Print Page

Work-Based Learning

Henderson County’s Career and Technical Education consists of three Work Based Learning Program opportunities: Apprenticeship , Internship, Shadowing, and Cooperative Education.


Welder weldingApprenticeship is one of the oldest methods of job training. This method is an industry-driven education and career training program based on recognized industry standards. It is a means by which employers address current and projected employment needs.

This program is a partnership among business, industry, education, North Carolina Department of Labor (DOL), parents and youth apprentices. Some apprenticeship characteristics are:

  • Use of a skilled journeyman to help instruct the apprentice.
  • Combination of classroom-related instruction with structured work-based learning.
  • Employment by an employer who has a direct need for trainees in the occupation.
  • Incremental pay scale that increases with skill and knowledge development.
  • Training of a highly skilled technician or craft person.
  • Appropriate for occupations that do not require a college degree but require a high level of skill and knowledge.
  • Registration by the North Carolina Department of Labor, Apprenticeship and Training Division. The Division provides free assistance to the employer and to the apprentice and certifies both the training program and the newly trained journeyman.
  • Application of high school apprenticeship hours and experience toward an adult apprenticeship leading to a completed journeyman certificate.
  • On-the-job training for each year of participation during high school.

The high school student can begin when he/she turns 16 years of age and is part of the high school apprenticeship program. For additional information, refer to North Carolina State Board of Education Policies for work-based learning methods receiving academic credit.


Students using computersInternships allow for additional development of career-technical competencies. Internships are an essential way for today’s youth to experience the value of work, develop pride in work, and mature personally. Many communities have opportunities for students to intern in an industry or to work with some community organization addressing a particular problem or need of the business/industry sector.

Internships allow students to observe and participate in daily operations, develop direct contact with job personnel, ask questions about particular careers, and perform certain job tasks. This activity is exploratory and allows the student to get hands-on experience in a number of related activities.

Possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the students, the staff, and the employment community. The teacher, student, and the business community jointly plan the organization, implementation, and evaluation of an internship, regardless of whether it is an unpaid or paid internship.


Employees collaborating around computerJob shadowing is an unpaid short term activity that exposes the student to the workplace. The student is allowed to observe an experienced skilled worker in an actual work setting. Job shadowing heightens student understanding of potential career opportunities and depicts a clear connection between the classroom and the workplace. The duration of this activity could be a half day or longer depending on the needs of the student and work place.

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education is a method of instruction where workforce development education instruction is combined with paid employment directly related to classroom instruction.