ERIC Number: EJ1067421
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 15
Strategies for Creating Work-Based Learning Experiences in Schools for Secondary Students with Disabilities
Cease-Cook, Jennifer; Fowler, Catherine; Test, David W.
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v47 n6 p352-358 Jul-Aug 2015
Nationally, the recent focus has been on adopting state-developed standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics that build toward college and career readiness. Of the states that have elected to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS; National Governors Association, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2012), states either (a) updated their existing standards and worked with their university system to certify that mastery of those standards would eliminate the need for students to take remedial courses upon admission to postsecondary institutions within the system or (b) worked with other states to develop common standards that build toward college and career readiness (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). Although not all states have adopted the CCSS, most have engaged in a review and update to instructional standards for ELA and mathematics in the last few years. As the economy has changed, many traditional career technical education (CTE) programs have moved from helping students prepare for a specific job, possibly associated with limited growth opportunity, to helping them prepare for a career with the expectation of advancement (National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium [NASDCTEc], 2012). As part of this movement, national organizations such as the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, state consortia, and industry-based organizations have created sets of standards for student learning in career technical programs. The Common Career Technical Core (2014) is a set of rigorous, high-quality benchmark standards for CTE. The goal of the Common Career Technical Core is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a global economy. To be college and career ready, high school graduates are required to complete a rigorous and broad curriculum that is grounded in the core academic disciplines but includes other subjects that are part of a well-rounded education (Career Readiness Partner Council, 2013). Career readiness adds to this definition by including academic and technical knowledge and skills, including employability knowledge, skills, and dispositions. For students with disabilities, the individualized education program (IEP) provides a process for ensuring access and success in courses and experiences to provide students with the skills necessary for career and college readiness. Work-based learning experiences (WBLEs) are a valuable source for such experiences not only for students across the spectrum of disability but also for students without disabilities. Identifying and engaging appropriate organizations in the community to provide WBLEs takes time, commitment, and hard work. WBLEs can be seen as part of a larger process of career development for all students. This article provides a brief overview of some specific avenues for WBLEs that students can explore. Suggestions for ways teachers can implement activities such as job shadowing, mentoring, internships and community trips are discussed.
Descriptors: State Standards, Academic Standards, High School Students, Disabilities, Learning Experience, Work Experience Programs, Education Work Relationship, Career Readiness, College Readiness, Individualized Education Programs, Vocational Education, Internship Programs, Service Learning, Apprenticeships, Employment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A