Work-Based Learning

IBM student interns

Work-Based Learning

IBM student interns

Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning has always been the foundation of career and technical education.

Experiences such as guest speakers, field trips, job shadowing, internships and school-based enterprises provide students the opportunity to connect course content to their desired career pathway and potential work site.

St. Vrain Valley CTE programs align with the Colorado Career and Technical Education mission, “CTE ensures a thriving Colorado economy by providing relevant and rigorous education that is connected, responsive and real” by offering work-based learning to all of our students in all  of our CTE programs.

What is work-based learning?

Work-based learning (WBL) is a continuum of activities that occur, in part or in whole, in the workplace, providing the learner with hands-on, real world experience. It combines skill development with training opportunities and is a key strategy in Colorado for developing talent and preparing Coloradans for the workforce and evolving labor market. 

Work-based learning programs are instrumental in creating high-quality career pathways that enable students and job seekers to secure industry-relevant skills, certifications, and credentials leading to higher levels of education and employment.

The state of Colorado offers many resources for the development of Career Technical Education, including work-based learning.

Please refer to the State’s CTE guide for any questions regarding:

  • Perkins funding
  • Types of WBL
  • Legal requirements
  • Safety protocols
  • Liability
  • Equity
  • and much more…

Work-Based Learning Profiles in St. Vrain

The State of Colorado has provided detailed definitions for all kinds of work-based learning. The following opportunities can be found within St. Vrain:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Clinical
  • Industry Sponsored (Project Teams)
  • Internship (Paid or Unpaid)
  • Job Shadows
  • School-based Enterprise
  • Work-Experience (Work Study)

With so many WBL opportunities, it’s important for our district to create infrastructure and protocols for the various connections that can occur between students, teachers, schools and community/industry partners.

NOTE: Clinicals and School-based enterprises are considered WBL activities, but have been excluded from this guide because their processes are largely controlled by central administration.

Job Shadow Experiences

Definition: A work experience option where students learn about a job by walking through the workday as a shadow to a competent worker. Variations include virtual job shadows (allows an individual to observe an occupation through the use of videos) or job simulation (career exploration that allows an individual to participate and gain experience in aspects of an occupation through simulation).

Profile:

  • Hours: <30
  • Compensation: N/A
  • Credit: N/A
  • Course ID: N/A

Where can I find a pre-approved job shadow?

Pre-approved job shadow experiences developed by St. Vrain Valley Schools or one of its many partner organizations can be found on the Naviance portal.

How can I submit a new job shadow?

To submit a request for a new job shadow with a community or industry partner, use the following link to create the introductory paperwork. Be sure to have all details outlining the partner and the scope of work prior to completing this form.

Actions to take:

  1. All WBL opportunities must be approved by the WBL Committee
  2. Pre-approved opportunities can be found on Naviance
  3. CTE instructors or counselors can submit new job shadow proposals via the link — http://stvra.in/jobshadow
  4. If approved, your opportunity must undergo and pass a site evaluation by licensed/certified staff.
  5. Professionals outside of St. Vrain, serving as liaisons or supervisors, must undergo a background check with Human Resources.
  6. If all preceding actions have been approved by the WBL Committee, final paperwork will be shared with the student’s instructor, principal, and the CTE Director for final signatures.
Work-Study Credit for Work

Definition: St. Vrain’s Work Study Program provides an alternative program for students to receive high school credit while employed. Credit can only be issued to those students holding positions related to high school course work. Occupational positions within the Work Study Program are not administered by St. Vrain Valley Schools. Positions have been obtained by students independently.

Profile:

  • Hours: 270/semester (MIN)
  • Compensation: >MINIMUM WAGE (DETERMINED BY EMPLOYER)
  • Credit: 2 (MAX)*
  • Course ID: CTE9994

How do I place students in work study programs?

To place a student in a Work Study Program use the link below to initialize the proper paperwork. Be sure to have all details outlining the partner and the scope of work handy prior to completing this form.

Upon approval by the CTE Director of St. Vrain Valley Schools, final paperwork will be shared with the student and supervising staff to obtain all signatures. Work Study guidelines are provided on the right-hand side of the page and are included in the submission form.

Guidelines:

  • Reserved for Juniors and Seniors
  • Partial enrollment with home high school is required
  • Students cannot be enrolled in multiple Work Study programs
  • Students can earn a maximum of .5 credit per semester
  • Credits must be applied to electives; grading on a pass/fail basis
  • A maximum of (2) credits can be allocated to graduation requirements
  • Students must work a minimum of 15 hrs/wk, for 18 weeks, ~ 270 hrs over each semester
  • Employer  evaluations are required at the end of each semester
  • If terminated, students must notify a counselor and reapply for work credit, if re-employed
Internship – Unpaid

Definition: An opportunity in real world environments for exposure to the requirements of a particular occupation or industry, the work environment and the behavioral expectations for success on the job. Such work experiences are not expected to provide formal training for occupational skills, although some skills may be learned.

Profile:

  • Hours: >30; (60 STANDARD)
  • Compensation: N/A
  • Credit: .25 PER/30HRS
  • Course ID: CTE9999

Where can I find available internships?

Approved internships developed by St. Vrain Valley Schools and its many partner organizations can be found on the Naviance portal.

How can I create a new internship?

To submit a request for a new unpaid internship with a community or industry partner, use the following link to create the introductory paperwork. Be sure to have all details outlining the partner and the scope of work prior to completing this form.

Actions to take:

  1. All WBL opportunities must be approved by the WBL Committee
  2. Pre-approved opportunities can be found on Naviance
  3. CTE instructors or counselors can submit new unpaid internship proposals via the link — http://stvra.in/unpaidintern
  4. If approved, your opportunity must undergo and pass a site evaluation by licensed/certified staff.
  5. Professionals outside of St. Vrain, serving as liaisons or supervisors, must undergo a background check with Human Resources.
  6. If all preceding actions have been approved by the WBL Committee, final paperwork will be shared with the student’s instructor, principal, and the CTE Director for final signatures
Internship – Paid

Definition: An opportunity in real world environments for exposure to the requirements of a particular occupation or industry, the work environment and the behavioral expectations for success on the job. Such work experiences are not expected to provide formal training for occupational skills, although some skills may be learned. Students are compensated.

Profile:

  • Hours: >30; (60 STANDARD)
  • Compensation: >MINIMUM WAGE (DETERMINED BY EMPLOYER)
  • Credit: .25 PER/30HRS
  • Course ID: CTE9999

Where can I find available internships?

Internships developed by St. Vrain Valley Schools or one of its many partner organizations can be found on the Naviance portal.

How can I create a new internship?

To submit a request for a new paid internship with a community or industry partner, use the following link to create the introductory paperwork. Be sure to have all details outlining the partner and the scope of work prior to completing this form.

Actions to take:

  1. All WBL opportunities must be approved by the WBL Committee.
  2. Pre-approved opportunities can be found on Naviance.
  3. CTE instructors or counselors can submit new job shadow proposals via the link — http://stvra.in/paidintern.
  4. If approved, your opportunity must undergo and pass a site evaluation by licensed/certified staff.
  5. Professionals outside of St. Vrain, serving as liaisons or supervisors, must undergo a background check with Human Resources.
  6. If all preceding actions have been approved by the WBL Committee, final paperwork will be shared with the student’s instructor, principal, and the CTE Director for final signatures.
Industry-Sponsored Project Teams

Definition: The objective of an industry-sponsored project is to create a unique, high-quality educational opportunity for students, where the educational content will enhance educational objectives of the program and class to which it is assigned. Industry Sponsored Projects in any CTE program should meet state expectations to ensure a quality WBL experience for the student.

Profile:

  • Hours: VARIED
  • Compensation: DETERMINED BY EMPLOYER
  • Credit: CURRENTLY N/A
  • Course ID: CTE8990

Where can I find available project teams?

Industry-sponsored project teams are primarily developed by the Innovation Center and the Career Elevation and Technology Center. Opportunities to participate with such teams can be found on St. Vrain’s Naviance portal.

How do I start a project team?

For questions regarding project teams, contact St. Vrain’s CTE Director,
Deniece Cook, at [email protected].

Guidelines:

  • Active industry partner participation throughout the project
  • Project must be based on a real need in the specified industry and/or community
  • Structure for implementation is imperative
  • Learning objectives and milestone metric must be clearly outlined prior to launch
  • Involve CTE advisory boards when possible
  • Share impact with stakeholders and participating partners
Apprenticeship – CareerWise of Colorado

Definition: An employer-driven model that combines on-the-job learning as a paid employee with related classroom instruction in order to increase an apprentice’s skill level and wages. St. Vrain currently partners with CareerWise Colorado to offer these opportunities, which may require a three-to-four-year commitment by the student – 1 to 2 years of which are postsecondary.

Profile:

  • Hours: 16-24/WK
  • Compensation: >MINIMUM WAGE (DETERMINED BY EMPLOYER)
  • Credit: .5 PER/60HRS
  • Course ID: CTE9990

Where can I find available apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships developed by St. Vrain Valley Schools or one of its many partner organizations can be found on the CareerWise Marketplace, linked below.

How do I get students involved?

For more info, contact Erika Germer, K12 Partnerships Manager, at [email protected].

CareerWise has a thorough process for on boarding new businesses and students. The following process walks students and educators through the student-on boarding process.

Site Evaluations & Background Checks

Student safety and program quality are among the highest priorities when placing students in work-based learning opportunities. The information below outlines the required process for site evaluations and background checks.

Site Evaluations

Pre-approved work-based learning opportunities that appear in Naviance, have already undergone a site evaluation by a licensed staff member.

If the newly proposed opportunity aligns with academic standards and partner engagement protocols, a site evaluation of the partner’s location will be scheduled and performed under the guidance of risk management and/or legal counsel.

Site evaluations are carried out by licensed CTE staff. This can be a member of the WBL Committee or any CTE instructor employed by St. Vrain Valley Schools.

If the site passes the evaluation, the opportunity will be approved for student engagement.

Background Checks

Before students are allowed to engage in work-based learning outside St. Vrain, supervisors from partner organizations, must undergo a background check with the Human Resources Department of St. Vrain Valley Schools.

NOTE: This is not a requirement of students involved in the work study program or a school-based Enterprise.

To schedule an appointment, a partner should reach out to:

Human Resources
St. Vrain Valley Schools
TEL: 303-682-7435
EMAIL: [email protected]

Confirmations of your supervisor’s background check will be shared by Human Resources or the CTE Director. Costs associated with the background check are charged to the CTE center creating the opportunity.

Background checks must be performed on an annual basis.

Questions?

Deniece Cook

CTE Program Director

[email protected]

Work-Based Learning Committee

  • Deniece Cook, CTE Director 
  • ToniJo Niccoli, Principal, CETC
  • Kristin Hefflon, Student Services Coordinator
  • Buck Webber, Assistant Principal, CETC
  • Axel Reitzig, Executive Director, Innovation Center
  • Brandon Shaffer, Executive Director of Legal and Governmental Affairs, Community Outreach, and P-TECH
  • Dr. Dina Perfetti-Deany, Area 3 Assistant Superintendent
  • Matthew Buchler, Administrator on Special Assignment
  • Rebeca Vincent, Work-based Learning Coordinator
  • Dr. Laura Hess, Executive Director, Special Education
  • Susan Davis, Social Emotional Learning Interventionist
  • Eric Berngen, Coordinator, Innovation Center
St. Vrain Valley Schools