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Work-Based Learning Measures

Definitions and resources on work-based learning measures as they relate to the California School Dashboard College/Career Indicator.

Background

The California Department of Education (CDE) has been continuing its efforts to meet the State Board of Education's (SBE's) directive to expand the College/Career Indicator (CCI) with more career measures. This page provides definitions and details on current work-based learning measures in the CCI that have been approved by the SBE. It also reviews new measures that are currently being considered for potential inclusion in the CCI and covers frequently asked questions. To access this information, select one of the following:

Current Work-Based Learning Measures

Pre-Apprenticeships

All pre-apprenticeships require on-the-job training and formal agreements with employer and/or sponsor-designated apprentice programs. You cannot have a pre-apprenticeship program without being connected to an established apprenticeship program.

Registered Pre-Apprenticeships are recognized by business and/or industry and are registered at the state or national level with the Division of Apprenticeship Standards and/or the Department of Labor.

Essential components of registered pre-apprenticeship include coursework directly related to a trade/occupation, relevant job-learning activities, and a certificate of completion.

Registered pre-apprenticeships provide students with entry-level skills necessary to enter a registered apprenticeship program and must directly link to a registered apprenticeship program. A local educational agency (LEA) must work with a program sponsor to become a recognized training provider for registered pre-apprenticeship programs. Once approved by a program sponsor, the LEA must implement employer-designated competencies as outlined by the program sponsor as part of the curriculum. Registered pre-apprenticeship programs do not require students to be paid at set wages.

Learn about Federally Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-apprenticeship programs:
Explore Pre-Apprenticeship External link opens in new window or tab.
Registered Apprenticeship Program External link opens in new window or tab.

How to register a California Pre-Apprenticeship Program:
Pre-Apprenticeship Program Registration External link opens in new window or tab.

Find a California Registered Apprenticeship Program:
Find an Apprenticeship Program External link opens in new window or tab.

Non-registered pre-apprenticeships or pre-apprenticeship programs connecting to Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAP) are recognized by business but are not registered or recognized at the state or national level. These apprenticeships provide employer-designed coursework directly related to a trade/occupation, and job-learning activities.

Schools that offer non-registered pre-apprenticeship programs must have a formal partnership with an employer that has an existing, structured apprenticeship program and has agreed to offer a pre-apprenticeship program through the LEA.

An LEA must work with the employer partner(s) to become a recognized training provider for pre-apprenticeship programs.

Once approved as a training partner by the employer, the LEA must implement employer-designated competencies as part of the curriculum and students must be considered eligible for apprenticeship placement at the completion of the pre-apprenticeship program.

State and Federal Job Programs

This measure is applicable to Dashboard Alternative School Status (DASS) schools only. The following specific programs fall under this measure:

  • Job Corps: a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Education (29 USC Sections 3191-3212), which offers General Educational Development test (GED) and supports, and vocational training to youth ages16 to 24 years old. Note that the completion of only the career training portion is required since the transition training often occurs after graduation.
  • YouthBuild: a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (29 USC Section 3226), which trains youth, ages 16 to 24-year-old, who have dropped out of high school, in construction by building homes for low-income members of their communities.
  • California Conservation Corps: a state program administered by the California Resources Agency (CA Public Resources Code Sections 14000-14424), which engages students, ages 18 to 25 years old, to perform physical labor for environmental conservation and provides life skills training.
  • Regional Occupational Center/Program: a state program administered by a ROC/P (CA Education Code Section 52301), which provides career/technical education and services to California high school students.

Note: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): The first data collection in 2018–19 was based on whether a student completed a state or federal job program. Beginning in 2019–20, the CDE began collecting which specific program a student completed under WIOA.

Transition Work-Based Experience

This measure is applicable to students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and who earn a Special Education Certificate of Completion.

Students who complete this measure must successfully complete a minimum of 100 hours of work-based learning since entering ninth grade of a program for students with disabilities on an IEP. The program must offer 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:

  1. 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).
  2. Employment/Work Experience: Assist the student to obtain subsidized/unsubsidized work, and on-the-job training experiences.
  3. Job Retention: Provide training on maintaining, upgrading, and leaving employment.
  4. Job Coach: Support and assistance either on or off the job. Example, teaching or support for job tasks.

Please visit WorkAbility I Array of Services Definitions for more information about work-based learning and definitions pertaining to special education.

Transition Classroom-Based Work Exploration

This measure is applicable to students with an IEP and who earn a Special Education Certificate of Completion.

Students who complete this measure must successfully complete 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 grade nine. This classroom-based work exploration must offer students work-based learning experiences that develop knowledge and job skills, in compliance with the FLSA requirements.

These include a combination of the following:

  1. Career Awareness/Exploration Activities: Provide 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Career Preparation/Job Search: job readiness–basic job skills (soft skills, 21st Century Skills, SCANS skills). Seeking and obtaining CIE, develop applications, interview, create and update resumes, maintain a portfolio, use labor market information, and utilize social media responsibly to search and apply for employment opportunities.
  4. Career/Vocational Assessments: Formal and/or informal career assessment which help students identify post-school career interests, abilities and goals.
  5. 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.
  6. Destination/Transportation Training: Training to use transportation resources, and support student independence (including use of public transportation and/or obtaining driver's license).
  7. Life Skills/Independent Living: Training in the use of community resources, domestic skills, money management, finding and maintaining housing, identification of post-school support. May include benefits planning.
  8. Family Participation & Support of Transition: Involve, train parents/family and supportive adults to support and mentor youth as they transition. Includes knowledge of disabilities, accommodations, rights and access to programs and services.

The courses may have been completed during any grades 9 through 12.

Please visit WorkAbility I Array of Services Definitions for more information about work-based learning and definitions pertaining to special education.

Potential New Measures

Before new measures are included in the CCI, the CDE conducts an in-depth review and analysis with stakeholder groups, such as the CCI Work Group, Alternative Schools Task Force, California Practitioners Advisory Group, Technical Design Group, and other broad range of groups. These groups make recommendations on the inclusion or exclusion of each measure for the CCI and the placement criteria for Prepared versus Approaching Prepared. These recommendations are then presented to the SBE. The SBE approves whether a measure is included in the CCI.

Data on the following new measures will be collected for a second year at the end of 2021–22:

Internships

An internship is a work-based learning activity which allows students to apply classroom learning in a work-place setting. Internships can be paid or unpaid. To be counted as a measure for the CCI, internships in PK-12 settings must be tied to a course and instructor and an employment or community partner. The instructor and partner work together to ensure student safety and success, and to monitor student progress. It is critical that all criteria outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act are met when coordinating internship programs.

Internships can occur in Regional Occupational Programs that offer Community Classroom and Co-Op Career Technical Education/Cooperative Vocational Education when in alignment with appropriate Education Code, Laws and Regulations.

Child Labor Law Regulation:
Child Labor Laws External link opens in new window or tab.(PDF)
Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act External link opens in new window or tab.
Frequently Asked Questions About Youth Employment External link opens in new window or tab.

  • Community Classroom is an unpaid, on-the-job training experience, available to students in Regional Occupational Programs, to help them acquire necessary competencies (skills, knowledge, and attitudes) to acquire entry-level employment. The intent of the community classroom is to provide students with additional resources so concurrent, formalized classroom instruction can be extended and the acquisition of salable skills enhanced. For further details, see California Education Code Section 52372.1 and Title 5, California Code of Regulations Section 10080.
  • Co-Op Career Technical Education/Cooperative Vocational Education is a paid, on-the-job training experience that occurs concurrently with formal vocational classroom instruction in Regional Occupational Programs. Cooperative vocational education assists students to develop and refine occupational competencies (attitudes, skills, and knowledges) needed to acquire, adjust, and advance in an occupation. For further details, see California Education Code Section 52372.1 and Title 5, California Code of Regulations Section 10100.

Internships are:

  • Supervised by an industry expert
  • Tied to an instructor, course, and/or CTE program
  • Paid or unpaid

Internships are not:

  • Job shadows, or other one-time events or experiences
  • A job that a student secures on their own
  • Volunteering or working at campus events

Student Internship Evaluation Form: The CDE, in collaboration with a business partner, developed an evaluation form and scoring guide. LEAs and schools are not required to use this form; it is available as a resource if needed. Note: internships spanning more than one school year must include an annual student evaluation.  

Student-Led Enterprise

A student-led enterprise involves the development and operation of a revenue-generating business (regardless of profit or loss), operating outside the classroom. It is associated with a course at the school in which the student is enrolled and evaluated by the certificated course instructor. Student-Led Enterprise can occur across all 15 CTE Industry Sectors and can also occur in non-CTE programs.

Student-led enterprise is:

  • Tied to a course in which students develop a business and/or marketing plan
  • Operated and managed by students
  • Revenue generating (for profit or non-profit)

Student-led enterprise is not:

  • Individual student business endeavors
  • A job that a student secures on their own
  • Volunteering or working at campus events or stores

Simulated Work-Based Learning

Note: The name of this measure has changed to remove the word “Virtual” as the core of this measure represents simulated work-based learning. This is a measure where students gain career experience while at school through an emulated workplace environment that is aligned to the classroom curriculum.

Simulated work-based learning is:

  • Tied to a course and instructor
  • Tied to a workplace experience within a school environment (distance, blended, and/or or in-person) in conjunction with business or industry
  • Involves work-related and/or technical skill development

Simulated Work-Based Learning is not:

  • An online course
  • Remote Internship or remote Student-Led Enterprise
  • Paid Student Work Experience

ASVAB AFQT Score

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a military entrance exam that is given to determine enlistment eligibility and job training eligibility. This test is administered to students in grades ten through twelve in schools that offer this non-mandatory exam. While the ASVAB has multiple subtests, only the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score is being collected.

The AFQT score is based on:

  • Word Knowledge
  • Paragraph Comprehension
  • Arithmetic Reasoning
  • Mathematics Knowledge

Note that the data for all of the work-based learning measures on this web page are being collected through CALPADS, except the ASVAB AFQT score. This score is collected through the ASVAB Reporting System.

Information and FAQs on the ASVAB AFQT are available on the following CDE web pages:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all Work-Based Learning (WBL) activities in career technical education programs (CTE) count as a unique measure on the College/Career Indicator (CCI)?

Only activities outlined on this web page (Work-Based Learning Measures) will count as unique CCI WBL measures.

Can College/Career Indicator Work-Based Learning (WBL) measures occur in academic and elective programs?

Local educational agencies (LEAs) can now report approved WBL activities connected to academic and elective courses, as long as those activities are aligned with the Standards for Career Ready Practice (PDF) and tied to a course and instructor.

Where and when are Work-Based Learning data collected?

Work-based learning data for the College/Career Indicator are submitted in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). Specifically, this data is collected in the Work-Based Learning (WBLR) file that will be submitted and certified as part of the CALPADS End-of-Year (EOY) 1 submission.
For more information on the data collection, please view CALPADS Flash #184.

What defines an internship?

An internship is a work-based learning activity which allows students to apply classroom learning in a work-place setting. Internships can be paid or unpaid. To count as a measure on the CCI, internships in PK-12 settings must be tied to a course and instructor and an employment or community partner. The instructor and partner work together to ensure student safety and success, and to monitor student progress. It is critical that all criteria outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act are met when coordinating internship programs.

Child Labor Law Regulation:
Child Labor Laws External link opens in new window or tab.(PDF)
Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act External link opens in new window or tab.
Frequently Asked Questions About Youth Employment External link opens in new window or tab.

What is the difference between a registered and non-registered pre-apprenticeship program?

A registered pre-apprenticeship program (RAP) is approved by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards and/or Department of Labor, meets specific requirements and guidelines, and is a state and/or nationally recognized training program, making it eligible for federal and/or state apprenticeship funding.

A non-registered pre-apprenticeship program has not been registered with the Division of Apprenticeship Standards or Department of Labor, does not have government oversight, and is not eligible for federal and/or state apprenticeship funding.

Both registered pre-apprenticeship and non-registered pre-apprenticeship programs must directly link to an existing, employer-connected apprenticeship program.

For any pre-apprenticeship to occur in a Career Technical Education (CTE) setting, the local educational agency (LEA) must be authorized as a recognized training provider by the employer and/or program sponsor and must implement employer-approved competencies as the curriculum.

Students must be considered eligible for apprenticeship placement at the completion of the pre-apprenticeship program. All pre-apprenticeships require on-the-job training (OJT) and formal agreements with employer or sponsor designated apprentice programs, regardless of registration status.

Learn about Federally Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs:
Explore Pre-Apprenticeship External link opens in new window or tab.
Registered Apprenticeship Program External link opens in new window or tab.

Find a California Registered Apprentice Program:
Pre-Apprenticeship Program Registration External link opens in new window or tab.
Find an Apprenticeship Program External link opens in new window or tab.

Who at the school site is responsible for collecting the data, and how will this be reported?

This is a local decision.

Resources

The following web pages provides details on the data collection of the work-based learning measures:

Questions: Academic Accountability Team | aau@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 6, 2022