or profession. This activity will be coordinated by MNTC with industry partners to ensure a quality experience for the learner.

5.  Service Learning – A method of teaching that enhances classroom instruction with meaningful community service. This form of learning develops character and citizenship skills, emphasizes critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility. Service learning offers students immediate opportunities to apply classroom learning to support or enhance positive change in the community.

Each student should be given the opportunity to participate in one or more WBL  experiences with the specific assignments chosen by the instructor and mutually agreed upon by the industry partner and student. In programs where WBL is part of the curriculum and required for completion, one or more of the five WBL options may be used (or combined) to satisfy the requirement as determined by the instructor. The student,  instructor and industry partner will mutually agree on the following:

  • Hours and/or days of participation in the WBL experience
  • Requirements for the student to complete the WBL experience
  • Evaluation of the WBL experience

The student must be 16 years of age and provide transportation to the WBL site if they are the only student participating in WBL at that industry site. Student must have a valid driver’s license and liability insurance. Drivers transporting students are required to have written permission of ALL parent/guardians of minor age passengers. Minor age drivers must have parent/guardian authorization to transport students.

Appropriate forms must be completed and approved by administration before the student  or students begin their WBL experience.