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Benchmark 5: Work-Based Learning

Purpose of Work-Based Learning

The T-STEM academy must offer students a variety of relevant, high-skill work-based learning experiences at every grade level that respond to student interest and regional employer needs contributing to students earning STEM-focused industry certifications and credentials.

Design Elements

All T-STEM academies must implement and meet the following requirements:

  1. The T-STEM academy shall collaborate with the Local Workforce Development Board to define local workforce needs in STEM careers
  2. The T-STEM academy shall have current, signed MOUs with business/industry partners that are reviewed annually and clearly articulate the requirements outlined in this benchmark
  3. The T-STEM academy shall provide:
    1. Appropriate work-based learning for students in the T-STEM academy at every grade level that includes career awareness, career exploration, career preparation, and career experience
    2. Policies and protocols to make work-based learning a viable method for helping students meet academic standards
    3. Work-based learning experiences that are well-planned and properly sequenced to provide a progression of learning experiences for students—each one building upon the last
    4. Work-based learning may include, but is not limited to: facility visits, guest speakers, presentations, career information, career fairs, informational interviewing, job shadowing, internships, mentoring, and apprenticeships
  4. The T-STEM academy ensures that students:
    1. Understand the connection between their work-based learning and academics
    2. Are provided opportunities to reflect on their work experiences
    3. Demonstrate their learning in writing, portfolio, presentation, digital or by other mean


  1. All products shall be published on the T-STEM academy website and be made available to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) upon request.
  2. All products shall be maintained in accordance with local retention policy.


  1. Documentation of appropriate work-based learning experiences available for students at all grade levels (6-12)
  2. Current dated regional high demand STEM occupation list
  3. Aggregate data describing T-STEM student participation in work-based learning experiences as well as percentage of students earning industry certification and credentials by type
  4. Samples of student artifacts such as writings, portfolios, presentations, or links to digital content


2020 Summit: We are the Solution! How a Partnership between School Districts and their Local Workforce Solutions Office Can Impact Students

A session from the 2020 CCRSM Leadership Summit. Workforce Solutions will share their holistic approach to impacting schools and communities and La Joya ISD will share their strategies on how they have embedded Workforce Solutions services in their schools.

A Systematic and Supportive Approach to Place-Based Student Research Projects

A look at student research projects established through programs like FFA and 4-H.

Partnerships Provide an Apprenticeship Experience

A look at apprenticeship opportunities established through a collaborative partnership with the local bar association, local industry, and innovative, non-profit businesses.

Industry Partner Menu

This Industry Partner Engagement Menu has been adapted to provide options for organizations to engage with students through various outreach methods.

Industry Partner Guide

This Industry Partner Engagement Guide has been adapted to provide options for organizations to engage with students through various outreach methods.

Work-based Learning Initiative: Catalyzes Rural Economic Growth

A look at the work-based learning initiatives in a rural setting.