Work-based Learning Experience (formerly Structured Learning) Program
The Twelfth Grade Senior Option Program is an initiative of the New Jersey Department of Education that provides eligible students the opportunity to utilize their last year of high school to gain purposeful real-life experiences. Specifically, the program allows high school seniors who have passed the High School PARCC Assessment and who are in good academic standing to intern with local companies or pursue service learning opportunities. This program emphasizes creating, maintaining, and encouraging diverse and multiple paths for student success.
Qualifying high school seniors may elect to participate in the Work Based Learning Experience Program. These experiences are structured, supervised activities that may take place in a workplace or agency or a non-profit community organization. Work-based learning experiences are designed to give students structured, supervised activities that will assist them to clarify career goals, explore career possibilities, develop employable skills, or make the transition between school and employment or further education and training.
Work-based learning experiences are experiential, supervised educational activities designed to provide students with exposure to the requirements and responsibilities of specific job titles or job groups, and to assist them in gaining employment skills and making career and educational decisions. A work-based learning experience may be either paid or unpaid, depending on the type of activities in which the student is involved. All work-based learning experiences must adhere to applicable state and federal child labor laws and other rules of the State Departments of Education and Labor. Work-based learning experiences may include, but are not limited to: apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing, cooperative education, school-based enterprises, volunteer activities, vocational student organizations, and Work Experience Career Exploration Program (WECEP)
Participation in the Work-based Learning Experience Program
A work-based learning program may be designed for a high school senior who is in good academic standing, on track for meeting graduation requirements, and has passed the state assesment requirements. College-bound, gifted and talented, general education and special education students may all elect to participate in this program. Grade 12 students may earn up to 20 elective credits each year through an approved structured learning experience in an area of career interest. To be eligible for a structured learning experience you must be on track for meeting graduation requirements. Students are required to maintain and submit a portfolio/ journal in order to demonstrate that they have met the goals and objectives of the experience.
The Work-based Learning Program can be designed for any type of students; five examples are as follows:
- A general education or college-bound student who has not selected a career path to gain first-hand experience in a variety of employment areas to assist him/her in making employment decisions or selecting a major in college.
- A gifted and talented engineering student to design and execute a “master project” under the guidance of a professional engineer at an engineering firm.
- A college-bound student who wants to become a research scientist to assist a researcher in a pharmaceutical or university research laboratory.
- A student who wishes to learn about career ladders within a particular career pathway
- Any student to volunteer in our school district, in a community organization, or in the community to develop leadership skills, learn the value of community service, or the benefits of corporate investment in a community.
Work-based Learning Forms
NJ Business/Agency Agreement For All Paid SLEs (Non-Hazardous)
For All Work-based Learning Program Experiences- Paid/Unpaid Internships, Volunteer, Community Service, Service Learning and School-Based Enterprise