Work-Based Learning

Part of the Experience 2025 Strategic Plan is to “infuse work-based learning and community-based learning in 100% of associate degree and technical diploma programs by 2025.” With a student-centered focus, we aim to connect each program with the community to provide an experience that infuses the workplace into the classroom.

What is Work-Based Learning?

A work-based learning (WBL) experience allows Western students to apply the technical and employability skills that they have learned in the classroom to the industry that corresponds with their program.

Examples of a work-based learning experience include:

  • Arranging for company tours, industry speakers, field trips, and participation in conferences
  • Incorporating a job shadow assignment into your class
  • Requiring students to attend a Career Fair
  • Embedding an internship opportunity into your course
  • Assigning students to meet with Career Services for a resume and cover letter review, mock interview, LinkedIn/Handshake consultation, career exploration and guidance, and more
  • Fulfilling clinical, practicum, and field experiences

Why should I incorporate a WBL experience into my class?

  • To support the development of essential employability skills in Western students, including the core competencies for career readiness according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE):
  • Critical thinking/Problem solving, Oral/Written Communications, Teamwork/Collaboration, Digital Technology, Leadership, Professionalism/Work ethic, Career Management, and Global/Intercultural Fluency
    • Establish a connection between classroom learning and future career and facilitate the reflection of interests, strengths, and abilities that the student will bring to the workforce
  • To allow students to practice their technical skills in real-world scenarios
  • To provide networking opportunities that students can utilize during the job search process
  • To grow connections with the local community

Work-Based Learning Resources

One-page Work-Based Learning Flyer for Faculty (PDF)

WBL-01 Work-Based Learning Course Outcome Summary (MS Word)

Need Assistance?

We encourage you to reach out to us for support in integrating a Work-Based Learning experience into your course/program. You can contact us via phone, email, or visit us at the Student Success Center, Room 222. There are many ways to navigate WBL, and we are here to help!

Grace Janssen
Work-Based Learning Specialist
(608) 789-6510