Advancing Equitable Access To And Success In Work-Based Learning

The economic and societal instability brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic compounded and laid bare the inequities in American education and workforce systems. It also forced policymakers to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that programs remained accessible. 

Amid these unprecedented challenges, the states in the National Governors Association Center’s Policy Academy on Scaling Work-Based Learning convened monthly from December 2020 through May 2021 to share strategies for ensuring equitable access to and success in work-based learning (WBL). 

Work-based learning connects classroom education with on-the-job experience that states can deploy to help businesses and workers better meet their current needs while enhancing states’ ability to prepare their future workforce for success. Moreover, work-based learning can prepare students to engage in active learning both at work and in the classroom and develop new skills throughout their careers. Governors increasingly value work-based learning as a key strategy to strengthen their talent pipelines and prepare their future workforce for success.

Throughout their work, the Policy Academy’s mentor states exhibited best practices that were not only essential for the stability of their programs during the pandemic but are key pillars for scaling equitable work-based learning systems. These are:

  1. Place Equity At The Center Of Perkins V Plans
  2. Integrate Work-Based Learning Achievement Into Statewide Postsecondary Attainment Goals
  3. Build The Capacity To Collect And Disaggregate Student Outcomes

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