High-Quality Work-Based Learning
High-Quality Work-Based Learning (HQWBL) is comprised of school-coordinated workplace experiences that are
- related to students’ career goals and/or interests
- connected to a course, and
- performed in partnership with local businesses and organizations.
HQWBL experiences enable students to apply classroom instruction in a real-world business or service-oriented work environment. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recognizes 12 HQWBL experiences. High-Quality Work-Based Learning Opportunities in Virginia gives a summary of the criteria for each WBL experience.
HQWBL experiences taking place during the summer must be reported during the same reporting period (school year) with which the course is associated. Students who took a CTE course during the Spring Semester but completed their HQWBL experience over the summer would have that experience associated to their previous school year Spring Course. A student that completes their HQWBL experience over the summer but does not complete the associated CTE Course until the following Fall would have their HQWBL experience associated with the upcoming Fall course. HQWBL experiences can only be counted one time in a reporting period and must be associated with a CTE Course that takes place during that reporting period.
HQWBL experiences are available year round. While many students work during the calendar school year, experiences are also available during the summer months.
Virginia’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs include the following components:
- Classroom instruction – the essential component for students to master the academic and technical competencies, attitudes, and work ethic necessary for career success and lifelong learning
- Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) – organizations that provide experiences that reinforce and strengthen classroom learning and prepare students for individual responsibility, teamwork, and leadership in their chosen career pathways
- WBL experiences – opportunities for students to apply and refine knowledge, attitudes, and skills through professionally coordinated and supervised work experience directly related to career goals
The HQWBL experience component builds on the benefits of the other two components by assisting students with the transition from the classroom to the workplace. Students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes are enhanced by participation in supervised, authentic experiences. HQWBL experiences are valuable because they help students develop careers beyond their secondary and postsecondary education.
Work-Based Learning Team
The Work-Based Learning Team provides vision, leadership, and management of the Commonwealth's Work-Based Learning programs for career and technical education by establishing a professional network among secondary, postsecondary, and business and industry.
Meet the Work-Based Learning Team
|1 & 3||Erika Templeemail@example.com|
|2 & 8||Dr. Nikki Finleyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|7||Dr. Jan Huffmanemail@example.com|
Connecting WBL to Virginia’s 5 C’s
HQWBL experiences reinforce Virginia’s 5 C’s—critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creative thinking, and citizenship—by allowing students to apply these skills in a real-world business or service-oriented work environment.
- Collaboration: Work with community members, peers, and mentors
- Communication: Write and present proposals; make requests and get permissions; publicize and present final project
- Citizenship: Understand laws and regulations; seek to improve the community; increase community awareness
- Creativity: Publicize/advertise project; solve problems; present findings
- Critical Thinking: Develop a project to meet a community need or solve a community problem
High-Quality Work-Based Learning (HQWBL)
Career and Technical Education Work-Based Learning Guide-This is a Word document.is based on the redesigned methods of instruction effective August 4, 2022. This implementation guide focuses on the 12 types of HQWBL methods of instruction used in Virginia; job shadowing, service learning, mentorship, externship, school-based enterprise, internship, entrepreneurship, clinical experience, cooperative education, youth registered apprenticeship, registered apprenticeship, and supervised agricultural experience, along with opportunities for students to earn one credit toward graduation in addition to any credit earned through the associated CTE course in cooperative education, internship, entrepreneurship, youth registered apprenticeship, and supervised agricultural experience for completing 280 hours of work experience and one-half credit for 140 hours of work experience in mentorship. It includes Virginia regulations and guidelines for the administration of HQWBL and provides resources for Work-Based Learning coordinators. School divisions should use this guide to implement HQWBL offerings locally.
Per Code of Virginia § 22.1-253.13:4, students are required to
- complete an Advanced Placement, honors, International Baccalaureate, or dual enrollment course; or
- complete a high-quality work-based learning experience, as defined by the Board; or *
- earn a career and technical education credential that has been approved by the Board.
*Excluding: Job Shadowing and Mentorship of less than 140 hours.
College, Career and Civic Readiness Indicator (CCCRI)
The College, Career and Civic Readiness Indicator is scheduled to be part of accreditation ratings starting in the 2023-2024 accreditation year, based on data from the 2022-2023 school year. School accreditation will be measured on graduating seniors having completed at least ONE of the following during high school:
- Receive credit for advanced coursework (AP/IB/DE); or
- Be a CTE completer and earn a CTE credential; or
- Complete a Work-Based Learning experience:* or
- Complete at least 3 state-approved Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) courses.
For more information related to the implementation of the CCCRI:
Frequently Asked Questions-This is a Word document. – January 13, 2021
Superintendent’s Memo #236-21-This is a PDF document. – August 20, 2021
*Excluding: Job Shadowing and Mentorship of less than 140 hours
High-Quality Work-Based Learning Methods of Instruction
There are twelve different High-Quality HQWBL methods of instruction currently practiced in Virginia – job shadowing, service learning, mentorship, externship, school-based enterprise, internship, entrepreneurship, clinical experience, cooperative education, youth registered apprenticeship, registered apprenticeship, and supervised agricultural experience. As students participate in HQWBL experiences, their various paths can be grouped into three categories – career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation.
Career awareness activities prepare students for HQWBL experiences. These activities are designed to increase student awareness of personal interests and talents along with the education and training needed to pursue a career goal. Through career awareness activities, students gain an initial understanding of work, various industries, and different career pathways. Career awareness activities ideally lead to HQWBL experiences where students can deepen their knowledge of career pathways and begin applying skills learned in the classroom. Examples of career awareness activities are guest speakers, career days or college and career fairs, field trips and workplace tours, videos or presentations about various professions, and opportunities to conduct informational interviews.
Career exploration experiences encourage students to develop personal career interests, a better understanding of pathways to a chosen career, and the workplace readiness skills needed to make informed decisions regarding secondary and postsecondary education and training. These experiences are typically of shorter duration. Students may be assigned supplementary work connected with the activity and may be graded on their performance in a way that contributes to the final grade in a CTE class.
Career preparation experiences deepen student knowledge and develop skills necessary for success in employment and postsecondary education. These experiences are recommended for students who have a clear goal of entering the workforce directly after high school or of enrolling in a closely related postsecondary training program. These experiences are structured primarily to give students extensive practice in applying fundamental technical and practical knowledge and skills in their chosen careers. Career preparation experiences take place over a longer timeframe and involve more responsibilities.
High-Quality Work-Based Learning Training Agreement
Accompanying each WBL experience is a training agreement, a written statement of commitment made by the student, parent/guardian, WBL coordinator, and employer. It contains mutually agreed-upon expectations for all parties involved, spells out each party’s role, and addresses considerations such as employment terms, schedule, duration of work, compensation, and termination. It is the most important tool providing protection to the WBL coordinator and school officials against accusations of negligence and liability claims. It is important that each student placed in a HQWBL workplace have a completed training agreement on file. A training agreement must be used for the corresponding HQWBL experience.
For all WBL experiences, it is important that each student has a completed training agreement on file. A sample training agreement is provided in the WBL guide in Appendix A - Universal Forms. Any customized documentation by the school division must include the VDOLI requirements (asterisk and italics items) noted.
High-Quality Work-Based Learning Training Plan
A training plan is a document identifying the classroom instruction and workplace training that will contribute to the employability and ongoing development of a student (see 8VAC20-120-20).
Training plans are required for cooperative education, internship, entrepreneurship, and supervised agricultural experiences (Immersion - SAE for All), while apprenticeships and clinical experiences have corresponding documents governed by regulations in their respective areas. Refer to each section in the HQWBL Guide for templates for each type of experience.
The WBL coordinator, employer, and student must jointly prepare the training plan. The coordinator should discuss with the student the purpose of the training plan and how it is to be used. The student should be aware that some of the tasks will be learned in the workplace while others will be learned in the classroom. The student should be informed that the training plan will be used to measure job performance and should understand that an evaluation will take place each grading period and will be followed by conferences involving the student, the coordinator, and the employer.
The coordinator should schedule a conference with the employer to explain the use of the training plan as soon as the student is placed in a training position. At this time, those tasks that are to be learned in the workplace should be identified and indicated on the plan.
During each conference, the coordinator discusses the student’s progress with the employer. Using the training plan as an evaluation tool, the employer evaluates the student’s performance and progress in the workplace and completes the training plan with the coordinator. The employer’s evaluation is discussed with the student and is used to make modifications in the student’s training and to assist in determining the specific instruction to be provided in the classroom.
The training plan development process is continuous. It begins with identifying a realistic career objective and the training needs for each student and continues throughout the entire WBL experience with revising the plan according to the changing needs of the employer.
The training plan should contain items in three categories:
- Workplace readiness skills
- Specific duties and tasks performed on the job
- Related classroom instruction to ensure strong correlation with workplace training
The plan serves as a record of the student’s progress throughout the experience and provides documentation for evaluation. It should include the development of the technical skills required by the occupation as well as the enhancement of workplace readiness skills. A sample training plan is provided in the HQWBL Guide in Appendix A - Universal Forms.
- Administrative Code and Code of Virginia – Child Labor Laws-This is a PDF document.
- Child Labor Bulletin No. 101 - Describes the occupational requirements for nonagricultural employment.
- Child Labor Bulletin No. 102 - Describes the occupational and hours limitations for agricultural employment for minors.
- Federal and State Labor Laws for Youth Work-Based Learning (Comparison tool)-This is a Word document.
- High-Quality Work-Based Learning Opportunities in Virginia Chart-This is a Word document.
- SAE for All - Describes the requirements for implementing High-Quality Work-Based Learning during supervised agricultural experiences.
- State Child Labor Laws - links to state employment laws which also regulate the employment of young workers.
- The FLSA -This is a PDF document. - Establishes the child labor provisions for the employment of young workers.
- YouthRules! - Describes the requirements of the child labor laws as they relate to teens, parents, educators and employers.
- 29 CFR Part 570 - Regulations of the child labor provisions under the FLSA.