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Work-based Learning

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Work-based learning is designed to advance the achievement of student’s postsecondary, career and employment goals through planned, structured learning experiences where they can develop and apply academic, technical, and essential skills.[1] 

CCRI’s Title III grant emphasizes the importance of work-based learning for our students in creating Rhode Island’s workforce. We must define how we conceptualize work-based learning at CCRI. Borrowing from the Governor’s Workforce Board (GWB) definition of work-based learning from 2018, this definition will be used as a guide for including and promoting work-based learning throughout CCRI courses and programs.

The list below contains ways work-based learning can be incorporated. New, creative methods are welcome, and should always be considered.

  • Internships: a student acts as a trainee in an organization to gain experience, closely supervised by the employer. Can be paid or unpaid. Internships are generally at least 120 hours long.
  • Part-time or full-time jobs: paid positions related to their field of study where students apply their academic knowledge and gain hands-on experience. This is often connected to college work through formal reflection, or a discussion seminar.
  • Clinical rotations and practicums: often in health fields, students have hands-on experiences while supervised by a professional.
  • Industry projects: a project on any topic or issue facing an organization, done in coordination with and with guidance from the organization. This can be an individual or group project. Students can act as “consultants” on a particular problem or issue facing an organization.
  • Shadowing: students follow a professional in the industry “on the job” for a set period to learn about the job and industry; often in conjunction with Q&A sessions and reflective writing.
  • Case studies with businesses: industry professionals working with a class on a real-life situation the business faced, how it was solved, and how students would approach it.
  • Visits and tours of businesses: behind-the-scenes tours of organizations related to the field of study, often in conjunction with Q&A sessions and reflective writing.
  • Service learning: students completing community service with an organization, paired with reflective writing on the connections between their experience and the academic goals of the student.
  • Apprenticeship: highly-formal job training experience that involves studying with a master of the trade on the job.
  • Performances: students participating in performances and productions, demonstrating skills necessary to their field learned in class.
  • Capstone: students complete a  capstone project or course and apply the knowledge and skills gained through the program coursework and industry partner.

Click here for Work-Based Learning at CCRI Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have additional questions about work-based learning, please submit the form below or reach out to Beth Anish at [email protected] or Liz Giordano at [email protected]


[1] Governor’s Workforce Board, “Defining Work-based Learning Activities and Standards.” January 18, 2018