Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo


Topics include: Name and definition changes for work-based learning indicator fields on the Special Education (SPED) file for 2019-20 reporting.

To:           Local Educational Agency (LEA) Representatives

From:      California Department of Education (CDE) –
                California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Team

Date:       April 1, 2020

SubjectCALPADS Update FLASH #174

Name and Definition Changes for Work-Based Learning Indicator Fields on the Special Education file for 2019–20 Reporting

The CDE found that the current work-based learning indicator fields on the Special Education (SPED) file were too narrowly defined and would not capture the work-based learning experiences of many students with disabilities (SWD). Therefore, effective for 2019–20 reporting in End-of-Year (EOY) 4 for SWD, the following two fields on the SPED file have been renamed and redefined:

Field Number on SPED Current Name New Name
14.47 Workability 1 Work-Based Learning Program Completion (Work-Based Experience) Indicator Transition Work-Based Experience
14.48 Department of Rehabilitation Student Services Work-based Learning Program Completion (Classroom-Based Work Exploration) Indicator Transition Classroom-Based Work Exploration

These new names and definitions are included in the recently posted CALPADS File Specifications (CFS), Version 11.2. The new names and definitions broaden the types of work-based experience and classroom-based work exploration experiences that students may complete as part of the 100 hours that are required to receive credit in the College/Career Indicator. The new definitions of these two indicators are as follows:

Transition Work-Based Experience

An indication of whether or not a student successfully completed a minimum of ­­100 hours of work-based learning since entering 9th grade of a program for students with disabilities on an individualized education program (IEP) that offers students work-based learning experiences that develop knowledge and job skills, in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements.

These include one or a combination of the following:

  • Work-Based Learning: Participation in community-based experiences that develop knowledge and job skills through service learning and workplace mentoring experiences. Students may earn entry job certifications/permits (e.g., food handler’s permit, forklift operations permit) preparing them for competitive integrated employment (CIE).
  • Employment/Work Experience: Assists the student to obtain subsidized/unsubsidized work, and on-the-job training experiences.
  • Job Retention: Provides training on maintaining, upgrading, and leaving employment.
  • Job Coach: Provides support and assistance either on or off the job. For example, teaching or support for job tasks.

Current year hours may be added to hours in previous school years to determine whether this indicator was met or not. A “Y” indicates the student has completed employment experience (one or more of these activities total a minimum of 100 hours). An “N” indicates the student has not completed 100 hours of employment experience since entering 9th grade.

Transition Classroom-Based Work Exploration

An indication of whether or not a student successfully completed the equivalent of 4 courses of college and career exploration/preparation designed to prepare a student with an IEP for employment and independent living since entering 9th grade.

These include a combination of the following:

  • Career Awareness/Exploration Activities: Provides opportunities to engage in activities that increase knowledge of career options and enhance informed decision making (e.g., career fairs, tours, job shadowing and use of technology to explore choices).
  • Post-Secondary Education Planning: Instruction/counseling/guidance that supports career decision making. This includes using student interest, abilities, and goals to develop a course of study, which culminates in an individualized education/career plan.
  • Career Preparation/Job Search: Provides job readiness – basic job skills (soft skills, 21st Century Skills, SCANS skills), such as seeking and obtaining CIE, developing applications, interviewing, creating and updating resumes, maintaining a portfolio, using labor market information, utilizing social media responsibly to search and apply for employment opportunities.
  • Career/Vocational Assessments: Provides formal and/or informal Career assessment which help students identify post-school career interests, abilities and goals.
  • Curriculum Integration of Work-Readiness Skills/Contextual Learning: Career curriculum integration: Common core college/career readiness instruction integrated with career development and work-readiness, including soft skills.
  • Destination/Transportation Training: Training to use transportation resources, and support student independence (including use of public transportation and/or obtaining driver’s license).
  • Life Skills/Independent Living: Training in the use of community resources, domestic skills, money management, finding and maintaining housing, identification of post-school support. Training may include benefits planning.
  • Family Participation & Support of Transition: Involves and trains parents/family and supportive adults to support and mentor youth as they transition. This includes knowledge of disabilities, accommodations, rights and access to programs and services.

The courses may have been completed during any grades 9 through 12. Current year courses may be added to courses completed in previous school years to determine whether this indicator was met or not. A “Y” indicates the student has completed the equivalent of 4 courses since 9th grade. An “N” indicates the student has not completed 4 courses since 9th grade.

Questions:   CALPADS/CBEDS/CDS Operations Office | | 916-324-6738
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Recently Posted in School Performance
  • CALPADS Update Flash #224 (added 16-Jun-2022)
    Topics include: Post Process Redevelopment Project; Changes to submitting the Student Enrollment (SENR) file.
  • CALPADS Update Flash #223 (added 08-Jun-2022)
    Topics include: 2021-22 End-of-Year submission; 2022-23 submissions; planned 2022-23 changes moved to 2023-24.
  • CALPADS Update Flash #222 (added 02-Jun-2022)
    Topics include: 2021−22 End-of-Year submission.
  • CALPADS Update and Support (added 24-May-2022)
    Letter sent May 20, 2022 to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators.