Regional Office of Career & Technical Education


Work Based Learning

ROCTE Work Based Learning Program

Application Packet

Student Observation Form Link

Work Based Learning General Information and Rules/Criteria for Participation

Program Description

This competency based two year program exposes students to a variety of career pathways. Our goal is to partner with reputable businesses and industries to provide students with specialized hands-on training at various work sites while integrating high school curriculum. Students must be concurrently or previously enrolled in courses that relate to their chosen career path.

First Year: Job Shadowing

Students enrolled in this program can expect the following from their first year:

  Up to 3 days will be spent at work site(s) observing various areas. You will need to arrange to be gone from school and complete all coursework that is missed.

  You will follow all employee rules while you are shadowing.

  You are expected to dress appropriately for the job in which you will be shadowing.

  You will be required to complete and submit a student evaluation form for each day.

  At the conclusion of each day, you will be expected to send a thank you note to the people that were important to the success of your day.

Second Year: Internship (if applicable in your school)

         After completing the Job Shadowing portion of the program your Junior year, you will then be eligible to participate in the Internship if you should choose to pursue this opportunity.

         Internships require a minimum of 10 hours per week be spent at the job site performing various tasks relating to your chosen career area, as an employee. You will be treated as an employee, with all employee rules applying to you and your position.

         Unfortunately, this is not a paid internship. HOWEVER, you will be receiving high school credit for your experience (if allowed by your school).

         Please understand that while this is not a paid internship, you will be expected to dress appropriately and conduct yourself as an employee of the business.

Program Benefits

Students who participate in this program not only acquire skills leading to successful careers and receive high school credit for their training, but also have the opportunities for post-secondary training and employment. Students finish the program with a better understanding of their chosen career pathway, contacts for future employment, and a greater appreciation for learning at school and work.

Entrance Requirements:

Before a student can begin a work-based learning experience, it is essential that certain rules and regulations be strictly observed. The business partner is taking his/her time to train and guide the student through work experience in a specific career path. The student is preparing for the world of work and establishing a reputation and record that will follow him/her after graduation. Therefore it should be understood from the start that any student who does not take his/her work and responsibilities seriously or fails to abide by any of these rules and regulations or those of the business partner will be immediately terminated from the work-based learning experience and returned to the school classroom.

1.    To be eligible for and remain in the work-based learning experience, the following guidelines must be met:

a.    Be at least 16 years of age before the first day of the program

b.    Must maintain a C average with no class failures or incompletes.  Your transcripts will be reviewed.

c.    Have satisfactory school attendance

d.    Have no major discipline problems on file

e.    Be able to provide your own transportation, if no transportation is arranged through the school.

f.     Apply to the program by filling out the application form with all necessary signatures, meet the above criteria, and submit 2 teacher recommendation forms.

                                                  i.    Packet will include an Application Form, Transportation Waiver, and Parent/Guardian Advisory and Permission Form, and Photo Release.

                                                ii.    A separate Medical Packet and immunization records are required to be returned for those students interested in (human) medical careers

g.    The student must have an email address and provide that on the application. All communication from this point forward will take place by email including placement notification and instructions.

2.    If a student cannot report to the training site for any reason, they must call their coordinator. This is in addition to calling or reporting in to your school.

Please return your completed application packet to your school counselor or to the Regional Office of Career and Technical Education at


Attn: Taylor Cook

2201 Toronto Road

Springfield, IL 62712

Other contact information is as follows:

Taylor Cook, WBL Coordinator


Phone: 217-529-3716

What is Work Based Learning?  

The Work Based Learning Program (WBL) sponsored by ROCTE is an opportunity for students in their Junior and Senior years of high school to explore career opportunities and gain valuable work experience.   

Through a series of job shadowing experiences, and possibly internships, students gain more information about career areas of interest and are able to make better decisions when planning for college and/or their future careers. It is our goal that students will use the information gained from their experiences to help ensure a smooth transition from high school to post-secondary education or the workplace and have successful careers.  

With participation in this program, students begin to make the connection between their school work and how it applies to life outside of school.  They also begin to understand what may need to be done to better prepare for their careers.  

 How do Students Benefit from Work Based Learning?  

Students in the WBL program benefit in numerous ways. Here are just a few:  

  • Exposure to a variety of careers
  • Relates school work to "real-life"
  • Hands-on training and experience
  • Can earn high school credit (if applicable) through internships during Senior Year  
  • Opportunity to add experiences to resumes  
  • Potential contacts for employment and post-secondary education
  • Connection between school and work
  • Self-confidence gained from school and work

 How does the School and Community benefit from Work Based Learning?  

As many of our schools are the focal point of their small, rural communities, this program is beneficial in many ways:  

  • Helps to motivate students to be productive members of society
  • Enhances the employment of youth
  • Helps to expand the pool of qualified applicants for job vacancies
  • Provides a link for businesses to   interact with schools
  • Increased enrollment in Career and Technical Education courses
  • May help improve school attendance and reduce the drop-out rate
  • Provides a sense of pride to the student and the community

 How do partnering businesses benefit from Work Based Learning?  

  • Businesses that partner with this program will benefit in the following ways:  
  • Better pool of applicants for future employees
  • Exposure of businesses and industries to goal minded students
  • Introduce students/future employees to work place ethics
  • Earlier introduction to possible long-term employees
  • Students/future employees gain better communications skills
  • Motivation of students to become productive members of society

 How can you get involved?


Students who wish to enroll in the WBL program may do so when the ROCTE WBL coordinator visits your school with the full presentation or by contacting your counselor. All necessary information and forms can be found at the links above.


The ROCTE office is continually seeking new businesses to partner with our program and become student hosts and mentors. If you would like more information about partnering with our program, please contact Mary Jo Wood, Director, at (217) 529-3716 or by email For a complete listing of our business partners, please refer to the WBL brochure above.

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