Work-Based Learning

Work-Based Learning

Activities that occur at a workplace, providing structured learning experiences for students through exposure to a range of occupations and career options, and classroom or community activities that incorporate employers as speakers, advisors, instructors or career mentors. Work-Based Learning (WBL) allows students to build a bridge from adolescent roles in the classroom to adult roles in professional settings.

Students learn by observing and/or actually doing real work. Learning in the workplace or from industry professionals supports academic learning and promotes the development of broad transferable skills.

The New York City Department of Education has defined a sequenced continuum of WBL activities and experiences for all students that address Career Awareness, Career Exploration and Career Preparation. This is accomplished through a series of work-based classroom activities, workplace exposures, and community experiences over time. Classroom activities support and provide opportunities to reflect what’s learned in the workplace and community, and workplace learning experiences support the classroom curriculum. In addition, students are supported by and provided role models and guidance from adults in the school and in the workplace. Students are provided experiences that are commensurate with their knowledge, skills and abilities, and designed to support the acquisition of knowledge and skills. These experiences are also compatible with their age and stage of development.

Visit the Work-Based Learning Toolkit

Your One Stop Shop to design, implement and support quality Work-Based Learning activities for high-school students. The toolkit is aligned with the Domains of College and Career Readiness and is intended to support larger school-wide efforts of graduating students ready for postsecondary pathways and careers.

Work-Based Learning Toolkit

CTE Industry Scholars Program

The CTE Industry Scholars Program supports CTE high school students in advancing their post-secondary education and career aspirations through valuable work-based learning activities. The program is comprised of industry-specific internships and a variety of career activities aimed at helping CTE students apply their skills in authentic industry settings while gaining real-world work experience.

Internship Program
A competitive paid internship hosted by industry partner organizations.

Career Exploration Activities
Students benefit from career days, work readiness training, mock interviews, site visits, employer tours, and more. These activities are open to all CTE students.

Interested in hosting an intern or learning more about how your organization can get involved? 

Contact Treva Patton, Director of Work-Based Learning, at tpatton@schools.nyc.gov.

Participating Industries

The program connects students with industry partners from the following sectors:

  • Automotive and Transportation
  • Business and Finance
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Culinary
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Information Technology
  • Media, Technology, and Design

Bank of America CTE Summer Scholars Program

The Bank of America CTE Summer Scholars (CTESS) Program is an internship program that includes summer learning experiences and credentialing opportunities for rising juniors and seniors who participate in Information Technology, Software Engineering, Media, and Graphics CTE programs.

CTESS brings together four program components:

  • Work readiness training and support: Students participate in training to prepare for their internship. Throughout the summer, they also receive support to ensure they are maximizing their experiences.
  • Part-time Internships: For 3 days a week, students are placed in internships in a variety of companies aligned with their CTE field of study.
  • Youth Think Tank: For the remaining days of the week, students participate in a summer learning experience where they are challenged to address a challenge that their school or community faces.
  • Credentialing opportunities: Upon completion of the program, students take credential exams that will strengthen their skill sets and make them more competitive job and college applicants.

Participating Industries

The program connects students with industry partners from the following sectors:

  • Information Technology
  • Software Engineering
  • Media
  • Graphics

CareerReady NYC

Working over several years, a consortium of educators, employers, City officials, service providers, advocates, and private funders have developed CareerReady NYC—a shared commitment to helping all our youth reach adulthood ready for sustained success in the world of work.

CareerReady NYC aligns the components of the “public talent pipeline”—K-12 public schools, publicly administered workforce programs, and the CUNY system—within a coordinated system of academics, work-based learning experiences, and comprehensive supports. CareerReady NYC will furnish young New Yorkers with the skills, credentials, and experiences to thrive in the world of work, while ensuring a robust pipeline to fill the talent needs of local employers and fuel the city’s economic growth.

For more information, please visit the NYC Center for Youth Employment website:

NYC Center for Youth Employment