What Is Work Based Learning?

Our goal for our students that participate in the Work Based Learning Program is to provide them with not only the curriculum to succeed but also with the hands-on and on-site experience they will need to succeed in the workforce in their projected field.

Benefits for Students

  • Establishment of a clear connection between school and work.
  • Improvement of their postgraduation employment opportunities.
  • Assessment and understanding of the expectations of the workplace.
  • Establishment of professional contacts for future employment.
  • Expansion and refinement of their technical skills.
  • Participation in authentic, job-related tasks.
  • Observation of the demeanor and procedures of workplace professionals.
  • Increased motivation/appreciation for staying in school.
  • Awareness of postsecondary education opportunities.

Benefits for Employers

  • A pool of skilled and motivated potential future employees.
  • Improved employee retention.
  • Reduced training/recruitment costs.
  • Developmental opportunities for a current workforce.
  • Development of new projects with student assistance.
  • Involvement in the curriculum development process.
  • An opportunity to provide community service.

Benefits for Schools

  • Expanding the curriculum and learning facilities.
  • Exposing students to state-of-the-art equipment, technology and techniques.
  • Meeting the needs of diverse stu dent populations.
  • Individualizing instruction for students.
  • Promoting and fostering faculty interaction with the business community.
  • Enhancing faculty/staff development efforts.
  • Making education more relevant and valuable to students.
  • Increasing student retention rates in schools.
  • Reducing overcrowding by utilizing off-campus learning sites.

NC Community College WBL Brochure

WBL Brochure


Grading is based on the students performance at their job along with quality and completion of the assingned MLO's. Within any job an employee is expected to carry themselves in a professional manner. Examples of this would be attendance, promptness, appearance, manners and knowledge in the position.

Along with job performannce a big percentage of your grade will be based on how well the student completes their Measurable Learning Objectives (MLO). These Measurable Learning Objectives are statements which clearly and precisely describe what a student intends to accomplish during the work experience. Credit is granted to the student not for working but for learning that occurs as a result of working. MLO's are the most effective method to assess the extent and value of this type of learning.

How many MLO's are required per student? That depends on how many credit hours are intended to be earned during the semester. For one credit hour the student must work 160 hours and complete one MLO. For two credit hours the student must work 320 hours and complete two MLO's. For three credit hours the student must work 480 hours and complete three MLO's.

Click here to learn more about Measurable Learning Objectives. 


In order to participate in the Work Based Learning program you must maintain atleast a 2.0 GPA and fullfill any required prerequisites. You must have at least one credit of major elective hours remaining. You must also be enrolled in a program of study that either requires WBL or offeres WBL as a major elective.

While Work Based Learning is considered a course it has to be approved by the program head and your advisor. They can also help you job search and put you in touch with employers in your field. Please contact your academic advisor to see if this is something you qualify for.

You must also go through the typical hiring process per your employer. Employers are not required to pay WBL students. However, some do.

Work-Based Learning Eligible Programs:

  • Accounting
  • Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology
  • Automotive Systems Technology
  • Bioprocess Technology
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Technologies Integration
  • Criminal Justice Technology
  • Cullinary Arts
  • Electrical Systems Technology
  • Electronic Engineering Technology
  • Entrepreeurship
  • Global Logistics Technology
  • Human Services
  • Human Services/Substance Abuse
  • Human Services/Gerontology
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Mechatronics
  • Networking Tecchnology
  • Office Administration
  • Paralegal Technology
  • Web Technology
  • Welding


Placement and Employment Procedures

Vance Granville Community College and the cooperating employer agree to observe placement procedures and employment practices which conform to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations (including nondiscrimination toward any participant or employee because of race, color, religion, sex, veteran's status, handicap, or national origin).

College Responsibilities

  • Assess the students skills, capacities, and career objecctive.
  • Refer the student to an employer of interest.
  • Provide consultation and coordination between the student, the employer, and the college,
  • Approve and evaluate the student's MLO's for each training period.
  • Make arrangements for and conduct on-site visits with the WBL students and their immediate supervisor.
  • Determine a grade for the WBL experience and award college credit based on the students performance and completion of required documentation.

Employer Responsibilities

  • Provide the minimum of hours required based on course credit assigned.
  • Provide an orientation of the student to the rules, regulations, written policies, dress code, company expectations,and/or other important information necessary to employees. This includes background checks, drug testing, and other standard procedures required of all new employees.
  • Identify a qualified employee to serve as the immediate supervisor who will asist the studenet in developing and evaluating the Measurable Learning Objectives that will be related to the students academic studies, model a professional manner, and provide timely feedback to the student reguarding his/her job performance.
  • Permit on-site visits by a college representative.
  • Notify the Work Based Learning Office at the college atleast one week before any action that might result in the termination or change of employment status of the student.
  • Encourage the student to continue his or her higher education to completion.
  • Compensate WBL student at a level consistent with regular employees in a similar training situation.
  • Provide Worker's Compensation Liability Insurance for a WBL student during the entire work experience period.
  • Evaluate the student's performance during on-site visits and at the end of the semester/term.
  • Adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Give permission to use employer's name in WBL marketing/promotional materials.
  • Provide the student with a supervised, progressive, and meaningful work experience.
  • Assure a safe and healthy work environment.

Student Responsibilities

  • Dress in a professional manner appropriate for the job placement.
  • Report punctually and regurlarly for work.
  • Strive to do the best possible job for the employer.
  • Adhere, at all times, to the employer's work rules and regulations. Failure to do so may result in termination from the worksite and WBL program.
  • Notify the employer promptly if unable to work for any reason.
  • Develop Measurable Learning Objectives in conjuction with the immediate supervisor and WBL instructor during the first two weeks of the work experience.
  • Be covered in adequate accident insurance.
  • Inform the college's Financial Aid Office of their WBL employment and report wages earned during the WBL work experience, if appropriate.
  • Maintain an attitude of helpfulness and goodwill.
  • Abide by the college's WBL rules and regulations and immediately report to the Work-Based Learning Instructor any problems occurring on the job or changes in job duties and responsibilities.


Measurable Learning Objectives 

What are Measurable Learning Objectives (MLO)?

Measurable Learning Objectives refers to a set of statements which clearly and precisely describe what a student intends to accomplish during the work experience.

Why have Measurable Learning Objectives?

Work-Based Learning is an academic program. Credit is granted not for working but for the learning that occurs as a result of working. Measurable Learning Objectives are the most effective method to assess the extent and value of this type of learning.

How to develop and write Measurable Learning Objectives?

Begin by reviewing the job duties and responsibilities with the supervisor at the work site. Note areas where you can gain or develop new skills, increase your knowledge, or improve your work ethic. It is important that you avoid broad general statements and confine your objectives to those that can be accomplished during a single semester/term.

Typically, an MLO combines four major variables in a single sentence. The variables or components are activity, forecast, time frame, and evaluation. The activity is the desired outcome or expected achievement, the forecast is the proposed level of accomplishment, the time frame is the expected completion date, and the evaluation is the stated method of measurement.

An important element in the development of an MLO is the action word. There are two such action words used in the example below. The words are "design" and "build". Other action words are demonstrate, describe, develop, draw, discuss, operate, perform, summarize, recognize, etc.