Work Based Learning Comes to Conestoga

Murray, NEB- Since the start of the school year, students have had the chance to go on a few field trips to work environments where they could learn on the job through a new opportunity at Conestoga High School. The program, called work based learning (WBL) seeks to connect students with potential employers by creating relationships and giving on the job experience. Jeff Brokaw, a business teacher at Conestoga is heading the program.

Brokaw described work based learning as, “an educational strategy that provides students with real life work experiences where they can apply what they’re learning in school, so their academic skills with their technical skills.”

So far, the program’s events have mostly been focused on trade and technical skills, taking students on field trips where they have engaged in activities such as woodworking or industrial robotics. As time goes on though, the scope is expected to expand to include other fields and also make the on the job training an opportunity that exists on a daily basis during school which would count for credit.

Brokaw stated that the idea is that, “students are working every day 7th and 8th hour, so instead of a senior release they have work based learning during those class periods where they leave school, work, get paid, and they’ll have reflection assignments through me. They’ll turn in their hours.” This opportunity would eventually be available to juniors and seniors in good standing. Currently Brokaw is developing and fine tuning it in preparation for a test run in the spring with a few seniors.

As a new program, work based learning has already been making an impact at Conestoga. As the school builds connections and creates more opportunities, it is sure to provide a unique and valuable experience for the students that it serves