WBL Glossary

​​​​Descriptions provided by the Iowa Department of Education Work-Based Learning ​Guide.

Work-Based Learning Career Awareness: Students develop an understanding of different careers.

  • Career Fairs: Career Fairs provide a structured opportunity for students to engage with industry professionals in multiple career paths. Career Fairs are also an opportunity for students to practice professional communication skills.
  • Workplace Tours: Workplace tours are an organized event where a group of students visit a business/industry site to learn more about the various career path opportunities available with that employer, ask questions to professionals, and if possible, a hands-on opportunity on-site related to the career path.
  • Classroom Speakers: Classroom speakers provide an opportunity to connect with students to an applicable industry professional. Classroom speakers bring value to the content by connecting value of concepts taught by the educator.

Work-Based Learning Career Exploration: Students explore careers that align with coursework in interest areas discovered through career awareness activities.

  • Authentic Career Projects: Authentic projects connect content learned in the classroom to real world applications through projects. Students complete community partner business projects through collaboration within their classroom and connections with industry partners
  • Informational Interview: A meeting in which a potential job seeker seeks advice on a career, an industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future workplace, while an employed professional learns about the job seeker and judges their professional potential and fit to the corporate culture, so building their candidate pool for future hires
  • Job Shadow: A career exploration activity where a student follows an employee at a business for a short period of time to learn about a particular occupation or industry. This is an unpaid Work-based learning activity.
  • Mock Interview: A mock interview is an emulation of a job interview used for training purposes. The exercise usually resembles a real interview as closely as possible, for the purpose of providing experience for a candidate

Work-Based Learning Career Training: Provides students with industry specific, hands-on opportunities to develop career and employability skills. Training programs will provide specific contracts and documentation to communicate and track student skill advancement.

  • On-the-Job Training: Hands-on occupational skill development which occurs at a worksite.
  • Internship: Internships are typically one-time work or service experiences related to the student’s major or a participant’s career goal. The internship plan generally involves participants working in professional settings under the supervision and mentoring of practicing professionals. Internships can be paid or unpaid and may or may not involve academic credit. Strong internship programs will provide substantial, meaningful work assignments, training, necessary workspace and resources, and structured evaluation/reflection.
  • Pre-Apprenticeships: Pre-apprenticeships are programs or sets of strategies designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship. A documented partnership exists with at least one Registered Apprenticeship program.
  • Apprenticeships (Registered): Apprenticeships are relationships between an employer and employee during which the worker (apprentice) learns an occupation in a structured program sponsored jointly by employers and labor unions or operated by employers and employee associations. Programs specifically meet federally approved standards designed to safeguard the welfare of apprentices.