Work-Based Learning: Providing Safe, Legal and Effective Opportunities for Students, Schools and Businesses

Course Number: EDU 5515 C76 (graduate), EDU 4710 CFS10 (undergraduate)
Instructor: David Culver
Location: This is a hybrid course with four in-person classes at the River Valley Technical Center in Springfield, Vermont with the remainder of the course online.
Dates and Times: July 20, 2017 - August 17, 2017. In-person classes on Thursday, July 20; Thursday, July 27; Thursday, August 3 & Thursday, August 10 from 9 am to 3 pm 
Credits: 3 credits
Tuition: $1,100

Note: Please register online. Course payment or purchase order of $1,100, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. Please mail check or purchase order to the Castleton Center for Schools, PO Box 6049, Rutland, VT 05701. If you wish to pay by credit card, please call the Center for Schools at (802) 770-7060. Thank you.

Course Description

In order to develop and implement legal, safe, and educationally effective work-based learning programs and experiences, school personnel must understand labor and safety laws and practices, career development strategies, effective systems for organizing, monitoring and evaluating student placements, and sales and marketing techniques. This course provides participants with the knowledge base needed to develop and implement a coherent school-based, work-based learning program.

Course Objectives

1. Developing a working knowledge of federal and state labor laws related to:
a. the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in order to identify key considerations in the employer/employee relationship;
b. federal and state child labor laws including Hazardous Occupations for both traditional and agricultural enterprises; and
c. Work Experience Career Exploration Programs for 14 and 15 year olds (note: distinction by age not grade).
2. Federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines and how to assess a work site for specific and general safety considerations.
3. Ensuring accident and liability insurance for non-paid experiences and Workers’ Compensation Insurance for paid placements.
4. Demonstrating knowledge regarding components of a variety of training plans from Informational Interviews to federally registered Apprenticeships.
5. Managing the ongoing and ever-changing logistics of student placements including supervisor, student and program evaluations (including grading protocols), on-the-job problem solving and ending placements when required.
6. Understanding the variety of businesses and organizations in your school’s area and how to develop effective business-education partnerships including:
a. Marketing
b. Sales
c. Communication and Employer/Partner Recognition
7. Having a basic understanding of resources and strategies of providing short- and long-term career counseling to students.
8. The importance of involving parents, teachers, administration and others (e.g. health services) in the planning and implementation stages of student placement.
9. The broad array of career development and vocational assessment models and methods.
10. Meeting the needs of all students in work-based learning including considerations related to special education, 504, Americans with Disabilities Act provisions and planning, encouraging and supporting non-traditional students in WBL activities.
11. The connection between work-based learning opportunities and Personal Learning Plans & Performance-based Learning.
12. Reflecting on current status of WBL activities and programs within your school and ideas for the continuation or development of the program and/or services.

Course Expectations

1. Active Classroom Participation: Due to the nature of the course, attendance and participation in all scheduled classes is mandatory. Classroom activities will include formal presentations and in depth discussions with the goal of developing or improving the work-based learning program at your school. There will be a variety of learning activities which will be assigned and completed during class. All in-class assignments will be part of “In-Class” portion of the grading.
2. Online and Independent Assignments: Castleton prides itself on high, rigorous standards for all courses they offer. A traditional, semester long, classroom based course requires 45 hours of contact time. There are 24 hours of classroom based learning for this course. Therefor there will be a minimum of approximately 21 hours of structured online learning activities. The actual time it takes to complete the assignments will depend on your reading and writing speed, as well as your familiarity of the material. Assignments will be posted in the class’s Moodle site which you will have access to once you register for the class. Online/independent assignments will include, but not be limited to: reflective writing to readings; responses to scenarios; self-assessment questionnaires; curriculum development activities, proficiency tests, discussion boards and several larger assignments including:
a. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s): SOP’s describe the process a student goes through, from start to finish in regards to a WBL experience. WBL programs should have clear SOP’s that students, employers, teachers and parents understand and can follow. You will develop a template SOP for your school’s specific situation and needs.
b. WBL Agreements: Written agreements between the school district and the employer are essential to creating a safe, legal and educationally effective work-based learning experience. They should clearly identify specific roles and responsibilities of each party involved. A strong agreement will clearly identify 21st Century or employability skills, academic skills, and specific occupational skills related to the WBL placement for the student. Students will develop written WBL agreements for both paid and unpaid work experiences
c. Evaluation Plans: Students will develop evaluation plan models for each type of work-based learning agreement listed above. The plan will identify how the evaluation plan is to be implemented.
d. Insurance Assessment: Students will investigate their districts’ insurance in regards to various types of work based learning experiences.
e. Worksite Safety Assessment: Students will utilize a comprehensive checklist to assess a potential worksite.
f. Personalized Learning Plan – Students will develop their own PLP.
g. Regional Networks – Students will develop a list of contacts for various resources related to work-based learning in their region.
3. Graduate Project: This course requires an independent project that should benefit you and your school district in the future. The project will demonstrate proficiencies from the content areas of the course as well as an independent research base. Students will be expected to professionally document the project and present the project to the class.

Required Texts

Required texts are not included in the course tuition.
1. Vermont Work-Based Learning Manual: A Guide for Developing and Implementing Quality Experiences for Students, Vermont Agency of Education ISL, High School and Adult Division (2014).
2. Instructional and reference materials developed by Bill Sugarman for the VT-AOE and Castleton University (2015).
3. Various Internet Resources, including, but not limited to:
a. Vermont Agency of Education
b. Vermont Department of Labor
c. United States Department of Labor

For additional course information

David Culver
(802) 289-4788

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 770-7060

Register online now!