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Work-Based Learning

In an increasingly complex global economy, all students must be prepared with intellectual, technical, and social skills needed to compete and contribute meaningfully to their communities. For most, this will mean completing some postsecondary education or training; for all, it will mean learning about themselves and the world of work.

Work-based learning (WBL) is a proactive approach to bridging the gap between high school and high-demand, high-skill careers in Tennessee. Students build on classroom-based instruction to develop employability skills that prepare them for success in postsecondary education and future careers. Through experiences like internships, apprenticeships, and paid work experience, juniors and seniors (16 years or older) may earn high school credit for capstone WBL experiences. WBL coordinators are educators who are trained and certified by the department to coordinate these WBL experiences for students.

WBL Email Updates

For important WBL updates, please sign up for the email list.

WBL Requirements

  • WBL Policy Guide: This policy guide was updated in May 2017 to incorporate changes for the 2017-18 school year. For a brief description of these changes, see the 2017-18 WBL Policy Guide FAQ.
  • Step-by-Step Guide to the WBL Student Placement Portal - Instructions and timeline for entering student information into the WBL Student Placement Portal. During the 2017-18 school year, this reporting is required for two courses: WBL: Career Practicum (6105) and Nursing Education (6000). 
  • Reporting Requirements and Checklist for 2016-17 - An overview and checklist of the reporting steps required for the 2017-18 school year.
  • WBL Student Exit Survey - This survey is a part of the reporting requirements for students completing year-long and spring term WBL capstone placements in either Nursing Education (6000) or WBL: Career Practicum (6105). Students completing other WBL capstone courses are encouraged, but not required, to participate.

WBL Certification Training

 WBL certification training is a two-day intensive introduction to WBL for teachers and CTE directors who are not familiar with the new state requirements. Training addresses WBL Career Practicum course standards, paperwork and reporting requirements, WBL policies, and strategies to launch or improve your WBL program. This training will certify new teachers and recertify returning teachers. 


WBL Certification Training registration will be processed on a first-come, first-served process until all available spaces are full. Registration will close two weeks prior to the training dates.

For questions about WBL training and certification, please email us at

Spring 2018 WBL Certification Trainings

  • Jan. 25-26, Middle TN Bridgestone Learning Center, 725 Bridgestone Drive, Morrison, 37357
  • Feb. 1-2, East TN Loudon County Technology Center, 4380 Harrison Rd, Lenoir City, 37771
  • Feb. 8-9, West TN SCS Teaching and Learning Academy, 2485 Union Ave, Memphis, 38112

WBL Professional Learning Communities

Thanks to the valuable feedback received from work-based learning (WBL) coordinators as well as a recommendation of the WBL Leadership Council, changes to the WBL recertification process are currently being implemented. These changes will impact teachers in the current school year: