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Aurora Institute


Expanding Student Access to Work-Based Learning: Federal Policy Recommendations

Author(s): Susan Patrick, Khamiah Alderman, Laurie Gagnon

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Commit to Equity, Rethink Instruction

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We know the importance of learning experiences that happen beyond the confines of a traditional classroom. But how might federal policy support such experiences to prepare young people for life after high school? That’s where work-based learning comes in – a strategy designed to help students connect what they learn in the classroom with what is expected in the workplace by integrating learning with real-world applications in partnership with industry professionals. 

While momentum is growing at the local and state levels to design and implement PK-12 through workforce pathways to support work-based learning, there is still much work to be done in creating truly supportive policy environments. This set of federal policy recommendations outlines how enabling policies could further incentivize and focus increased resources on pathways and work-based learning.