Work-Based Learning

Work-Based Learning (WBL) activities are part of a structured system, open to all students, at the high school level. The activities allow students to apply classroom theories and explore career options at the work site, as well as connect classroom learning to work.

Work-based learning is not a class. It is a method of instruction that enhances a related class in which a student is enrolled. Credit earned in work-based learning is through the regular class in which the student is enrolled at the same time as the WBL experience. The credit is recorded as an additional credit in that class. The WBL experience does not replace the regular class instruction time.

Only juniors or seniors (16 years or older) may utilize the WBL method for credit. Special education students need to be at least 16 years of age to participate in WBL for credit, but the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team will determine the appropriate grade level.

Students or parents interested in receiving information about work-based learning opportunities available through their schools can do so by speaking with a teacher in the field of interest or a school counselor. Businesses or industries interested in offering WBL opportunities may contact schools—relevant administrators and/or teachers—in their areas to explore the WBL options and requirements.

WBL coordinators are educators who are trained and endorsed to coordinate school-based and work-based experiences for students. Much of the information on this web page provides information to educators who are approved WBL coordinators or who are interested in becoming an approved coordinator.

Introduction Webinar: Work-Based Learning (Jan. 16, 2014)

WBL Training Information

The following training dates and recertification deadlines have been set for the 2014-15 school year:

Service Learning Training

  • Tuesday, Sept. 30 (Middle Tennessee, TBD)
  • Monday, Oct. 20 (East Tennessee, TBD)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 2 (West Tennessee, TBD)
  • Friday, Feb. 27 (Middle Tennessee, TBD)

Work-Based Learning Training (New Coordinators)

  • Monday, Nov. 10 (Middle Tennessee, TBD)
  • This training is part of a 3-step process.  See below for more information.

Work-Based Learning Recertification Deadlines (Renew an existing WBL Certificate)

  • Monday, Dec. 1 (online submission)
  • Monday, Feb. 16 (online submission)

Register here  for one of the dates above.  Registration closes two weeks prior to the training, or when the session has been filled.  Priority is given to teachers who have never earned the certificate and need it to offer a course for credit. 

Additional Information

Service Learning Training: This training is offered to teachers who want to use the Service Learning teaching methodology in their classes.  It also certifies a teacher to oversee the Service Learning course (6104) for credit.

Work-Based Learning Training (New Coordinators): This training is offered to teachers who have never held a WBL Certificate from the Tennessee Department of Education. This training allows a teacher to become a WBL Coordinator and offer the Work-Based Learning Course for credit (6105, 6106, 6107) and is conducted in three parts:

  • Pre-work is submitted – Pre-work and related webinars are available on this website under WBL Coordinator Training Materials
  • Training is attended, and
  • Homework is completed and approved.

Work-Based Learning Recertification: WBL Certificates are valid for five years from the date of issue and may be renewed by completing the 2014-15 Recertification Packet. The 2014-15 Recertification Packet is located below under WBL Coordinator Training Materials.

  • Recertification Paperwork submitted between May 29 and Sept. 5, 2014 will be processed by Oct. 3, 2014.
  • Recertification Paperwork submitted between Sept. 6 and Dec. 1, 2014 will be processed by Jan. 5, 2015.
  • Recertification Paperwork submitted between Dec. 2 and Feb. 16, 2015 will be processed by March 16, 2015.

WBL Coordinator Training Materials

WBL Coordinator Resources

Upload WBL Summary Sheet

WBL Email Updates

For important WBL updates, please sign up for the email list.

Last Update: August 28, 2014