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Experiential Learning Continuum

Experiential learning is most effective when young people experience a continuum of opportunities throughout their elementary school, middle school, high school and postsecondary years that focus on awareness, exploration, preparation and training. 

Spanning the continuum of high quality experiential learning experiences is a range of activities, both in and outside the classroom, which enable students to connect academic and technical content to its ‘real world’ application, and to build 21st century college, career and community readiness skills and competencies. 


Work/Volunteer Credit

Students entering grades 9-12 are eligible to earn up to 5 elective credits for approved work-based learning  or volunteer experiences. In order to earn elective credit, students must obtain an approved work or volunteer position and complete a work-based learning or youth apprenticeship course in Google Classroom, organized by the school’s designated Experiential Learning Liaison. 

Every 45 hours equates to .25 elective credits (credit earned will be added direct to student transcript upon successful completion of experience). At least 90 hours  and an employer evaluation must be documented and verified to earn the youth leadership or employability skills certificate.

If you would like to earn credit for your work or volunteer position, follow these steps: 

  • Obtain an approved work or volunteer position.
  • Connect with your school counselor AND school-based experiential learning liaison to complete required paperwork and enroll in the related course.
  • Track your work hours and complete coursework.

Job Shadow/Internships

A job shadow is a learning experience that takes place at a community organization or workplace. A job shadow provides students with opportunities to gather information on a wide variety of career possibilities before deciding where they want to focus their attention. Students learn from professionals about the skills and competencies necessary to be college, career, and community ready. Students will spend between one hour to one full day following an employee, observing what the employee does, and asking about his or her work and the workplace. This is not a credit bearing experience. 

During the job shadow experience, students will:

  • See the connection between what they learn in the classroom and what they will need to achieve their goals;
  • Learn that they have choices in life; observe what people actually do when they are on the job;
  • Learn what the "real work world" expects of them—the worker;
  • Learn what education and training they will need after graduating from high school to be hired for the job; and
  • Hear what compensation and benefits they can expect when they are employed.

If you are interested in a job shadow experience, reach out to a company or professional to set up a shadowing experience. Your teachers or school counselor can help you create a plan for reaching out to a business. 

Job Shadowing Tips for Teens and Students

Youth Apprenticeship

Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, is a rigorous one- or two-year elective program for juniors and seniors, that combines academic and technical classroom instruction with mentored, on-the-job training to provide students with industry-established occupational and employability skills. Post-secondary and business partnerships are essential for a successful youth apprenticeship program. 

Currently, YA programs are offered in the following areas (click on an individual area to find additional information):