The Orange County Regional Consortium (OCRC) Work-Based Learning Resource Center was developed to assist community college leadership, project coordinators working with the OCRC intermediary partners, and college faculty and their employer partners in designing, implementing and supporting quality work-based learning (WBL) activities for community college students engaged in career pathway programs in the Orange County region.
The toolkit is designed as a work-based learning implementation guide for OCRC intermediaries, community colleges, and their partners. It provides an overview of work-based learning, activity guides and support materials for each of twelve WBL activities, and a collection of program fact sheets and implementation support tools.
Adapted from “Creating Quality Work-Based Learning”, New Ways to Work - 2002, 2010, 2016, 2018
The Orange County Regional Consortium has defined a sequenced continuum of work-based learning activities and experiences for all students that address the need for an array of career awareness, career exploration and career preparation activities to help better prepare the workforce of the future. This is accomplished through a series of work-based classroom activities, workplace exposures and community experiences over time. Classroom activities support and provide opportunities to reflect what’s learned in the workplace and community, and workplace experiences support the classroom curriculum. In addition, students are supported by and provided role models and guidance from adults in the classroom and in the workplace. Students are provided experiences that are commensurate with their knowledge, skills and abilities, and designed to support the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
All students are provided with a full range of opportunities throughout their engagement in career-related programs of study with the opportunity to participate in authentic work-based learning experiences at each level of the WBL continuum. Employers and community partners provide WBL opportunities that make sense for their organization, work for the business, and provide direct benefits to all partners.
The following are the three levels of the work-based learning continuum.
Activities designed to promote awareness of careers, workplace norms and employer expectations, as well as personal interests and aptitudes.
STUDENT OUTCOME: “I understand what’s out there and am discovering the kinds of things I might want to do.”
Activities designed to promote a deeper understanding of potential careers, and to provide opportunities for an investigation of a particular industry, career or occupation of interest.
STUDENT OUTCOME: “I'm interested in this field and am beginning to understand what it's all about and what I need to do to pursue a career in the industry."
Activities designed to provide an in-depth discovery of a particular career and the development of the skills and understanding of the education or training needed in a particular industry or occupation.
STUDENT OUTCOME: "I know the kinds of things I want to do and am getting the chance to learn new skills and practice applying those skills”
The Orange County Regional Consortium partners have identified a set of essential elements to support the implementation of all work-based learning experiences. Coordinators, intermediary partners and community college team members can use these elements to help ensure that all activities are engaging, safe and learning rich.
The following work-readiness competencies are a defined set of the core professional skills and behavioral competencies necessary for successful transition into the workplace. The Orange County Regional Consortium WBL Resource Center has identified these skills as benchmarks of demonstrated cognitive development, effective interpersonal and decision-making skills, and self-confidence in the work environment. Combined with the necessary academic and occupational skills, demonstration of these professional skills indicates readiness for work.