Work-Based Learning (WBL) is the new name for Cooperative Education. WBL provides students the opportunity to take knowledge and skills learned in the pathway classroom and to apply and test that learning in the workplace. The WBL course will foster self-directed learning; strengthen the development of core academic skills through application in authentic situations; allow students to explore career options; enhance communication skills, leadership, and problem-solving; and contribute to community economic development. The student will benefit from the WBL course due to the school’s ability to meet the needs of a diverse student population.
Mississippi Department of Education looks at WBL as the course that will increase student engagement, strengthen achievement, and transition youth from school to college or the workforce. The state is experiencing a rapid increase in economic development. New industries are moving into the state almost daily, thereby changing the skill requirements for entry into the workforce. Occupations that require advanced occupational skills are among the fastest-growing careers as well as some of the highest paid. Technology has changed the workplace dramatically. Not only has productivity increased, but so has the quality of products being produced.