Providing Effective Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Students, Schools and Businesses, Tulikangas, Fall 2019

Course Number:  EDU 5515 C26 (graduate)
Instructors: Rich Tulikangas
Location: In-person & Online
Dates and Times: October 5 to December 7, 2019. This class will be offered in an independent study format with a combination of in-person & online sessions. The first in-person session will be held at the Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC) in Berlin on Saturday, October 5 from 9 am to 12 pm. The October 26, November 16 and December 7 sessions will also be held at Central Vermont Medical Center from 9 am to 12 pm. Page 3 contains a schedule of classes and topics.
Credits: 3 graduate credits
Tuition: $1,590

Note: Register first with the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative (VT-HEC). VT-HEC will then give you the link to Castleton's online registration form. Course payment of $1,590 is due and payable to VT-HEC.

Course Description

In order to develop legal, safe, and effective work-based learning programs and experiences, school personnel must understand labor and safety laws and practices, sales and marketing, career development strategies, and effective systems for organizing, monitoring and evaluating student learning opportunities with businesses and community partners.

As its primary reference, this course uses the Vermont Agency of Education “Vermont Work-Based Learning Manual: Guidelines and Tools to Support Work-Based Learning Experiences for All Learners” (2017).  This course provides participants with the knowledge base needed to develop a coherent work-based learning program for a school or organization.

The course curriculum is designed to provide participants with the core knowledge base for operating under the Work-Based Learning educator’s license endorsement in the state of Vermont or other position that allows for implementation of some or all areas of study.

Course Objectives/Goals

This course will provide participants with the knowledge base to develop a coherent work-based learning program relative to:

  1. Developing a working knowledge of federal and state labor laws related to:
  2. the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in order to identify key considerations in the employer/employee relationship;
  3. federal and state child labor laws including Hazardous Occupations for both traditional and agricultural enterprises.


  1. Understanding federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines and how to assess a work site for specific and general safety considerations.


  1. Ensuring accident and liability insurance for non-paid experiences and Workers’ Compensation Insurance for paid placements.


  1. Demonstrating knowledge regarding components of a variety of training agreements and plans from Job Shadows to Employer Paid Work Experiences.


  1. Managing the ongoing and ever-changing logistics of student placements including supervisor, student and program evaluations, on-the-job problem solving and ending placements appropriately.


  1. Understanding the variety of businesses and organizations in your school’s area and how to develop effective business-education partnerships including:


  1. Marketing & Sales     Communication    c. Employer/Partner Recognition


  1. Having a basic understanding of resources and strategies for providing career assessments, counseling and career development to students.


  1. The importance of involving parents, teachers, administration and others (e.g. special education services) in the planning and implementation of student work-based learning experiences.


  1. Meeting the needs of all students in work-based learning including considerations related to special education, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act provisions and planning, as well as encouraging and supporting non-traditional students in WBL activities.


  1. Understanding the connection between work-based learning opportunities and Personal Learning Plans & Performance-based Learning.


  1. Reflecting on the current status of WBL activities and programs within your school and community, and ideas for the continuation, improvement, and expansion program and/or services.

Required Texts

Vermont Agency of Education “Vermont Work-Based Learning Manual: Guidelines and Tools to Support Work-Based Learning Experiences for All Learners” (2017).

Materials developed as Part of Vermont’s Work-Based Learning Curriculum including instructional and reference materials for all course sessions.

Other Information Not Listed Above

Course Requirements & Related Information:

  1. Active Participation: Education is a collaborative endeavor and your effort to contribute to the learning environment in this class is essential. Assessment of participant ability to engage actively will be an important part of final grading.
  2. Training Plans for a Variety of Work-Based Learning Experiences
    1. Work-Based Learning professionals must be adept in writing training plans that articulate safety issues, legal issues, occupational skills, and transferable skills. Participants will draft a training plan for one or more of the following experiences: job shadows, unpaid training, paid training, internship (could be paid or unpaid), or co-op experience (if in a career & technical center).
  3. Evaluation Plans
    1. Related to the WBL training plan, participants will develop an evaluation plan and identify how the evaluation plan is to be implemented including: supervisor input/feedback; student self-evaluation; and final grading by a certified teacher that includes how the WBL experience is integrated into either a technical center program or a high school's curricula.
  4. Responses to Class Activities and Completion of Assignments
    1. The Work-Based Learning course curriculum contains activities and assignments for class sessions as well as assignments in preparation for future classes. Examples of these include: accident Insurance questionnaire, school WBL program assessment, responses to scenarios, projects related to curriculum development, and responses to readings. Participants are expected to delve deeply into these assignments and complete them with excellent results. Assignments are to be uploaded to the course Canvas when completed. Both online and in-person assignment submissions are components of this course.
  5. Action Research/Graduate Credit Project
    1. Participants seeking graduate credit will complete all of the above assignments and conduct an action research project with the following components:
      1. Abstract of the Project including rationale/utility, planned components of the project and overall objective of the project;
      2. A brief traditional research base;
      3. Written articulation of the steps involved in the project;
      4. Outcomes and findings (anticipated and unanticipated); and
      5. Recommendations for future research/action.

For a full syllabus, contact VT-HEC.

For additional course information

Rich Tulikangas
(802) 734-8170

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!