Key Distinguisher #5: Student Career Success  

Participation in work-based learning prepares young people for career success by allowing them to develop a holistic sense of self-identity, agency and voice; examine their interests, strengths, and career options; and gain progressive work experience—beginning in high school—that connects to transferable and in-demand skills.

Features of Student Career Success:     

  • Beginning in high school—if not earlier—educational Institutions, employers, CBOs, and young people co-create a progressive sequence of work-based learning activities that are based on student interest and voice, and help them to make informed decisions about their education and career.
  • Adult stakeholders are able to work with young people to access targeted resources that can address challenges and inequities that may be obstacles to the success of students and adult staff.
  • Work experiences are paid and are of sufficient duration for young people to apply learned skills as well as acclimate to the world of work.
  • There are opportunities for work-based learning experiences to be connected (i.e. in the same field or with the same company in an advanced role) from year to year and there is a progressive sequence of knowledge and skill development.
  • Career services supports—including peer mentoring, advisement, alumni support, and/or other services—are easily available to ensure young people are aware of opportunities for credentialing, professional development, and other tools that can benefit a young person’s career success.
  • Work-based learning is integrated into curricula (in a way that scaffolds or ladders experiences by developmental needs and interests), institutional policies, structures, and/or procedures and is not simply an extracurricular class or experience.