As educators we know its becoming increasingly critical to get work-based learning right because students need and deserve the opportunities that work-based learning provides for:
- Economic mobility and agility
- Increased school engagement and school attendance
- That clear sense of purpose and passion for their career
- The ability to realize their full potential
- The network into the professional community that is so critical in our world today
The reality is that if our students can’t see it, they can’t dream it, and if they can’t dream it, they can’t be it. As part of AASA’s Redefining Ready! movement, it has been crystal clear that work-based learning experiences are critical to drive the economic engine for our youth, especially for those students who are at-risk. We must provide opportunities for our students while they’re with us in the K-12 setting to experience the workforce to determine what they do want to do with the rest of their lives, and more importantly, what they don’t want to do.
Creating a successful work-based learning program is not easy. It’s incredibly complex, but it’s essential that we embrace that responsibility and opportunity. From a student perspective, we need them to take ownership of their progress and to be able to communicate with employers and with their school advisors. Business partners need to create attractive opportunities for students and make it easy for students to participate. Counselors — or other individuals who are connecting students with employers — need to be able to manage those experiences. And program administrators and superintendents need high-level reporting and great stories that can be shared with our communities about the value and importance of partnership between communities and schools.
How to scale work-based learning – Here are four tips for educators who are just starting or struggling trying to scale a work-based learning program.
How to Scale Work-Based Learning
Manage Your Business Partnerships for the Short-term and Long-term
You have to be ready to manage your business partnerships and their relationships at scale. Each partnership needs to be treated individually. You need to be able to prepare to develop partners individually and to track your communications with those individuals. In some cases they may not be ready to create an internship immediately. If that is the case, you need to make it easy for them to participate in some other career development activity so they can keep working with you and your students until they are ready for the next step.
Students and Counselors Need to Easily Access Information and Opportunities
Your program needs to make it easy for students to:
- Indicate interest
- Explore opportunities
- Sign up
Then you need to provide the administrators with a way to view where students are on their career exploration journey so they can provide the individual support required. In some cases this may be identifying the right business partners required across your student population so you can match student interests to business partner gaps.
Software is Needed To Manage This At Scale
In order to manage this at scale, you have to have some kind of a software solution that facilitates the relationships you have with existing business partners and students. But that software also needs to provide you the data from students so that you and your team know where you need to emphasize your efforts in recruitment for additional business partners.
How to Scale Work-Based Learning – Crucial Features Required in a Work-Based Learning Software
In this Video Webcast – Award-winning workplace learning expert Dr. Lazaro Lopez details the best practices he leveraged for scaling a workplace learning program with over 3000 apprenticeships annually. And Transeo co-founder and CEO, Don Fraynd, outlines the critical features of Transeo Jobs that made this possible.
Be Ready to Address State and Federal Reporting
With ESSA having recently passed with the help of AASA and Redefining Ready! school districts, many states plan to require districts to track and manage nonacademic indicators and many of them are focusing on college and career readiness indicators, which include work-based learning experiences. In addition, the recently-authorized Perkins Act requires districts to provide and report on work-ready experiences down to the microlevel of each student.
For superintendents and school administrators, collecting data in a system, as opposed to paper and spreadsheets, provides an opportunity to empower your team with total visibility. It allows you to monitor district progress, dive into those individual school reports, and create good news reports to share with your community and the school board while at the same time ensuring compliance with state and Perkins requirements.
Why Software is Critical to Reporting
Award-winning superintendent and one of the leaders of Redefining Ready!, Dr. Dave Schuler, discusses upcoming state and federal reporting requirements.
About Transeo and Transeo Jobs
Transeo Jobs Explainer Video
Quick Overview of our Work-based Learning Software – Transeo Jobs
Transeo is a suite of cloud-based educational solutions that helps students and staff connect to each other in a more effective way. We make community service tracking and internship reporting easy. We help schools and districts move away from paper-based processes so counselors, advisors, and administrators can invest more quality time with the people who matter the most: students.
Transeo Jobs helps students focus on becoming career ready by putting opportunities, classes, and experiences in one dashboard. We help schools keep track of complex information and complicated interactions in our user-friendly platform that manages key contacts and service providers. For more help scaling Work-Based Learning visit some of the additional educational links below.