Why Work Based Learning Software is Critical

Work based learning software is critical for multiple reasons. In this brief article and short video with national Redefining Ready leader David Schuler, Phd and work based learning expert Lazaro Lopez, PhD we will discuss:

  • Why work based learning is critical
  • Our responsibility as leaders to scale work based learning
  • The advantages of using software rather than paper to manage postsecondary readiness programs, especially with new state and federal requirements

Importance of Work Based Learning

How Do We Shift Culture with Work Based Learning (90 second video)

2018 AASA National Superintendent of the Year discusses the growing importance of work based learning.

At Transeo, we believe that high quality postsecondary workforce readiness programs are an economic engine that helps students develop:

  • Long term economic mobility and agility
  • Increased engagement and attendance while in school
  • A sense of purpose and passion for their career
  • The ability to realize their full potential

Because if students can’t see it, they can’t dream it and if they can’t dream it, they can’t be it.

For way too long, in K12 education, we’ve been focused on preparing kids for tests, but what we are really charged with is a focus on developing the whole child  and preparing them to be good community citizens that are career and life ready.  As leaders, we need to:

  • Help students dream beyond their current realities
  • Create programs explicitly designed to help students think about what postsecondary life is like
  • Help them decide if they’re going to enter the workforce right away
  • Ensure students going to college have a career choice that is super interesting to them
  • Help students decide if they’re going to go straight to work, technical school, or college

Our job as educators is to provide engaging and relevant experiences for our kids while they’re in high school.  We need to make sure our students have opportunities to experience the workforce and to experience the work world while they’re in high school.

Background on the Challenges of Scaling Work Based Learning without Software

Work based learning programs are difficult to scale because providing high quality, rigorous, and work based learning experiences requires managing complex logistics across multiple stakeholders including:

  • Students
  • Business partners
  • Intermediaries / support organizations
  • Program administrators
  • Superintendents and administrators
  • State and federal compliance organizations
Work Based Learning Software Workflow

Robust work based learning programs require employers, school districts, support organizations, schools, and students to interact in complicated and layered ways.   And, as students move across the continuum of work based learning, employer / student engagement increases, making interactions and tracking even more complex.

Unfortunately, 93% of these vital programs are still managed on paper.  Paper does not allow for easy tracking, managing, aggregating, and reporting to state agencies.  Many districts are currently using spreadsheets and paper, and then taking that information, putting it into another system or continuing to manage on paper.  This wastes the time of personnel that could better be used on finding more high quality business partners and helping students reflect on the skills they are developing.

How a Work Based Learning Software Immediately Helps Students and Program Managers

Technology allows us to scale work based learning like never before.  We can now provide students the tools they need to track and monitor external workplace experiences, internships, career ready activities, micro experiences, and pre-apprenticeship programs.  Software creates an incredible launching pad for students.

It’s even more important for underserved students who may not have an existing network of supporters who have navigated today’s complicated postsecondary world.  As schools and districts, we can plant new dreams in the minds of our students to break the generational cycle of poverty that exists in so many places because students can now:

  • Understand their interests and future needs
  • See available opportunities in their community
  • Make the professional connections they need
  • Develop the hard and soft skills they need for long and short term success

With a software program, managers automate work based learning programs for scale to recruit business partners faster.  Business partners can connect with the right students for mutual wins.  And students can safely and securely access the marketplace of available opportunities from a mobile device, identify in their own interests, look for experiences of interest, and apply for those experiences.  With the help of software, students can then communicate with partners and their program managers while practicing career ready skills.  

How Does Software Impact Scale (35 second video)

Dr. Lazaro Lopez,  current Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning and a Senior Advisor at Transeo, explains how a software provides scale for award winning Work Based Learning Programs

How a Work Based Learning Software Helps with Compliance

Changing Perkins Requirements and Software Recap (50 second video)

Transeo Co-Founder Dr. David Schuler explains the larger role of software in Perkins and state compliance.

Work Based Learning software is critical right now for both state and federal compliance because the reauthorization of the Carl Perkins grant requires every district in the country to start reporting on the number of external workplace learning experiences that their students are experiencing.  These data typically include career readiness indicators.  The exact data will vary depending on your state but will include the following types of data that are all  just one click away in a workplace or service software:

Examples of College & Career Ready Indicators

  • Career Development Experience / Internship
  • Industry Credential / Endorsement / Seal / Badge
  • Military Service
  • Dual Credit Career Pathway Course
  • Completion of a Program of Study
  • Attaining and Maintaining Consistent Employment for a Minimum of 12 Months
  • Consecutive Summer employment
  • Community Service Hours
  • Two or More Organized Co-curricular Activities

Using a spreadsheet or paper and pencil, and then taking that information, putting it into another system, and then uploading that to a state document is an enormous drain of personnel time and human capital.  In contrast, software allows for real time data tracking and aggregating in an easy “one click” way to upload that information to a state or federal agency.


The result is clear: schools can serve as economic engines when directly engaged in developing the talent pipeline essential to local employers.  However, it is challenging to coordinate the resources of the community with students and schools.  Our collective efforts can and should support students’ creation, awareness, and actualization of their dreams by providing career guidance and hands-on experience, while at the same time providing local business with the talent pool essential to remain competitive.  Superintendents and program managers can now spend more time creating and scaling more powerful programs and stop wasting resources on management, data collection, and reporting.

Transeo was founded by educators and for educators because we believe community service and work based learning programs not only increase future chances of success, but foster active citizenship to  build resilient communities.

Our entire team believes in a future where students are defined by determination, resilience, and hard work.  We also believe that the future starts with giving students tools like Transeo Jobs and Transeo Serve to unlock their potential, help others, and transform their community.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.

Together, we can empower students to work to full potential through rich work based learning and community service programs.