A continuum of work-based learning experiences, from career awareness and exploration to career preparation is incorporated into pathways and aligned with the industry focus of the pathway. Work-based learning is integrated with classroom learning, allowing students to reflect on and apply what they have learned and develop both technical and transferable employability skills. Work-based learning experiences along the continuum are increasingly personalized and aligned with specific industries and occupations.

Hawai‘i Work-Based Learning Continuum

The Hawai‘i Work-based Learning Continuum builds students’ academic skills, life skills and experience as they progress from learning ABOUT work to learning THROUGH and FOR work that connects to their career, college and community goals.

Building Students’ Academic, Life Skills, and Experiences

School-community partnerships ensure that Hawaii youth are prepared for their next steps after high school graduations throughout the education pipeline.


Awareness activities are one-time events that expose students to the wide range of career, college, and community options available to them.

Defined by:

  • One time interaction with business/community partner(s), often for a group of strudents
  • Designed primarily by adults to broaden the awareness of students to a wide variety of careers and occupations

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Exploration activities go beyond one-time experiences. They strengthen student understanding of the connection between classroom learning and “real-life” applications

Defined by:

  • Multiple interactions or rigorous one-time experiences with business/community partner(s) for a single student or small group
  • Personalized to connect to emerging student interests
  • An active student role in selecting and shpaing the experiences
  • Increased depth in a particular career field
  • Building the skills necessary for in-depth WBL

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Preparation activities give students extended, surprised opportunities to develop readiness skills for work and life.

Defined by:

  • Supervised direct interaction with business/community partners over time
  • Application of skills transferable to a variety of careers
  • Activities that have value beyond success in the classroom
  • Learning for student and benefit to business/community partner are equally valued

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Training opportunities prepare students for entry or advancement in specific careers or post-secondary degree programs

Defined by:

  • Monitored interaction with business/community partner(s) over extended period of time
  • Developed mastery of occupation-specific skills
  • Completion of certifications or other requirements of a specific range of occupations
  • Benefit to business/community partner and learning for student are valued

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Work-Based Learning Vision

1. K-12 students are more engaged and prepared for each step in their educations

2. CTE pathways prepare students equally for college and career, and increase the % of high school students that graduate with industry-recognized certificates and college credits

3. Increased rates of high school graduation, college enrollment, and degree completion rates

4. WBL is informed by real-time labor market information

5. Hawaiʻi employers are helping prepare exceptional, local employees in high-demand career fields

6. Students develop and demonstrate concrete “life skills” identified as crucial for postsecondary success

7. Students develop and demonstrate local and global leadership skills (HIDOE Nā Hopena A’o outcomes)

8. HIDOE meets school design goals of powerful applied learning practices aligned to career, college, and community success

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