Work-Based Learning

Welcome to the NDA Work-Based Learning Page!

Work-based learning (WBL) is an educational strategy that provides students with real-life work experiences where they can apply academic and technical skills and develop employability skills. The concept of work-based learning has been in practice for centuries and is an integral part of the Career and Technical Education system.

Work-based learning experiences occur in a work setting, typically at an employer's worksite. The work-based learning activities are coordinated with school-based activities in an attempt to show students the "why" of what they are learning. Work-based learning strategies provide career awareness, career exploration opportunities, career planning activities, and help students reach competencies such as positive work attitudes and employability skills.

The work-based learning experience may last from a few hours to hundreds of hours. Job shadowing is usually a half-day or a full day. At a large company, job shadowing could last for more than one day. Most forms of work-based learning last over 100 hours.

Job shadowing, internships, mentorships, and service learning are often not tied to a specific course and would be considered independent work-based learning.