Scaling Work-Based Learning
As economic gaps widen and technology rapidly reshapes our workforce, it is more important than ever for students to gain practical experience as part of a work-based learning program. According to a recent survey by Adecco, 92 percent of executives think American workers are lacking important skills. “This skills gap limits economic growth and is also a missed opportunity for low-skilled, low-wage workers who could fill these better-paying positions with the right training.”
We need to expand work-based learning programs to all students but they are difficult to scale because providing these high-quality, rigorous experiences requires managing complex logistics across multiple stakeholders including:
- Business partners
- Program administrators
- Superintendents and administrators
- State and federal agencies
Robust work-based learning programs require employers, school districts, support organizations, schools, and students to interact in complicated and layered ways. As students move across the continuum of work-based learning, employer/student engagement increases, making interactions and tracking even more complex.
Unfortunately, 93 percent of these vital programs are still managed on paper, providing no visibility and little scale.
And, at scale, you need to manage hundreds if not thousands of students across hundreds of sites. As a result of this complexity, program managers, schools, and districts often get crushed by the sheer paperwork and either don’t or can’t take advantage of all the rich resources available for students in the community.
Award-winning Associate Superintendent, Dr. Lazaro Lopez, manages over 3,000 student apprenticeships annually. In this short interview, he discusses some of the unexpected challenges of successfully scaling a work-based learning program.
For more information and videos on scaling work-based learning, please visit the Transeo website: Scaling Work-Based Learning | Transeo