What is Work-Based Learning?

Work-Based Learning (WBL) is a critical component of Career & Technical Education that brings what students are learning in the classroom to life through real-world experiences with local industry partners. Through WBL, students learn industry-specific technical skills and professional skills like communication, collaboration, teamwork, resilience and work-ethic that are valued by employers . A recent survey suggests DC students who connected to industry professionals were exposed to careers and had access to professional counseling earn 20% higher wages than peers who do not have access to these types of programming.

Every DC CTE course includes a WBL opportunity. These opportunities combine skill development with hands-on training opportunities. Through this exposure, students will…

Build college and career awareness
Gain technical and employability skills
Acquire applied academic and work-place experience
Build professional networks by connecting with industry partners

Work-Based Learning in DC

WBL Continuum

Work-Based Learning (WBL) in DC follows a continuum of activities that provide students with hands-on, real world experiences which build on one another as students move through their chosen Program of Study pathway.

Click here to explore the continuum in more depth.

WBL Opportunities in DC

Opportunities offered with local partners in the District include hearing from guest speakers, attending panel discussions, interviewing and shadowing industry professionals, workplace tours, internships and apprenticeships. Choose a Program of Study you’re interested in and speak with your school counselor or CTE teacher to get started.

CTE Advanced Internship Program

The CTE Advanced Internship Program (AIP) is an academic-year capstone internship for eligible high school seniors (and select juniors) that are enrolled in the fourth level courses of an approved CTE Program of Study. Students in a third level CTE course are able to concurrently enroll in the AIP, and the internship would be considered the fourth level CTE course. Internship placements are aligned to the relevant CTE Program of Study and interns receive DC’s hourly minimum wage. Interns will also participate in professional coaching throughout the program and earn academic CTE course credit for the successful completion of the internship.

Students can click here to learn more about the program. Employers interested in hosting a school-year intern can learn more here. Email OSSE.CTE.Internships@dc.gov with questions or inquiries.

Career Ready Internship Program

The Career Ready Internship (CRI) Program is a six-week summer internship for rising high school juniors and seniors enrolled in a CTE Program of Study. Internship placements are aligned to the relevant CTE Program of Study or career cluster and interns receive DC’s hourly minimum wage. Employers interested in hosting a summer intern can click here. For more information or if you have any questions, email OSSE.CTE.Internships@dc.gov.

Connect Your Students to the World of Work

Educators and school administrators can help strengthen DC’s community and economy by preparing students for local, high-wage and in-demand jobs.

Request Work-Based Learning support from OSSE.

Meet the members of our Industry Advisory Boards.

Learn more about Work-Based Learning opportunities.

Industries Supporting Local Talent

Work-Based Learning (WBL) connects business partners to the classroom and students to the world of work. OSSE’s Division of Postsecondary and Career Education facilitates Industry Advisory Boards to support the WBL needs of our CTE students and schools and keep our programming industry-informed and relevant. If your business or organization is interested in supporting real-world student learning, find out how you can get involved on our Industry Engagement page.

We also work with several industry associations and nonprofit organizations in DC that have aligned missions and/or programming. Our partners include: