Work-Based Learning manual gets update

Coordinator collaborates with panel to update work-based learning definitions

 Man leaning on desk Garrett Jennings, Southern Westchester BOCES Center for Career Services Work-Based Learning Coordinator, was recently part of a content advisory panel of the New York State Perkins V Plan that created a clearer definition of what work-based learning means in education. The panel produced a user-friendly manual that better reflects the changing ways that students are learning, including through hybrid and virtual classes.  

The panel determined that work-based learning is defined by “authentic learning experiences that allow students to explore their career goals, abilities, and interests while applying their academic and technical knowledge and skills in a real-world context. These experiences are planned and supervised by instructional staff in collaboration with business, industry, or community partners.” 

The vision for the program is to “provide effective and equitable experiences to empower all students to become confident workers and culturally competent citizens of New York State,” according to the state’s Office of Career and Technical Education.

Much of the work on the manual included updating the layout in addition to its content. Also, the state’s Office of Career and Technical Education created a Frequently Asked Questions document on its website to enable students to find answers to common questions.

Throughout the process, Mr. Jennings worked with fellow coordinators across the state and learned about their needs. He was able to compare them to his work at the Center for Career Services in Valhalla.  

“We shared best practices and learned from one another,” Mr. Jennings said. “It’s interesting because we are downstate and many of the other coordinators were upstate where manufacturing is more common. Those kids are not looking toward going to college in that region.”