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Work-Based Learning

In an increasingly complex global economy, all students must be prepared with intellectual, technical, and social skills needed to compete and contribute meaningfully to their communities. For most, this will mean completing some postsecondary education or training; for all, it will mean learning about themselves and the world of work.

Work-based learning (WBL) is a proactive approach to bridging the gap between high school and high-demand, high-skill careers in Tennessee. Students build on classroom-based instruction to develop employability skills that prepare them for success in postsecondary education and future careers. Through experiences like internships, apprenticeships, and paid work experience, juniors and seniors (16 years or older) may earn high school credit for capstone WBL experiences. WBL coordinators are educators who are trained and certified by the department to coordinate these WBL experiences for students.

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WBL Requirements

WBL Certification/Recertification Networking Event

Completion of WBL Certification and Recertification training is required for all educators listed as the teacher of record for WBL: Career Practicum, WBL: Transitions, Nursing Education, and/or Clinical Internship courses. WBL certificates must be renewed every two years.

This training is an intensive one-day introduction to WBL for teachers and CTE Directors who are not familiar with the new Tennessee State Board of Education Requirements for WBL or anyone in need of recertifying an existing WBL certificate. The WBL Certification/Recertification Networking Events address WBL Career Practicum standards, documentation and reporting requirements, WBL policies that apply to all CTE capstone courses, and strategies for launching or improving upon a quality WBL program. This training will certify teachers who are new to WBL and recertify returning WBL coordinators who need to become familiar with the updated WBL framework. Networking Events are now paperless. To access the materials for your event, you must bring a laptop, tablet, or other connected device.

The department is currently seeking five (5) certified work-based learning coordinators, CTE directors, principals, and/or school counselors to serve on the department’s Work-Based Learning (WBL) Implementation Specialist Team. This team serves as an advisory body in support of the state’s redesigned WBL model.


The WBL Implementation Specialist Team will be composed of representatives from each of Tennessee’s three Grand Divisions. Individuals serving on this team must commit to a five-month term and have experience supervising or facilitating WBL student placements. If selected to serve on the team, members will receive stipend payments which will be contingent upon full participation throughout the contract, which include the following deliverables:

·       Participate in an initial orientation training, and up to two additional trainings/orientation meetings to synthesize data as needed

 ·    Conduct three WBL Program Visits within the Implementation Specialist’s Grand Division, collecting sample student portfolios, documenting challenges identified by WBL coordinators, and ensuring accuracy of WBL Student Placement Portal entries

·       Complete a WBL Program Visit debrief and summary report after every WBL Program Visit

·       Complete up to two WBL Student Placement Portal Analysis Reports

·       Identify promising practices during each WBL Program Visit, and provide follow-up communications with the Director of WBL & Industry Engagement

·       Create a WBL Best Practices Summary Report at the conclusion of all WBL Program Visits to be reviewed by the Director of WBL & Industry Engagement

·       Attend monthly WBL Implementation Specialist conference calls/meetings

·       Set a strong example through employment of robust consultation techniques

·       Develop targeted professional development activities for WBL Certification and Recertification Networking Events to address specific areas of need identified during WBL Program Visits


For consideration, please complete the survey portion of the application, and compose a letter of intent to be uploaded within the survey by Friday, December 6, 2019.


Criteria for Letter of Intent:

Please submit a response for each of the questions below in 250 words or less:

1.       Why do you want to be a member of the WBL Implementation Specialist Team?

2.       What are the biggest challenges facing WBL programs today, and how you would address them as a member of the team?

3.       What do you hope to accomplish upon completion of your term as a member of the WBL Implementation Specialist Team?


Applicants will be notified whether or not they advance to the interview portion of the application process by Friday, December 13, 2019.


For additional details about the WBL Implementation Specialist position, please feel free to email Matthew Spinella at