What is a career-ready work-based learning experience?

A work-based learning experience provides an opportunity for students to gain hands-on work experience in the student’s career cluster before the student graduates from high school. Often these placements are referred to as internships and co-ops.

Work-based learning (WBL) is intentional learning within a work context, created through purposeful relationships with employers, that helps students identify, refine, and reach their goals while developing and strengthening their 21st-century skills. We offer WBL through structured experiences in order to enhance current and future employment opportunities and develop in students a career mindset.

A work-based learning experience is priceless! It provides students the opportunity to network with business, industry, and community representatives who can guide students in career planning, employment searches, and post-secondary programs.

Participants in work-based learning experiences are often able to continue work with their placement companies after high school or college graduation. Employers are increasingly seeking new hires that have a work-based learning experience and can perform at a high level immediately.

How do students get a job, internship, or co-op that qualifies for a work-based learning experience placement?

Work-based learning placements come from a variety of sources.

  • Students acquire positions on their own or with the help of instructors

  • Businesses contact instructors and/or the work-based learning facilitator

  • Instructors and/or the work-based learning facilitator contacts businesses

  • See the WBL Student Job List for opportunities

How does a business post a position on the WBL Student Job List?

Businesses who want to post an internship, co-op, and/or job on the SDPC WBL Student Job List should use the WBL Student Job List | Business Entry to provide the information needed to be posted. Contact Anna Esuary (annaesuary@pickens.k12.sc.us) after you have submitted information to the Business Entry.

Who can help and who should students notify if they get a position?

It is very important to let Anna Esuary, the SDPC Work-Based Learning Facilitator, know if you are hired for any career-ready qualifying position to help you with the requirements for work-based learning.

Contact Anna Esuary, the SDPC Work-Based Learning Facilitator, for more information. The work-based learning facilitator is located at the Pickens County Career & Technology Center.

Email: annaesuary@pickens.k12.sc.us
Phone: 864-397-1083

Students can also seek assistance from the career development facilitator (CDF) at their high school.  CDFs are located in the guidance office.

DHS: Suzan Potter (suzanpotter@pickens.k12.sc.us)

EHS: Jennifer Bigsby (jenniferbigsby@pickens.k12.sc.us)

LHS: Joshua Black (joshuablack@pickens.k12.sc.us)

PHS:  Hannah Smith (hannahsmith@pickens.k12.sc.us)

Can students earn a graduation cord? 

Yes, all students who qualify and meet the requirements will earn a graduation cord! Students receive a graduation cord at the end of their senior year at either awards day or graduation practice.

What are the requirements for work-based learning?

Students must meet several requirements to qualify for work-based learning.  Upon completion, students earn a graduation cord!  

Requirements of a career-ready work-based learning experience are:

  • A training agreement that defines a combination of objectives and a minimum of 40 practical experience hours or the highest number of hours required by industry-defined competencies in a career pathway.

  • Be aligned with the State’s IGP Career Clusters

  • Include an industry evaluation that is created from the training agreement, which is mutually developed and includes the world-class skills from the Profile of the SC Graduate with a positive employer evaluation score, 3 or higher on a scale of 1- 5.

  • The student must have earned a minimum of one unit in the pathway related to the work-based placement or completed a personal pathway of study.

How do students find out if their position qualifies for a work-based learning experience?

Jobs, internships, or co-ops that students have secured on their own (at any time during the school year and over the summertime) might qualify for work-based learning. Contact the work-based learning facilitator (or the career development facilitator at the student's school) and complete the WBL Job Survey.

Do I need to get a position on the SDPC WBL Job List to qualify for a work-based learning experience?

No.  Actually, a lot of students acquire positions on their own or with the help of their instructors that meet the requirements for a work-based learning experience.  Notify Mrs. Anna Esuary. or the Career Development Facilitator at your school, to help determine if you meet all the requirements.

Does a student have to be at the Pickens County Career & Technology Center to qualify for a work-based learning experience?

No.  Any high school student in the School District of Pickens County can qualify.

Career ready qualifiers

As a first step, students can start writing a resume and practicing their interview skills.  

If a work-based learning experience is approved, the Work-Based Learning Training Agreement and Evaluation will need to be completed. 

Completing a work-based learning experience is a career-readiness qualifier. In addition, students will also receive a graduation cord for their achievement.

Resources

WBL Student Job List: The student job list posts positions that businesses have contacted us about seeking students and providing them with a work-based learning experience. Only SDPC email addresses can access the WBL Student Job List.

Businesses who want to post an internship, co-op, and/or job on the SDPC WBL Student Job List should use the WBL Student Job List | Business Entry to provide the information needed to be posted.

WBL Documentation of Hours Worked: A minimum of 40 hours is required to qualify for a work-based learning experience. Students can turn in documentation from the worksite or use this timesheet to document their hours. Students should "Make a copy" of their own. Only SDPC email addresses can access the WBL Documentation of Hours Worked timesheet.

Youth Employment Guide

South Carolina Child Labor Regulations Summary

Young Worker Toolkit

Work-Based Learning Experiences and Activities

SDPC offers students in grades 6th-12th a continuum of work-based learning opportunities.

Work-Based Learning

WBL Experiences

WBL Activities

Apprenticeships

Job Shadowing (On-Site & Virtual)

Youth Apprenticeships

Mentoring

Cooperative Education (CO-OP)

School-Based Enterprise

Internship

Service Learning