WBL in Kansas Image
  • Work-Based Learning (WBL) / Real-World Learning (RWL)

    In 2020, USD 232 was provided an opportunity to develop a Professional Studies Program and create Work-Based Learning opportunities in all USD 232 elementary and secondary schools.  USD 232 is one of 5 Kansas school districts participating in the initial WBL Pilot and will serve as a model for other districts in the state of Kansas.

    In 2019, The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) was provided with WBL recommendations from the Governor’s Council on Education.  Detailed below, are the recommendations from the Council and the Education Commission.

    Kansas Work-Based, Real-World Learning Recommendation One

    Comprehensive Policy Approach. Implement a comprehensive policy approach that ensures Kansas students have equitable access to high quality work-based learning experiences designed to prepare each student for postsecondary, and workforce success, in high wage, high demand and critical need occupations of our state and regions.

    Identified Best Practices and Source. Develop best practice guidelines, procedures and protocols to ensure students in Kansas have equitable access to high quality work-based learning experiences designed to prepare each student for postsecondary and workforce success. Successful implementation includes establishing a Work Based Coordinating Council (WBCC) to assist in determining the policies and resources necessary to ensure K-12 students have equitable access to quality work-based learning experiences. The rationale includes national trends, state trends, business and industry interest, and the promotion of real world and authentic learning tied to each student’s Individual Plan of Study (IPS), a measurable board outcome of the Kansans Can, Kansas vision for education.

    Business Case/ROI. Ensuring equitable access to work-based learning tied to the high demand, high wage, critical needs jobs in Kansas will provide for a talent pipeline necessary to fill jobs and drive the Kansas economy. Development of strategies to create an integrated approach to career exploration and workforce development that aligns to the Kansans Can initiative of the Kansas State Board of Education/Kansas State Department of Education and focuses on the human capital needs of business and industry across the state. Equitable access to work-based learning will expand public-private partnerships focused on access to work-based learning experiences and career pathways tied to high-demand, high-wage, and critical need occupations in Kansas.

    Greatest Impact. Work-based learning is recognized as a best practice and is essential to growing the economy and cultivating a highly trained and skilled workforce, an integrated approach to career preparation, and encouraging seamless transitions from K-12 to technical schools, community colleges, and universities or on to business and industry to cultivate opportunities for Kansans and promoting an innovative, entrepreneurial economy. Work-based learning in Kansas is currently limited by current fiscal and human capital resources. However, state-led interest is leading to new partnerships. Higher education leaders are embracing work- based learning as essential to a prepared and qualified workforce, and to meet current and future talent needs of Kansas business and industry. Work-based learning aligns and engages K-12 and postsecondary, as well as business and industry. Higher education leaders have expressed that alignment and equitable access will prepare students with the skills necessary to enter higher education prepared. We recognize that younger students need interface with work-related learning. A continuum of work-based learning provides for career awareness, career exploration, and results in students graduating high school prepared. The continuum of experiences includes elementary school years with focus on career awareness, middle school years with a focus on career exploration, and high school years resulting in career preparation and successful transition to postsecondary or the workforce.

    Anticipated Struggles or Challenges. (a) Determining investment in critical needs jobs by region. (b) Investment of time and resources to ensure each student, in every region, has access to quality work-based learning. (c) What are the strategies for effectively engaging business and industry leaders in each region to provide WBL experiences? (d) Identifying what agencies or organizations might serve as a “concierge”/liaison and connector between schools and business. (e) Integration of components of work-based learning with existing programs and services available in many of the state’s technical and community colleges. (f) High wage or high demand might be too restrictive for some regions of our state. (g) Defining high wage, high demand, critical needs for the various regions to align experiences, possibly allowing regional discretion of the description and explanation of high demand, high wage, and critical demand to meet that area’s needs. (h) How do we ensure “equity” and inclusivity? (i) What may be necessary to ensure each student, in every region, has access to work-based learning? (j) Are there other agencies or departments who have already done work in this area? (k) There may be challenges at the university level to accepting work-based credit. (l) Regardless of a student’s zip code in Kansas, they should have access to current sectors of jobs throughout the entire state. (m) Attention will need to be paid to the economic and workforce needs of Kansas. (n) How does this concept get fully introduced to parents and the community? (o) How will this work be scaled?

    Scale of Impact. Impact all Kansas students across all regions. The impact creates a pipeline of talent to fill jobs in Kansas business and industries, and the retention of talent in Kansas improves.

    Kansas Work-Based, Real-World Learning Recommendation Two

    Establish a Work-Based Coordinating Council (WBCC). Establish a Work-Based Coordinating Council (WBCC) to implement the comprehensive policy approach recommendation, including but not limited to: identify the market value assets or skills and credentials; develop best practice guidelines, procedures and protocols; develop plans to address struggles and challenges; measure and report outcomes to the Governor. In order to align accountability and ensure regional and industry representation in a high-functioning structure, the WBCC membership should be comprised of members of:

    • Kansas State Board of Education (facilitator)
      • Kansas State Department of Education (1 seat)
      • Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) (1 seat)
      • Kansas Workforce Boards/Kansas Workforce Development Systems (1 seat/regional board)
      • Education Representative (1 seat/region)
      • Regional business and industry representatives identified by the Workforce Board representatives (1 seat/region)
      • Representatives from House and Senate Education Committees (up to 2)

    Work-Based Learning Model Policy Components, Education Commission of the States Work-Based Learning Model Policy Components. The Education Commission of the States, Work-Based Learning Model Policy Components, has been utilized by Kansas state agencies as a model to develop a plan to scale high quality work-based learning across Kansas (Zinth, 2018).

    Kansas state and regional coordination to develop a single, clear and statewide definition of various work-based learning experiences. The Kansas Work-Based Learning definition was developed from the National Governors Association Policy Academy Knowledge Exchange Kansas cross-agency team. Kansas Work-Based Learning (WBL) includes a continuum of awareness, exploration, and preparation that combines an individual’s career goals, structured learning, and authentic work experiences implemented through a sustained partnership with Kansas business/industry. Work-Based Learning activities with industry or community professionals culminate in a validation and measurement of acquired knowledge, skills and possible employment. Kansas State Department of Education created an infographic representation of the Kansas Work-Based Learning definition titled Kansas Work-Based Learning Continuum. The Kansas State Department of Education definitions of work-based learning experiences are found within the Kansas Work-Based Learning Personalized Learning Plan (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019a).

    State and Regional Coordination Action Items. (a) Plan to ensure the Kansas work- based learning definition is broadly and effectively communicated to individuals involved in work-based learning at the state, regional and local (school district and building) levels. Collect data across systems based on this definition. (b) Promote K-12 understanding of the Kansas Work-Based Learning Continuum. (c) Design stackable credentialing or expanded Pathway models. Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR), Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) plan to collaborate and develop expanded Pathway to Program Alignment for three Pathways during the 2019-20 pilot school year. The Pathway mapping would include KSDE Pathways, Excel in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Courses, KBOR Programs, and Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) wage data. Delaware has created a model of reference (Delaware Pathways, 2019).

    Kansas Department of Labor has created Kansas career pathway posters to align with the way education categorizes occupations (Kansas Department of Labor, 2019a). The jobs included are from the high demand list, so there were only ten pathways with enough occupations for the now/next/later categories. The Kansas Department of Labor has begun to report high demand occupations (Kansas Department of Labor, 2019b) and high demand/high wage occupations (Kansas Department of Labor, 2019c) utilizing career field, career cluster and career pathway language utilized in education.

    Development of a state strategic plan for work-based learning that includes state and regional coordination action items. (a) Statewide system alignment to promote regional work-based learning collaboration and communication of resources. Develop regional intermediary networks that serve as one-stop contact points for their regions. Iowa has created a model of reference (Iowa Intermediary Network, 2018) and (Advance CTE, 2019). (b) Establish a clear vision and measurable goals for work-based learning, with leadership from the Governor. (c) Build capacity across systems and at a local level to implement and sustain expansion of work-based learning. (d) Communicate the importance of work-based learning as a critical component of the talent pipeline and strategy for connecting young adults to well-paying jobs. Secure buy-in from key stakeholders at the state, region, and local levels. Communicate benefits of work-based learning to students and parents, educators, and employers. (e) Align work-based learning with KSDE’s four Redesign Principles that include Student Success Skills, Community Partnerships, Personalized Learning, and Real World Applications. (f) Implementation of a statewide work-based learning marketing plan. (g) Develop a KSDE WBL digital toolkit and website directed towards three target audiences that include Students/Families, Educators, and Business/Industry. Ohio has created a model of reference (Ohio Department of Education, 2019a). (h) Ensure access to students in urban and rural settings (Education Commission of the States, 2018).

    Kansas resources developed to facilitate regional coordination. (a) Kansas Career Navigator is a cross-agency tool that allows users to learn about high demand, high wage occupations by region, as well as well as opening forecasts and wages (Kansas Career Navigator, 2019a). Kansas Career Navigator also allows users to find high school and college courses plus other opportunities to gain knowledge and experience in high demand occupations (Kansas Career Navigator, 2019a). (b) A Kansas Career Navigator Training site has been developed to introduce users to all of the components of the tool (Kansas Career Navigator, 2019b). (c) A Kansas Work-Based Learning Geographic Information System has been developed to assist in the development of regional work-based learning experiences (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019b).

    Designate an entity or entities to coordinate state and regional efforts. (a) Develop Regional Intermediaries to ensure equitable work-based learning access to all populations. Plans have been developed for a 2019-2020 Pilot to establish one intermediary network in each of the five workforce regions that would include one regional workforce center or local workforce board, one community and/or technical college, and one school district with plans to scale following the pilot year and request for funding to sustain regional intermediaries and statewide system.

    A FY 2020 Perkins Secondary Reserve Fund Application Scale High Quality Work- Based Learning Pilot Grant has been distributed to Kansas school districts with a due date of December 1, 2019 (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019c). There will be one Regional Work-Based Learning Intermediary in each of the five Workforce Regions. The Workforce Center or Workforce Board in each region will serve as the Regional Work-Based Learning Intermediary connecting education, business and industry, and economic development in the region. The Regional Work-Based Learning Intermediary will coordinate work-based learning experiences for students in partnership with the district work-based learning coordinator as detailed in the FY 2020 Perkins Secondary Reserve Fund Application Scale High Quality Work- Based Learning Pilot Grant (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019c). The Scale High Quality Work-Based Learning (WBL) Pilot will establish one intermediary network in each of the five workforce regions that will include one regional workforce center or local workforce board, community and/or technical colleges in each region, and one school district within each of the five workforce regions. The five pilot districts, one school district in each of the five workforce regions, will serve as models for other school districts in the region to scale high quality work-based learning utilizing a regional intermediary and forming an alignment to develop a statewide system. The pilot schools will disseminate and present information and artifacts to Kansas school districts following the pilot project. The pilot schools will report the number of students participating in career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation by Pathway during and following the pilot. The Education Commission of State’s recommendations include encouraging regions to disaggregate their data for reporting if possible by race/ethnicity (Education Commission of States, 2019a), student eligibility for free/reduced lunch, and gender (Education Commission of States, 2019b) as Perkins V will require states to disaggregate CTE data more fully by race/ethnicity and subject. (b) Kansas Community and Technical Colleges plan to host school districts in their regions for the following work-based learning activities that include middle school career awareness/exploration on community and technical college campuses, high school career exploration on community and technical college campuses, and teacher training on community and technical college campuses that may include the option of one day, two day, or one-week training. The teacher training may include career cluster and program overview, training on equipment utilized in the career cluster and program, and training on technology related to career cluster and program, and Excel in CTE courses available in the pathway. (c) A communication plan will be utilized to communicate the work of the intermediaries.

    Development and broad dissemination of effective, vetted employer outreach and support strategies. Ensure business/industry collaboration and support for statewide work- based learning development. Tennessee Department of Education created a model of reference to engage the business community early in the planning process (Tennessee Department of Education, 2019).

    Clear communication, and policy adoption as needed, on critical employer logistics. Develop insurance liability and workers’ compensation guidance for school districts and business/industry for each out-of-school work-based learning experience. The National Governors Association’s Best Practices for Vision and Communication recommends the establishment of a clear vision and measurable goals for work-based learning, with leadership from the governor. Kansas Department of Labor developed a one-page work-based learning fact sheet with links to state and federal workplace laws (Kansas Department of Labor, 2019d).

    Access. Implementation of a comprehensive policy approach that ensures Kansas students have equitable access to high quality work-based learning experiences.

    High-quality career awareness and exploration beginning in the elementary and middle grades. Kansas State Department of Education has developed Kansas Career Fields, Clusters, and Pathways Infographics (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019f). Recommendations include implementation of career awareness in elementary grades and career exploration in middle grades. An Individual Plan of Study is required for each student in grades eight through twelve (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019d). KSDE created Measuring and Reflecting Student Learning Work-based Experience Portfolio and Employability Skills Rubric that includes recommendation for an electronic portfolio (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019e).

    Career counseling and advising for students and parents before and during program participation. Communicate the benefits of work-based learning to students and parents, educators, and employers. WBL District Coordinators would collaborate with the career counselor and/or advisor in incorporating WBL experiences into career development planning.

    High school and district support to inform and coordinate student, teacher and employer efforts action items. (a) Develop a statewide database of WBL information and resources. Future Ready Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning is a model of reference (Future Ready Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning, 2019). (b) Targeted Counselor Preparation in regards to career awareness and exploration beginning in elementary and middle grades and career preparation in high school, WBL opportunities including career- and college- oriented learning opportunities, dual enrollment and career and technical education. (c) Design a website that is an electronic dashboard of all WBL information and resources that would include resources identified in WBL program inventory of State Agencies. (d) Develop an infographic flowchart of how state agency WBL programs connect. (e) Youth Registered Apprenticeships (YRA), Department of Commerce, develop best practice model to scale.

    Finance. Funds to support deployment of all activities at the state, regional and local levels. Funding Action Items. (a) Identify resources beyond start-up costs to sustain work- based learning over the long term. (b) Identify new or reallocated funding.

    Program QualityDevelopment and dissemination of a state framework for work-based learning. A FY 2020 Perkins Secondary Reserve Fund Application Scale High Quality Work-Based Learning Pilot Grant has been distributed to Kansas school districts with a due date of December 1, 2019 (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019c). The work-based learning regional pilot will serve as a model to scale high quality work-based learning across Kansas and develop a statewide system alignment.

    Program Quality Action Items. (a) Align what is already happening in Kansas Career and Technical Education with Work-Based Learning state framework. (b) Clearly communicate the stakeholder(s) responsible for ensuring the delivery of each component. Clearly define the role of the intermediary. The roles of the Local Education Agency’s WBL District Contact, WBL Coordinators and teachers in the district are clearly defined and reviewed annually.

    Student awareness of and exposure to high quality employability standards – aligned with state standards. KSDE has created Measuring and Reflecting Student Learning Work-based Experience Portfolio and Employability Skills Rubric (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019e). The Kansas Work-Based Learning Personalized Learning Plan was created as an online fillable document to support educators, employers and students and their families all in the process of designing and implementing a work-based learning experience for students (Kansas State Department of Education, 2019a).

    Teacher participation in high-quality training. Identify one work-based learning district point of contact in each of the 286 school districts in Kansas. Clear expectations for the work-based learning district point of contact should be updated annually. Consideration of work-based learning coordinator certification or endorsement, or periodic required professional development for work-based coordinators that would allow individuals with WBL certificates to serve as WBL Coordinators, oversee WBL programs, and offer WBL courses for credit. Georgia is a model of reference (Advance CTE, 2016). Currently, a student must be enrolled in a CTE course to participate in a funded work-based learning experience. The teacher of record must hold the teaching endorsement or technical certificate listed in the KSDE Licensed Personnel Guide for the course. Core services for educators in Iowa include tours and externships facilitated by intermediary networks (Iowa Intermediary Network, 2018).

    Program reporting and inclusion in state accountability systems action items. (a) Regional reporting of individuals participating in WBL experiences aligned with the WBL definitions. (b) Metrics and outcomes are established to begin to measure the impact of intermediaries. Models of reference include Iowa (Iowa Intermediary Network, 2018) and Delaware (Delaware Pathways, 2018). (c) Arizona utilizes a college and career readiness rubric as referenced in their school accountability plan that includes indicator points for the completion of a well-defined work-based learning experience of at least 120 hours (Arizona State Department of Education, 2019).

    Effectiveness is being measured to ensure the quality and impact of efforts. Models of reference include Iowa (Advance CTE, 2019) and Delaware (RTI International, 2019).

    Post-experience evaluation for students, employers, teachers and other participants. The Education Commission of States recommended quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate the WBL pilot experience for students, employers, teachers and other participants.

    Graduation credit. Non-elective graduation credit for approved work-based learning experiences. Kansas Career and Technical Education approved Pathways include a work-based learning element. Students participate in elective courses that include career preparation experiences as detailed on the Kansas Work-Based Learning Continuum.

    Graduation Credit Action Item: (a) District credit for prior learning that would include a portfolio review of work-based learning experiences. (b) Ohio’s assessment and graduation requirements for the classes of 2021 and beyond includes student demonstration of readiness by earning at least two diploma seals and alternative ways to demonstrate competency that includes career experience and technical skill demonstration (Ohio Department of Education, 2019b).
    The Ohio Means Jobs Readiness Seal includes demonstration of work-readiness and professional competencies (Ohio Department of Education, 2019b).

    References
    Advance CTE (2016) Resource Title: Leveraging Intermediaries to Expand Work-Based Learning. Retrieved from https://cte.careertech.org/sites/default/files/files/resources/ WBL_casestudy_Intermediaries_FINAL.pdf.

    Advance CTE (2019) Resource Title: Iowa Statewide Work-Based Learning Intermediary Network. Retrieved from https://careertech.org/resource/iowa-intermediary-network.

    Arizona State Department of Education (2019) Resource Title: Arizona 2018-2019 School Accountability Plan. Retrieved from https://azsbe.az.gov/sites/default/files/media/18-19%209-12%20A-F%20Plan_1.pdf

    Delaware Pathways (2018) Resource Title: The Delaware Pathways 2018 Annual Report. Attached.

    Delaware Pathways (2019) Resource Title: Pathway Description. Retrieved from http://delawarepathways.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Academy-of-Business- Information-and-Management.pdf.

    Education Commission of States (2018) Resource Title: Five Steps to Expand Access to High- Quality CTE in Rural Schools. Retrieved from https://ednote.ecs.org/five-steps-to-expand- access-to-high-quality-cte-in-rural-schools/.

    Education Commission of States (2019a) Resource Title: Perkins V: Keeping Better Track of Racial Equity in CTE. Retrieved from: https://ednote.ecs.org/perkins-v-keeping-better- track-of-racial-equity-in-cte/.

    Education Commission of States (2019b) Resource Title: Perkins V: Tackling Gender Disparities in CTE. Retrieved from: https://ednote.ecs.org/perkins-v-tackling-gender-disparities-in-cte/.

    Future Ready Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning (2019) Resource Title: Future Ready Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning. Retrieved from: https://clearinghouse.futurereadyiowa.gov/.

    Iowa Intermediary Network (2018) Resource Title: Iowa Work-Based Learning Intermediary Network Fiscal Year 2018 Report: https://educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/ Intermediary%20Network%202018%20Report.pdf.

    Kansas Career Navigator (2019a) Resource Title: Kansas Career Navigator. Retrieved from https://www.kscareernav.gov/.

    Kansas Career Navigator (2019b) Resource Title: Kansas Career Navigator Training Link. Retrieved from https://rise.articulate.com/share/G6_B6FBlCtAOp4wVhSbGzd2WRki_RKzU#/.

    Kansas Department of Labor (2019a) Resource Title: Kansas Career Posters. Retrieved from https://klic.dol.ks.gov/gsipub/index.asp?docid=501.

    Kansas Department of Labor (2019b) Resource Title: Kansas 2018 High Demand Occupations. Retrieved from https://klic.dol.ks.gov/gsipub/index.asp?docid=403.

    Kansas Department of Labor (2019c) Resource Title: Kansas 2018 High Demand, High Wage Occupations. Retrieved from https://klic.dol.ks.gov/gsipub/index.asp?docid=403.

    Kansas Department of Labor (2019d) Resource Title: Work-Based Learning Fact Sheet Retrieved from https://www.dol.ks.gov/docs/default-source/workplace-laws- documents/kansas-work-based-learning-(002)-ef.pdf?sfvrsn=34008e1f_0.

    Kansas State Department of Education (2019c) Resource Title: FY 2020 Perkins Secondary Reserve Fund Application Scale High Quality Work-Based Learning Pilot Grant #1 70380. Retrieved from https://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Career- Standards-and-Assessment-Services/CSAS-Home/Career-Technical-Education- CTE/Perkins-Federal-Accountability.

    Kansas State Department of Education (2019d) Resource Title: Individual Plan of Study Fact Sheet Retrieved from https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/Learning%20Services%20Documents /IPS%20Fact%20Sheet%20Aug%2016.pdf.

    Kansas State Department of Education (2019f) Resource Title: Kansas Career Fields, Clusters, and Pathways Infographics. Retrieved from https://www.ksde.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=hBPOn6aqoFE%3d&tabid= 667&portalid=0&mid=1872.

    Kansas State Department of Education (2019b) Resource Title: Kansas Work-Based Learning GIS Prototype. Retrieved from https://airesri.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id= 0efb293fa2c7445e89909577be21e098.

    Kansas State Department of Education (2019a) Resource Title: Kansas Work-Based Learning Personalized Learning Plan. Retrieved from https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/CSAS/CSAS%20Home/CTE%20Home/Kansas%20Work- Based%20Learning_Personalized%20Learning%20Plan.pdf.

    Kansas State Department of Education (2019e) Resource Title: Measuring and Reflecting Student Learning Work-based Experience Portfolio and Employability Skills Rubric. Retrieved from: https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/CSAS/CSAS%20Home/CTE%20Home/ Measuring%20and%20Reflecting%20Student%20Learning%20%28002%29.pdf.

    Ohio Department of Education (2019a) Resource Title: Work-Based Learning Site. Retrieved from Work-Based Learning http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Career-Tech/Career-Connections/Work-Based-Learning.

    Ohio Department of Education (2019b) Resource Title: Ohio’s Assessment and Graduation Requirements Classes of 2021 and Beyond Guidance for Districts and Schools. Retrieved from http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Ohio-s-Graduation- Requirements/Graduation-2021-and-beyond_Guidance-Document.pdf

    RTI International (2019) Resource Title: Baseline Report on Career Pathways and Work-Based Learning in Delaware. Retrieved from http://rodelde.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/RTI_DEPathwaysY1rpt_FINAL-1.pdf.

    Tennessee Department of Education (2019) Resource Title: Work-Based Learning 101: A Resource for Industry. Retrieved from https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/ccte/wbl/wbl_101_for_industry.pdf.

    Zinth, J. D. (2018). Resource Title: Work-Based Learning: Model Policy Components. Retrieved from https://www.ecs.org/work-based-learning-model-policy-components/.