Work Based Learning Expands Learners Skills, Connections

In our long-running Work-Based Learning (WBL) program, young adults aged 18- to 21 meet daily for classroom-based learning related to a work-based curriculum to explore a variety of jobs and practice the skills needed to be successful with them.

The program’s teachers work carefully to match students with work-based learning opportunities in the community that support their interests and give them opportunities to hone their interpersonal and job skills. For many of the students, each experience they rotate through is an opportunity to learn about jobs they didn’t know about but may want to pursue.

The program’s centralized location at the Capital Region BOCES’ administrative offices at 900 Watervliet Shaker Road in Albany offers ready access to a variety of job sites located in the surrounding community and within the BOCES, itself.

Throughout the school year, students explore a variety of career opportunities and practice the skills needed to be successful with them. In some cases, students’ particular interests and skills can be matched with the work of one of the program’s business or community partners.

Recently, student Antonio DiSanto had this sort of “tailor-made” opportunity, working with classmates to prepare portable devices the Northeastern Regional Information Center’s (NERIC) team uses to detect and manage security-related issues within the school districts they support.

“Antonio’s career goal has always been to work with computers. Last year he did not have many opportunities to work with computers in our program, except for some small projects in our classroom,” said Brent Pierce, lead teacher in the Work-Based Learning program.

“I like that I have been able to work with computers—and hope to be able to do more of this by the end of the school year,” added DiSanto. “The more I can do, the more I can learn about and the more skills I am going to have.”

Pierce said the experience has allowed DiSanto to work independently and to also work on his leadership skills—another goal he’d set for himself—as a team leader on this project.

“Overall, this project and some other computer related projects we have done with [the NERIC team] have given Antonio many unique experiences that he will be able to add to a resume, boost his confidence and hopefully help him land a job in a computer related field,” said Pierce.

Don Harple, NERIC information security officer, had this to say about working with DiSanto and the other students through this collaboration: “Antonio’s participation is helping move my bigger project along faster. Having the students focused on preparing the hardware is letting my staff focus on the software side of the deployment.”

Thank You to Our Business and Community Partners

Community and business support our students’ classroom learning and offer meaningful workplace exploration and job experiences. Our business and community partners include:

  • Capital Region BOCES/Career and Technical Education Center – Albany
  • Concerned for the Hungry in Schenectady
  • Metro Ford
  • Northeastern Regional Information Center (NERIC)
  • Plato’s Closet
  • Price Chopper
  • Regional Food Bank
  • Toys for Tots

Learn About Our Special Education Programs

The Work-Based Learning program is designed to help students learn how to work well, be employable, independent and successful, and to give back to their community. Learn more about Work-Based Learning and our other Special Education programming for students, kindergarten through age 21.