Work-Based Learning

work based learning banner

Work-Based Learning (WBL) allows students to apply classroom content in professional settings while gaining real-world experience. Together, the WBL coordinators curated the Classroom-2-Career initiative, which is designed to help SWC faculty infuse career readiness into the classroom.

Vision: Students who are inspired, prepared, and career ready

Mission: Providing life-changing learning opportunities that prepare every student for a successful career.

Graphic answering the question: How does Work Based Learning help our students?

How does Work Based Learning help our students?

  • Connects academic learning with real world experiences, making learning relevant
  • Enhances student motivation, retention, and academic success
  • Supports students in defining career goals
  • Give students practical experience and helps develop in-demand technical skills and career competencies

WBL Certification Course

Work-Based Learning (WBL) focuses on embedding career readiness into the classroom setting by connecting students with industry opportunities.  WBL offers students a unique classroom to career approach to learning by integrating the application of real world, hands-on experience.

This fully Online Work-Based Learning (WBL) Certificate Course is a 5-week asynchronous course that will be hosted in Canvas and taught by one of our Work Based Learning Coordinators at SWC. Faculty will have a chance to build and create WBL activities for their classrooms in collaboration with their peers. This course will be available to both part-time and full-time faculty.

Please see registration form for more details on dates, compensation information and registration confirmation: WBL Certificate Registration Interest Form (you will need to be logged into your SWC google account to gain access to the registration form.) Registration is limited to 15 faculty per cohort and registration fills very quickly. Participants are taken first come, first serve.

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WBL Certificate Registration Interest Form

Additional WBL Opportunity for Certificate Graduates

Faculty members who have taken our WBL Certificate Course any time between Fall 2020 and Fall 2021 are eligible for this new opportunity.

The purpose of this new opportunity is is to incorporate WBL into your syllabus and your classroom while also hearing from our students on how WBL has impacted their learning in the classroom. You can incorporate these 3 elements into your classroom either in Spring 2022, Summer 2022 or Fall 2022. If you are interested in this new opportunity, please fill out the google form below. You can also schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with a WBL coordinator to discuss this project more in depth.

Registration Link

Incorporate WBL Opportunities Into Your Syllabus





 WBL paragraph that can easily be incorporated into your class syllabus to highlight exciting WBL opportunities that are happening in your course. The WBL paragraph can easily be incorporated into your class syllabus to highlight exciting WBL opportunities that are happening in your course! We have provided this paragraph below for easy transfer (i.e. copy and paste) into your syllabus.



 Career possibilities in [insert field of study]: [Insert possible careers in field of study]

Work-based learning (WBL) allows students to apply classroom content in professional settings while gaining real-world experiences. These opportunities will provide you with a deeper, more engaging and relevant learning environment. This semester, I will be offering the following WBL activities in order to provide you with the opportunity to explore career options in [insert field of study].

[Insert work-based learning activities that are incorporated into your class here. Be sure to list any that may be for extra credit. Some examples of WBL assignments are job shadowing, informational interviews, guest speakers and workplace simulations.]

 Incorporating WBL Into Your Classroom at Every Level

WBL exists on a continuum that guides students through three stages: Career Awareness & Exploration, Career Preparation, and Career Training.

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Career Exploration

Career Awareness & Exploration activities is best done during introductory courses. Introductory Courses help students explore career options and increase their awareness of the realities of that field of study.

WBL activities appropriate to this beginning course level include: 

  • Informational Interviews
  • Guest/Industry speakers
  • Workplace/Company tours
  • Industry events

Additional Career Exploration Resource Document

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Career Preparation

At the Intermediate course level, students are stepping beyond exploration and stepping into a phase in which that are developing knowledge and skill building. This gives students the opportunity to apply transferable skills beyond the classroom.

 WBL activities, at this level of career preparation include:

  • Job Shadowing 
  • Mentorships 
  • Service Learning 
  • Volunteering 
  • School Based Enterprise 

Additional Career Preparation Resource Document

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Career Training

At the advanced, Capstone course level, there are exciting and transformative WBL opportunities available which always involve a direct interaction with an industry/career partner over time. 

WBL activities, at this level of career training include: 

  • Apprenticeships
  • Internships
  • On-the-job training
  • Career Related Competition

Additional Career Training Resource Document

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Meet The Team

At Southwestern College, each school has an assigned WBL coordinator to help connect you with career and work based learning resources and opportunities for both students and faculty.

Meet the team: Brandi Bass, Joanna Carrubba, Nakul Tiruviluamaia, Rachel Nead, Mark Lieberman, Genesis Lastrella-Quicho, Dean Jennifer Lewis, Charisse Winston, Cindy Pangelinan, Linne Wienke, Chanika Marsh and Victor Brown

WBL Testimonials

Photo of Maci Gerber, SWC Faculty

Meet Our Faculty!

 "I decided to incorporate WBL into my curriculum because it is something that I wish I was exposed to in high school and in my early college years. I think back to how unsure I felt in my major and I eventually changed paths completely as I entered my senior year of college. Many of our students do not have the financial privilege to change their minds again and again. It is our responsibility to empower students with the tools they need to gain a strong sense of what a career in their field of interest will be like in the real world."

- Maci Gerber

Photo of student Lena Rodriguez

Meet Our Student!

"It gave me experience in my fields that no one else in my fields has as an undergraduate and opened the door to me getting additional internships and now eventually, my current position as the Directors Intern at the Hammer Museum of Art. I have been told my experiences with archival work set me apart from other candidates because most are not willing to do that kind of tedious work."   

- Lena Rodriguez

Photo of Industry Professional, Tomas Munoz

Meet the Industy!

"I must tell you, the OSHA 30 in Continuing Ed has been a great class for me - I have learned valuable information which I will be able to apply to my current jobs. And last but not least I will getting a 30 Hour OSHA General Industry Standard Card, and a certificate. I recommend the OSHA 30 hour general Industry course to supervisory and non supervisory staff."

-Tomas Munoz