Career and Technical Education


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What is Work-Based Learning?

High-Quality Work-Based Learning (WBL) is comprised of school-coordinated workplace experiences that are:

  • related to students’ career goals and/or interests
  • integrated with instruction, and
  • performed in partnership with local businesses and organizations.

WBL experiences enable students to apply classroom instruction in a real-world business or service-oriented work environment.

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 WBL 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. WBL experiences are valuable because they help students develop careers beyond their secondary and postsecondary education.


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