Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning is designed to advance the achievement of students' postsecondary, career and employment goals through planned, structured learning experiences where they can develop and apply academic, technical, and essential skills. Many courses have work-based learning incorporated in the curriculum, see examples below of how this may be imbedded in academic programs and coursework. These experiences can help students confirm career choices, build credible work experience, provide opportunities to network, and gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Students can also earn academic credit for an internship or job by taking the Cooperative Work Experience seminar. These seminars are taken in conjunction with a field (work) placement, see Cooperative Work Experience I (LIBA 1010) and Cooperative Work Experience II (LIBA 1020).

JAA students are encouraged to talk to their academic advisor about transferability of Cooperative Work Experience credits. Alternately, students can choose to participate in internships without academic credit to build experience in their field. For more information, call Career Services at 401-825-2322. 

Examples of work-based learning experiences:

  • 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.