What is Work-Based Learning and Work-Site Learning?

What is CTE Work-Based Learning (WBL) and Work-Site Learning (WSL)?

It is critical to understand the difference between WBL and WSL and for WACTA members to use common language with our stakeholders (ie. students, parents, counselors, principals, district administrators and employers). A group of WACTA members has created one-page resources for both WBL and WSL to help CTE Directors/Administrators communicate the traits and outcomes.

During this process, workforce and industry partners have reached out to support this work and provide their endorsement.

We are building a list of these partners and will publish them on our website.  Please send the name of the organization, a logo and a website link to wactawebmaster@gmail.com to place a partner on the list.

CTE Work-Based Learning activities that provide extended learning experiences connecting acquired knowledge and skills in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes to a student’s future. CTE classes link classroom instruction to work site experiences as part of a planned program of study. Collaboration between education and industry allows for the design of meaningful exploratory and preparatory experiences which support the development of a student as an effective employee with an intentional career plan.

WBL is an integral part of Career and Technical Education’s program standards.  This overarching concept includes a variety of experiences embedded within a course that provide students exploration and preparation in a career pathway.  Many times it is the entry point for business and industry to get involved in and to starting “Building a Skilled Workforce Through Education and Industry Partnerships.”

CTE Work-Site Learning is a structured Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program that provides students an opportunity to apply learning in the related course to the job site. A CTE certified worksite learning coordinator supports the student and employer throughout the experience providing guidance, making onsite observations, assisting with setting learning goals and conducting regular evaluations of student progress. In cooperative WSL, a student must document 360 hours of paid work to earn one credit.

Please use these resources to educate our stakeholders.  Here are some suggestions for implementation:

  1. Print back-to-back for distribution
  2. Print separately and put contact information of local CTE Directors on the back
  3. Update the handout using Adobe DC.  WACTA grants permission to only modify the color of the titles and background of the headings to match a district color scheme, add a district logo to the right top corner, and modify the bottom with the CTE Director or district contact.  Leave all other text the same.


Work-Based Learning Handout 10.26.22
Work-Site Learning Handout 10.26.22

Special Thanks to Our Endorsers:

Building Industry Association of Washington
Career Connect Washington
Renton Chamber of Commerce
South Sound CTE Advisory Council
Washington Retail Association
Washington STEM