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Timeline and Definitions

 For a print-ready version of this content, download "Work-Based Learning Definitions and Timeline."

Suggested Timeline

This suggested timeline is not a requirement but a template for including service learning and/or work environment activities continuously throughout middle and high school, as part of the ICAP process.

The following are recommendations to help you develop an action plan that leads to a successful service learning and/or work environment experience.



Completion Criteria









Career Exploration Day / Fairs




Tours / Field Trips




Guest Speakers





Service Learning / Research Papers


Community Service











CTE program of study [PBL, Co-Op, Clinical, etc.]










Job Shadow




















On-the-Job Training







Employee Development








Governor’s Council (GCWED) for work-based learning activities defines work-based learning activity as a planned, structured learning experience that provides Oklahomans with real-life or simulated work experiences where they can develop and apply academic, technical, and essential skills; and contributes to the achievement of their postsecondary and employment goal(s). The GCWED is employing a flexible definition of work-based learning, encompassing the activities below:

  •  Career Exploration Day/Fairs: These events are useful for a range of students. They are frequently used as an exposer or recruiting tool to expose students of all ages to a variety of career options. The Fairs may include age-appropriate job related activities or handouts.
  • Workplace Tours/Field Trips: Career awareness activities in which students visit a workplace to learn about the business, meet employees, ask questions and observe work in progress.
  • Guest Speakers: A career awareness activity in which an industry expert is given a chance to share their perspectives on what the world of business is like, their passion for what they do, to make connections with duties and daily activities of the job, and to offer their well-earned words of advice. The speaker also is open for informal interview from the students and the instructor in the classroom.
  • Service Learning/Research Papers: A career exploration activity in which the method of teaching and learning combines academic work with service and social action. Students complete a planned series of activities and apply their skills and knowledge to help meet a need in the school or greater community. The activity is usually culminated with a presentation of the research, the process and solution results.
  • Community Service: To perform unpaid public services as a way to gain occupational experience. Students should be considered volunteers only if their intent is to donate their services to religious, charitable, government or nonprofit organizations for the public good.
  • Interviews: A career awareness activity in which students formally interview a workplace partner about his or her industry and chosen profession. The interview includes discussion of the career itself, duties and daily activities of the job and the level of education required to be successful. The students also explore growth opportunities in the industry and salary ranges for different occupations.
  • Career Mentoring: A career exploration activity in which the student is matched one-to-one with an adult professional in a chosen field of interest to explore a career and related issues. The career mentor serves as a resource for the student by sharing insights and providing guidance about the workplace, careers and education. This mentoring can take place in conjunction with an activity that a club or student organization is sponsoring.
  • CTE Program of Study [PBL, Co-Op, Clinical, etc.]: A program of learning that requires learning specific skills and knowledge that is applied to real world-of-work by using Project Based Learning, Co-Op education work site learning, clinical, live work, or any other experiences that lead to the completion of the Program of Study.  Thus, allowing the student to enter the work force or advance to a higher work/learning environment.
  • Pre-Apprenticeship: A pre-apprenticeship is a program designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program. Pre-apprenticeship models allow individuals to master essential basic skills and then individuals are directly accepted into the apprenticeship program, often receiving credit for prior experience. Basic essential skills could include training in math, literacy, communication, and other pre-vocational and vocational skills that are essential for future success in a Registered Apprenticeship program. Through a variety of unique designs and approaches, pre-apprenticeship programs can be adapted to meet the needs of differing populations being trained, the various employers and sponsors they serve, and specific opportunities within the local labor market. Pre-apprenticeships have formal relationships with one or more Registered Apprenticeship programs.
  •  Job Shadow: Job shadow experiences allow participants to explore a specific career of interest by observing an experienced employee performing their typical work duties in a real-world work environment. The job shadowing work experience is a temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace in an occupational area of interest to the participant. Job shadowing typically includes a partnership between a business and education/training institution and provides relevant career information to assist participants
  • Internship: A position for a student or trainee to work in an organization for a limited duration, sometimes without pay, to gain work experience, satisfy requirements for a credential, and/or gain course credit. An internship may be arranged within the private for-profit sector, the non-profit sector, or the public sector.

    For youth internships where students are receiving K-12 academic credit, the following guidelines were set by the Oklahoma State Department of Education in 20174:
    • Students must be juniors or seniors to participate in an internship.
    • A maximum of 2 high school elective hours, of the 6 rigorous course hours required per school day, can be used for such programs. (The 2 hours include student travel to internship site.) A senior student may petition their local school board to increase to 3 hours if that fits into the student’s schedule.
    • Internships will count as a semester course and can be repeated for elective credit – up to 1 credit per semester (per class - consistent with concurrent enrollment)
    • Districts are encouraged to consider developing local policies and guidelines to govern internship programs including:
      • Agreements between the school and business
      • Grading rubrics for school, student and business (e.g., attendance)
      • Feedback forms for business
      • Performance evaluations for students
      • Workplace Safety
  •  Apprenticeship: Highly-formal job training experience that involves studying with a master of the trade or experienced mentor on the job. Registered Apprenticeships refer to those programs which are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Registered Apprenticeship programs are a written plan designed to move an apprentice from a low or no skill entry-level position to full occupational proficiency. Registered apprenticeship is an employer-driven, “earn while you learn” model that combines on-the-job training with related technical instruction, resulting in an industry-recognized national certification upon completion. Apprenticeships are full-time, paid positions that provide specialized training in specific occupational skills. Apprentices receive on-the-job training (OJT) from an experienced mentor at the job site that is supplemented by related technical instruction. DOL recommends a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of related technical instruction per year of an apprenticeship.
  • On-the-Job Training: Also known as OJT; a hands-on method of teaching the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed for employees to perform a specific job within the workplace. Employees learn in the environment where they will need to practice the knowledge and skills obtained during training.
  • Employee Development: A process where the employee with the support of his/her employer undergoes various training programs to enhance his/her skills and acquire new knowledge and skills. This development frequently includes training programs and leadership development programs. Investments in employee learning and development directly impact employee engagement and productivity, improving overall business success metrics.
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