Lunch & Learns


Lunch and Learns are short, focused, 30-45 minute sessions focused around a career readiness, career exploration or workplace experience related topic.  They are meant to be informal, combining presentations of information with conversations and exploration of interesting content related to the classroom and workplace experiences in which the students are engaged.  Lunch and learns can be teacher, business/industry professional or student-led. 


  • Lunch and Learn sessions offer a unique opportunity for students to interact with a key individual to learn more about their career, their business and/or the path they took to become successful.
  • Students have the opportunity to eat together and engage in conversation in a non-threatening environment that promotes learning.
  • Students develop communication skills of questioning and listening while engaging in conversation with the presenter.
  • Students learn about careers and the requirements for success from actual individuals engaged in the occupation.
  • A large number of students can benefit from one session.

Success Factors

  • Lunch and learn sessions must be well advertised, highlighting the presenter and his/her credentials.
  • Only encourage students who have an interest in the career area represented by the presenter to attend the session.
  • Provide lunch where possible and keep it “kid friendly” – food that students would enjoy.
  • Have a discussion with students about how to ask appropriate questions.
  • Discuss appropriate behavior with the students to make a positive impression on the presenter.
  • Provide information about the business the presenter represents for students to research prior to the presentation.
  • Have a worksheet prepared for students to take notes during the presentation and questioning.
  • Lunch and learns can be a great predecessor to job shadow experiences at the presenter’s business.



Pre-apprenticeship services and programs are designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in Registered Apprenticeship programs. These programs have a documented partnership with at least one Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor and together, they expand the participant’s career pathway opportunities with industry-based training coupled with classroom instruction.


Pre-apprenticeship training is a great way for employers/sponsors to:

  • Streamline the recruitment process
  • Pre-screen a qualified, job-ready apprentice pool
  • Diverse pool of prepared candidates
  • Align training with apprenticeship standards
  • Increase retention rates for registered apprenticeship participants
  • Quality control over preparatory training

Pre-apprenticeship training is a great way for participants to:

  • Explore and learn about exciting careers
  • Qualify to meet the minimum standards for selection to a Registered Apprenticeship program
  • Benefit from classroom and technology-based training
  • Get a start on career-specific training with viable career pathway opportunities
  • Build your literacy, math, English, and work-readiness skills employers desire
  • Advance into a Registered Apprenticeship program

Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors can collaborate with and support pre-apprenticeship programs by:

  • Collaborating on assessment, curriculum and preparatory training
  • Helping to set quality standards
  • Helping to establish competency models and training goals
  • Considering direct entry and advance placement agreements
  • Developing memoranda of understanding

Success Factors

Employers/sponsors can support pre-apprenticeship programs by:

  • Articulating eligibility requirements and qualifications
  • Serving on advisory committees
  • Offering guidance and expertise
  • Outlining industry standards
  • Sharing state-of-the-art technology

Characteristics of quality pre-apprenticeship programs

Quality pre-apprenticeship programs contribute to the development of a diverse and skilled workforce by preparing participants to meet the basic qualifications for entry into one or more Registered Apprenticeship programs. Through a variety of unique designs and approaches, pre-apprenticeship programs can be adapted to meet the needs of differing populations being trained, the various employers and sponsors they serve, and specific opportunities within the local labor market.

The pre-apprenticeship quality framework

Pre-apprenticeship is defined by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) as a program or set of strategies designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program and has a documented partnership with at least one, if not more, Registered Apprenticeship program(s). A quality pre-apprenticeship program is one that incorporates the following elements:

  • Approved Training and Curriculum. Training and curriculum based on industry standards and approved by the documented Registered Apprenticeship partner(s) that will prepare individuals with the skills and competencies needed to enter one or more Registered Apprenticeship program(s);
  • Strategies for Long-Term Success. Strategies that increase Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for under-represented, disadvantaged or low-skilled individuals, such that, upon completion, they will meet the entry requirements, gain consideration, and are prepared for success in one or more Registered Apprenticeship program(s) including the following:
    • Strong recruitment strategies focused on outreach to populations under-represented in local, state, and national Registered Apprenticeship programs;
    • Educational and pre-vocational services that prepare individuals to meet the entry requisites of one or more Registered Apprenticeship programs (e.g. specific career and industry awareness workshops, job readiness courses, English for speakers of other languages, Adult Basic Education, financial literacy seminars, math tutoring, etc. ); and
    • Assists in exposing participants to local, state and national Registered Apprenticeship programs and provides direct assistance to participants applying to those programs;
  • Access Access to Appropriate Support Services. Facilitates access to appropriate support services during the pre-apprenticeship program and a significant portion of the Registered Apprenticeship program;
  • Promotes Greater Use of Registered Apprenticeship to Increase Future Opportunities. To support the ongoing sustainability of the partnership between pre-apprenticeship providers and Registered Apprenticeship sponsors, these efforts should collaboratively promote the use of Registered Apprenticeship as a preferred means for employers to develop a skilled workforce and to create career opportunities for individuals;
  • Meaningful Hands-on Training that does not Displace Paid Employees. Provides hands-on training to individuals in a simulated lab experience or through volunteer opportunities, when possible, neither of which supplants a paid employee but accurately simulates the industry and occupational conditions of the partnering Registered Apprenticeship sponsor(s) while observing proper supervision and safety protocols; and
  • Facilitated Entry and/or Articulation. When possible, formalized agreements exist with Registered Apprenticeship sponsors that enable individuals who have successfully completed the pre-apprenticeship program to enter directly into a Registered Apprenticeship program and/or include articulation agreements for earning advanced credit/placement for skills and competencies already acquired.
Training and Employment Notice

Training and Employment Notice


Training and Employment Notice 13-12, Defining a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program and Related Tools and Resources, United States Department of Labor, Employment Training Administration

Click on the .pdf file to view and download the Training and Employment Notice.

Scott Asmus
Job Training Program Coordinator
Tel: (402) 471-9928

School-Based Enterprises


A school-based enterprise is a simulated or actual business usually conducted on the school site as component of a CTE course.  Students create and operate an economically viable venture that replicates a specific business or industry and generates revenue for the CTSO or school.  School-based enterprises are activities through which students produce or provide goods or services for sale or for use by people other than themselves. 


The purpose is to assist students in acquiring work experience related to their chosen career pathway.  School-based enterprises are often provided in communities without a sufficient number of businesses or industry to provide student employment experiences.

Related Instruction

Students must be currently enrolled in the sponsoring teacher’s CTE class.

Student Qualifications

The student must be:

  • Approved for participation by the related CTE teacher. 
  • In grades 9 –12.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Students comply with the rules and regulations of the school-based enterprise. 
  • Parents/Guardians approve and encourage student participation in the school-based enterprise.  They agree to provide transportation to and from the School-Based Enterprise if applicable.
  • Career and Technical Education Teachers leads in developing an appropriate school-based enterprise. They provide supervision during the school-based enterprise and counsel the student regarding his/her job performance.  They determine the student’s final grade and reinforce work-based learning experiences with related classroom instruction.

Credits Earned

No credit is earned except as an integrated component of a CTE course.


Hour/Supervision Requirements      

Hours are facilitated by the sponsoring Career and Technical Education teacher. Supervision will be performed by the CTE teacher.

Insurance Coverage  

All students should show proof of current health insurance coverage, if applicable.  If the student must drive in conjunction with the school-based enterprise, he/she must have a valid driver license and provide proof of automobile liability coverage.

Nebraska Guide to School-Based Enterprises

Download the guide.

Rule 47 Academy Internships


In 2012, the Nebraska Unicameral passed legislation requiring the Nebraska Department of Education to establish quality standards and operational guidelines for career academy programs in Nebraska secondary schools. The intent is to ensure quality career academy programs across the state and to establish an evaluative process to measure effectiveness of career academies.

These regulations, often referred to as Rule 47, define a career academy program as: 

A sequence of credit-bearing academic and career technical courses which reflect a Career Cluster selected in response to local, regional or state employment needs and demand for expertise.

In developing Rule 47, the Nebraska Department of Education researched best practices from across the nation. In addition, the requirements addressed in Rule 47 are based on the work of the National Career Academy Coalition and their National Standards of Practice. Rule 47 does require the Career Academy to conduct work-based learning that includes but is not limited to:

  • Internships or workplace experiences
  • Apprenticeships
  • Job Shadow
  • Interactions with business and industry

Purpose/Objective: Career Exploration/Development

Career academies are designed to prepare students for both college and careers. They are schools within schools that link students with peers, teachers, and community partners in a structured environment that fosters academic success.  Integrating workplace experiences into the career academy provides the needed real-world application of the academic and technical knowledge and skill gained through the academy program.

This Guide explains the many different types of workplace experiences that can be implemented in a Rule 47 Approved Career Academy program.



An internship is a highly structured, time-limited career preparation activity in which students are placed at a workplace for a defined period of time to participate in and observe work firsthand within a given industry. Internships often allow students to rotate through a number of departments and job functions. Internships are paid work experiences.

Purpose/Objective:  Career Exploration

As an “extension” of what a student has learned, internships have specific objectives to be reached that augment a career and technical education program or academic coursework. Internships are general offered to 11th and 12th grade students or students in postsecondary education. The length of the internship is based on individual objectives that need to be defined in the training agreement between the business/employer and the school.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development manages an internship program called InternNE. This unique program helps students find paid internships in Nebraska businesses. The program connects high school and college students and employers from across the state, providing a unique opportunity for them to co-invest in the future. Interns gain valuable business experience that will help them in future careers, while successful internships help businesses develop tomorrow’s leaders.

Internships create lasting connections between students and the region; more than 50% of interns become full-time employees at their place of internship, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Guidebook for Successful Internships

Guidebook for Successful Internships

Guidebook for Successful Internships

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development has developed a Guidebook to provide information on creating an engaging internship for students as well as an effective program for the business.  This useful guide provides the needed information for a school and business to create a meaningful internship program.

The Guidebook also includes sample job descriptions and letters to help you get started.  

Health Science Clinicals

A Health Science Clinical is a structured component of the Career and Technical Education Health Science curriculum that provides a supervised experience in an approved setting. These experiences are designed to be completed in a hospital, extended care facility, rehabilitation center, medical office, imaging laboratory, or other approved setting(s). 


Health Science Clinical is a structured component of the Career and Technical Education Health Science curriculum that provides a supervised experience in an approved setting.  Health Science Clinical is designed to be completed in a hospital, extended care facility, rehabilitation center, medical office, imaging laboratory, or other approved setting(s). The Health Science Clinical standards are identified in the Alabama Course of Study: Career and Technical Education as part of the coursework for Health Science.

Purpose/Objective:  Occupational Preparation

Health Science Clinical provides an opportunity for students to gain knowledge and apply previously learned theory and skills in an actual health care setting. These experiences are uniquely designed to meet students’ career objectives through supervised experiences, which are coupled with related classroom instruction. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Health Science Clinical requires time, commitment, collaboration of the following partners:

  • Students must arrive at the clinical site at the appropriate time and in the appropriate dress.  Students must comply with the rules and regulations of the school district, school, and clinical site. 
  • Parents/Guardians should provide ongoing support to the student and assume the responsibility for the conduct of the students.  Parent/guardian is responsible for transportation arrangements for the student to and from the clinical site and will be responsible for any liability involved.
  • Health Science Teachers shall secure appropriate clinical site(s) based on the student’s career objective.  The teacher shall work with the clinical site(s) to develop a training plan for the student.  The teacher will monitor student progress through visits and/or communication with clinical site preceptor(s) or their designee. The teacher shall meet with the student regarding his/her progress, behavior, attitude, academics, etc. and is responsible for the student’s final grade for clinical experience.  The teacher is also responsible for reinforcing clinical site experiences with related classroom instruction.
  • Healthcare Clinical Preceptor(s) shall provide opportunities and placements for students to apply previously learned theory and skills in healthcare settings, as well as a safe learning environment. Clinical Preceptor(s) will evaluate student performance and report to Health Science teacher.  


Successful completion of a minimum of one credit in Health Science coursework is required prior to placement of a student in Health Science Clinical.

Related Instruction

Students must be enrolled in a Health Science course.

Student Selection/Qualifications                                                   

Health Science Clinical student must:

  • Be at least sixteen years of age.
  • Be enrolled in a Health Science course.
  • Complete a Health Science Program Application for Clinical Enrollment.
  • Be capable of performing the tasks of the clinical placement.
  • Be classified as an eleventh or twelfth grader.
  • Be in good academic standing and have an acceptable discipline record as determined by the Health Science teacher.

Appropriate Placement

Health Science Clinical provides opportunities for a student to meet their career objective and train in areas outside of their primary objective in order to gain a broader perspective. Clinical placements must also meet federal and state labor laws.

Credits Earned 

Credits will reflect the course requirements in which the clinical is incorporated.

Supervision/Coordination Requirements

The Health Science teacher will monitor student progress through visits and/or communication with clinical site preceptor(s) or their designee.

Placement Restrictions or Limitations 

Student may not participate in a hazardous occupation as defined by state and federal labor laws.  Student may be rotated to a different clinical site based on a student’s career objective or area of interest at the discretion of the Health Science teacher.

Required Documentation and Forms

The following documentation or forms must be completed and placed in the student file with the Health Science teacher for each student participating in Health Science Clinical. The documents and forms must be kept on file a minimum of 5 years. 

Prior to Placement of Student:

  • CPR Certification (American Red Cross or American Heart Association
  • Health Science Clinical Training Agreement
  • Health Science Clinical Time Sheet
  • Health Science Clinical Evaluation of Student Performance
  • Student Confidentiality Statement
  • Other Forms/Documents as required by the Health Science Teacher, Local Education Agency, or Training Site

Prior to Enrollment:

  • Career Interest/Aptitude Inventory (Assessment used to be determined by the LEA)
  • Health Science Program Application
  • School/LEA Clinical Regulations and Policies (To be established and approved by the LEA)

Insurance Coverage/Immunizations

All participants in Health Science Clinical must provide proof of the following:

  • Current health insurance coverage
  • Liability insurance coverage
  • Automobile liability insurance (if student provides own transportation)
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • Varicella Vaccine (or diagnosis of varicella or verification of history of varicella disease)
  • Current TB Skin test
  • Other Forms/Documents as required by the Health Science Teacher, Local Education Agency, or Training Site



Individual youth entrepreneurship provides an opportunity for a student to establish a business from the initial startup phase through full operation while receiving guidance from a teacher at the school.  This includes beginning with an initial business idea, developing a business plan, actual start up and complete ownership. This activity may be a project for a class or a student organization. The activity is considered a paid experience because the student who actually starts a business will be receiving income from the sale of a product or providing a service. Students assume the risks of creating the entrepreneurial venture in expectation of gaining a profit or further knowledge and skills necessary for success as an entrepreneur.

It represents a uniquely comprehensive method for preparing someone to understand all aspects of running a business and learning about ‘being their own boss.’ Student entrepreneurship experiences may also take the form of school-based businesses that students help to set up and run.  

Curricula that guides students through the process of creating business plans, working with local entrepreneurs and other community resources to plan and run enterprises, or any combination of these activities is vital to success. Entrepreneurship may be undertaken on or off the school site, but should be part of the school’s course work in order to be considered for academic credit. 


  • Provides opportunities for youth to start and operate enterprises of appropriate size and scope, in which they are personally invested in a manner that is significant to them.
  • Provides an opportunity for students to learn about and utilize community resources
  • Offers opportunities to apply academic knowledge such as accounting, record keeping, and economics.  
  • Supports the development of career readiness skills 
  • Develops management and critical thinking skills that can be applied throughout life in both employment and self-employment (entrepreneurship) including, but not limited to:
    • Product development
    • Marketing
    • Financing
    • Recordkeeping
    • Budgeting
    • Communication (verbal, non-verbal, written)
    • Customer service
    • Decision making
    • Locating and utilizing resources
    • Complying with government regulations 
  • Affords the opportunity to earn money and make connections to the local and area business community
  • Reinforces the concept that successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks based on demographic research and relevant information.
  • Requires youth to develop a plan for a business that addresses its financial, marketing and operational aspects.
  • Utilizes an action-oriented curriculum that provides age-appropriate experiential learning opportunities for which program leaders/instructors operate as coaches or facilitators.
  • Enhances creativity, innovation and problem-solving skills
  • Increased awareness of the entrepreneur’s role in the economy
  • Expanded awareness of social responsibility and entrepreneurs’ contribution to society and local, state and national economic vitality

Steps in Planning and Implementing an Entrepreneurship Program

  • Determine the purpose of the entrepreneurship program, examples may be:
    • A part of the subject matter of a specific CTE course;
    • A culminating project for a program of study; or
    • An after-school or summer project for school credit. 
  • Determine how the instruction will be delivered in the areas of product development, marketing, advertising, financing, record keeping, budgeting, communication, customer service, decision making, locating and utilizing resources and complying with laws and regulations.
  • Assist students in developing a business plan.
  • Determine what resources will be needed to assist students.
  • Develop an agreement between the student, parents, CTE instructor and school that includes:
    • Description of the entrepreneurship project/business venture
    • List of skills to be developed through the entrepreneurial experience
    • List of the components of the business plan to be created by the student including:
      • Product/service to be provided
      • Proposed budget, including projected income and expenses
      • Plans for financing the venture
      • Marketing plan for the venture
  • Develop an instrument or procedures for evaluating student learning and performance

Success Factors

  • Provide a curriculum that is organized around the five entrepreneurial processes:  Discovery, Concept Development, Resourcing, Actualization, and Harvesting.
  • Use entrepreneurship as the real-world context to demonstrate the importance of academic skills, including math science, communications, digital skills, technology, geography, history, and more.
  • Portray the relationship between risk and reward in the entrepreneurial process as it operates in the free-enterprise system.  
  • Provide opportunities for students to start and operate enterprises of an appropriate size and scope, in which they are personally invested, and in a manner that is significant to them.
  • Reinforce the concept that successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks based on sound research and relevant information, including economic analysis.
  • Require students to conduct a feasibility study to determine the viability of the start-up.
  • Encourage/require students to develop a comprehensive business plan that addresses financial, marketing, and operational aspects.
  • Generate an understanding of the many career fields that offer entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Emphasize the need to operate enterprises in a legal, ethical, and socially and environmentally responsible manner.
  • Demonstrate the place for entrepreneurship and innovation in for-profit, non-profit, corporate and public sectors of the economy.
  • Facilitate the discovery process and provide coaching to guide students to solutions for challenges encountered in establishing an entrepreneurial venture.
  • Provide hands-on learning opportunities where students learn by doing.
  • Curriculum and activities should include challenges with and without clear solutions.

Education & Training Experiences

Education/Training Experiences are a redesign of a teacher’s aide program for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the education/training field.  The experience must be conducted in partnership with course work in Education and Training or Early Childhood and supervised by the education & training instructor.

An Education and Training Work Experience is really a redesign of a teacher’s aide program for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the education field.  This experience provides students with a context in which they can make a personal assessment of their commitment to pursue a teaching, professional support services, or educational leadership career.  Students are assigned various education levels of experience including early childhood, elementary, middle and high school in which they fully participate in teaching and related work.  This experience must be conducted in partnership with course work in Education and Training or Early Childhood and supervised by the education and training instructor.


Education and Training Supervisors

Supervising Teacher: is the teacher who teaches the Education and Training or Early Childhood courses.

Internship Supervisor: is the teacher, administrator, or professional support services staff member who supervises and mentors the intern in the appropriately assigned educational setting. This may be the same as the supervising teacher.

Education and Training Internship Requirements

Prerequisites: Students must have taken at least one course in Education and Training or Early Childhood to qualify for this experience. It is most beneficial when used as a capstone experience after completing the Education and Training or Early Childhood program of study.

Professional Work Sample Portfolio (PWS): is a snapshot of the student’s work during the Education and Training Experience.  The PWS should consist of four components (1) planning, (2) implementation/teaching, (3) evaluation of student learning and (4) personal reflection.

Selection/Qualifications: Education and Training Experience candidates must:

  • Have successfully completed the prerequisite courses.
  • Be enrolled in grades 11-12.
  • Have completed the application process.
  • Be selected for participation by the Supervising Teacher.

Roles and Responsibilities: Education and Training Experiences require time, commitment and collaboration of the following partners:

  • Students are responsible for conducting themselves in a professional manner. They must maintain a Professional Work Sample Portfolio.
  • Parents/Guardians provide ongoing support to the student and the Education and Training Experience. They are responsible for the conduct and attendance of the intern.  Parents/Guardians must provide transportation for the intern to and from the experience site if needed.
  • Supervising Teacher provides assistance in locating the most beneficial experience site for each student, ongoing supervision of the student, and manages all requirements of the experience and works collaboratively in designing the learning experiences with the Experience Supervisor.
  • Experience Supervisor provides opportunities for students to complete experience activities, gain valuable experience in the field of Education, and evaluates the student’s performance. 
  • Appropriate Placement is an actual educational setting that provides the student with the maximum opportunity to learn and gain experience in the field of education.  All Education and Training Experiences must relate to the student’s career objective/pathway/program.
  • Credits Earned Credit is earned for the completion of Education and Training Experience.

Supervision Teacher Requirements:  must make an on-site visit to the Experience Site at least twice a month and maintain all required documentation for each student participating. The Professional Work Sample Portfolio is used to document the student’s mastery of learning and for determining grades. 

Placement Restrictions or Limitations: Interns may not be placed where immediate family members will be acting as the Supervisor.

Required Documentation and Forms: The following documentation must be maintained and on file by the Supervising Teacher for each participating intern during the Education and Training Experience.

Prior to Enrollment: 

  • Must declare a career objective related to Education and Training or Early Childhood
  • Must have completed the Education and Training Experience Application
  • Must complete an interview with the Education and Training Experience teacher

Upon Placement of Student:

  • Education and Training Experience Agreement
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Emergency Contact Form
  • Student Attendance Record
  • Record of Supervising Teacher Visits
  • Other Forms as required by the Local Education Agency

Upon Completion of the Externship:

  • Student Evaluation of Education and Training Experience
  • Student Follow-up Form
  • Copy of Professional Work Sample Portfolio Evaluation


Education and Training Experiences are unpaid work-based experiences. 

Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education is a structured component of the Career Education (CE) curriculum that integrates classroom instruction with productive, progressive, supervised, and paid work-based experiences in fields related to the students’ career objectives.  Content is planned planned for students through a cooperative arrangement between the school and employer as a component of work-based learning. Students enrolled in cooperative education programs are required to participate in the class.  Cooperative education must be supervised by a teacher who holds a Nebraska teaching certificate with a Work-Based Learning Endorsement on their teaching certificate.


Cooperative education is a structured component of the Career Education (CE) curriculum that integrates classroom instruction with productive, progressive, supervised, and paid work-based experiences in fields related to students’ career objectives.  Content is planned for students through a cooperative arrangement between the school and employer as a component of work-based learning.

A Cooperative Education class is a required component of the Cooperative Education work-based experience.  Students enrolled in Cooperative Education programs are required to participate in the class.  Cooperative education must be supervised by a teacher who holds a Nebraska teaching certificate with a Work-Based Learning Endorsement on their teaching certificate.


The purpose of cooperative education is to provide paid work-based experiences that typically cannot be obtained in the classroom. 


It is recommended that a student have completed a minimum two CTE courses in a career cluster prior to enrollment in cooperative education.  The opportunity to develop academic and technical skills prior to the cooperative education experience will enhance the experience and allow the students to apply those skills while on the job.

Related Instruction

Students participating in Cooperative Education work-based experiences are required to participate in Cooperative Education class. This course provides students with the opportunity to discuss workplace issues, submit required reports, and create/maintain a career portfolio.  Students will develop additional skills in employability, ethics, personal finance, leadership, teamwork, and technical foundations in preparation for future employment or continuing education.

Nebraska Department of Education Requirements

The following are essential components of cooperative education that must be in place.

  • Administrative support that ensures that instructional activities promote a quality, work-based learning experience.
  • Qualified, certified Work-Based Learning Coordinator (herein referred to as the Teacher Coordinator) who manages work-based learning experiences in compliance with the Nebraska Workplace Experiences Guide, and all federal and state labor Laws.
  • Student-learners that meet student selection criteria.
  • Work-Based Learning Education and Career and Technical course offering(s).
  • Selected work-based learning sites in fields related to students’ career objectives.
  • Training agreements that stipulate the essential responsibilities and conditions of student employment.
  • Training plans that list processes, knowledge, and skills that the student is expected to learn in the work-based experience.
  • Supervised, work-based experience performed under the supervision of a work-place mentor and the Teacher Coordinator.   
  • Student evaluations by the Teacher Coordinator and employer/mentor.
  • Supervisory visits at the work site for each student.
  • Active Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO).

Roles and Responsibilities               

Cooperative education requires time, commitment, and collaboration of the following partners:

Students must meet with the Teacher Coordinator one class period per week to maintain all required documentation and coursework and to accommodate student and/or employer needs based on individual circumstances.  They must adhere to all policies of the program and training station/agency.  If transportation is not available, student drivers must have a valid Nebraska Driver’s License and must furnish proof of their liability coverage for the automobile. 

Parents/Guardians should provide ongoing support to the student. They should support the goals and policies of cooperative education and assume responsibility for the conduct of the student.  Parents/Guardians should attend the required orientation and must sign all required forms. 

Business and community partners agree to serve as training stations/agencies providing placements for students to complete work-based learning experiences related to the student’s career objective. Supervisors are responsible for evaluating student performance, ensuring that students are scheduled to meet the minimum work hours as defined in the Training Agreement, and for providing rigorous and progressive employment experiences.

Teacher Coordinators will provide ongoing supervision to the student and integrate the student’s work-site experience with learning at school.  They will manage all requirements of cooperative education and teach the cooperative education class.  This includes but is not limited to:  Collaboration with partners, selection of students, selection of training stations, placement of students, coordination of cooperative education components, documentation and submitting required reports.

Local Education Agency (LEA) Responsibilities                  

It is the role of the LEA administration to ensure that instructional activities support and promote quality, work-based learning experiences.  Positive administrative support is vital to the success of cooperative education and should be demonstrated in the following ways:

  • Develop written policies regarding cooperative education in cooperation with the Teacher Coordinator to be adopted by the local board of education for use in decision-making situations and to provide guidance in achieving program goals. 
  • Assure compliance with written state and local boards of education policies.
  • Provide facilities and up-to-date equipment to meet business/industry standards.
  • Facilitate the procurement of instructional materials.
  • Ensure that the school schedule includes cooperative education class as an essential component of work-based learning. Students enrolled in cooperative education are required to participate in the cooperative education class.
  • Schedule students into a regular school schedule until they are placed in work-based experiences.
  • Provide opportunities for recruitment of students through assembly programs, meetings, school visits, and other venues to create awareness of cooperative education.
  • Ensure the review of student transcripts to verify eligibility for participation in cooperative education.
  • Cooperate with the Teacher Coordinator and/or career and technical education teachers in the selection of prospective students and in making school records available.
  • Require orientation for students and parents.
  • Review student and teacher files for required forms: Training Agreement, Training Plan, Application for Enrollment, Teacher Recommendations, Weekly Wage and Hour Sheet, Training Station/Agency Visit Teacher Coordinator Summary and Student Evaluations.
  • Ensure that the student selection is equitable and addresses the needs of each student. 
  • Ensure that students accepted shall have met the application/selection criteria for cooperative education and shall have been approved for participation by the Teacher Coordinator.
  • Ensure that the Teacher Coordinator has a coordination period.
  • Provide the following financial support in order to support cooperative education:
    • Facilities, classroom space, furniture, and equipment required for business/industry certification.
    • Travel funds for the Teacher Coordinator’s work-based training supervision.
    • Other funds as designated by the state legislature.
  • Place, when possible, the Teacher Coordinator on an extended contract that provides the time to plan and carry out required activities needed to manage the experience.  This is essential if summer work-based learning experiences are approved by the LEA.  The Teacher Coordinator must be on an extended contract if the student is enrolled in summer school and credit is awarded for summer work-based experience or if the student is involved with a Supervised Agricultural Experience Program through AFNR and is involved with summer employment or entrepreneurship programs.

Coordination of Cooperative Education Components

Coordination is the process of aligning administrative, organizational, and instructional activities to accomplish the objectives of cooperative education which requires time released from school as detailed in this manual. The Teacher Coordinator must be constantly aware of the student’s performance on the job and instructional activities for optimum results.  The Teacher Coordinator ensures that normal progression takes place and that a complete series of manipulative skills is acquired.  These skills are supplemented by technical and general information that will make the student a competent and well-rounded employee. 

During the coordination period(s), the Teacher Coordinator performs the necessary out-of-school activities including visiting training stations, observing students at work, and consulting business individuals responsible for training the student. 

Coordination functions ensure that certain essential objectives are attained:

  • Prevent any possible exploitation of students.
  • Determine progress of students’ performance on the job and in instructional activities.
  • Help resolve problems that occur on the job.
  • Increase the Teacher Coordinator’s understanding of the employer’s viewpoint.
  • Check on student’s work performance, progress, habits, and attitudes.
  • Evaluate the employer’s and the employee’s satisfaction with the job placement.
  • Promote enforcement of the school’s policies and procedures by the employer.
  • Collaborate with the employer to determine the student’s job performance.
  • Make school instruction relevant to the student.

The Teacher Coordinator needs adequate time prior to the opening of school to make business/community contacts in order to facilitate the implementation of work-based learning experiences. Making contacts in the community is critical to the success of the work-based learning experience.  The Teacher Coordinator will:

  • Visit the business and industry leaders in the community to explain the opportunities available as well as benefits of the work-based learning experiences to the employer.
  • Conduct community surveys to determine appropriate types of work-based learning sites.
  • Develop a work-based learning brochure/handbook to distribute to business, industry, the school community and other stake holders.
  • Promote work-based learning experiences within the school utilizing technology, brochures, displays, and articles in the school newspaper.
  • Develop a communication plan to keep the community informed regularly of work-based learning experiences.
  • Conduct a business/community survey to begin the development of partnerships. The optimal delivery of the survey is through person-to-person contact. The completed survey should be kept on file by the LEA.  The business/community survey results serve the following useful purposes:
    • Identify employment potential in the community.
    • Locate suitable training stations for work-based learning students.
    • Identify the knowledge and skills needed by the responding business/industry.
  • Plan an employer/employee event with students during the school year to honor employers who offered work-based learning experiences for students.
  • Secure employment for participating students.

Teacher Coordinator Responsibilities                       

The Teacher Coordinator will:

  • Create a Training Plan for each cooperative education participant. 
  • Complete training agreement with required signatures. It is through this training agreement that the essential functions are outlined and agreed to by the training mentor, student, Teacher Coordinator, parent, and school administrator. 
  • Explain to the employer prior to the first written evaluation, the Work-Based Experience Evaluation Report, that rates the student on personal qualities and job tasks as defined in the Training Plan.  Then secure through face-to-face contact an evaluation at least once per grading period, at the end of the semester/term, and at other times deemed appropriate.
  • Encourage students to become active in a CTSO related to their career objectives.
  • Prepare students for work-based learning expectations.
  • Make all students aware of the cooperative education opportunity.
  • Conduct an annual follow-up with employers. 
  • Conduct an annual self-evaluation to facilitate continuous improvement.
  • Visit the training site of each student as frequently as possible. It is recommended a minimum of one visit per month.  (More frequent visits may be required to monitor students experiencing difficulties.) 
  • Validate that all students complete all components of the coursework required for the cooperative education class, and have completed a minimum number of hours of work-based experience per credit awarded. 
  • Complete and submit reports as required by the Department and LEA.

All coordination visits must be documented. A written summary is required for each visit.  Each coordination visit must include documentation of a discussion with the supervisor to ensure implementation of the Training Plan and Training Agreement.  When making the coordination visit, the Teacher Coordinator’s records must document:

  • Duties and tasks relative to the Training Plan.
  • Student’s performance on assigned responsibilities and work habits including dress, grooming, and general appearance.
  • Quality and quantity of work expected and performed.
  • Student’s attitude toward the job, employer, co-workers, etc.
  • Student’s reaction to rewards, criticism, and disciplinary action.
  • Safety conditions.
  • Validation of the student’s work hours including punctuality and regularity of attendance.
  • Student’s rotation through different job experiences, ensuring that they are diverse, rigorous, and progressive.
  • Student’s preparation for position/job change or advancement.
  • Additional opportunities for involvement in work-based learning experiences.
  • Additional opportunities for partnering with Career and Technical Education; e.g., competition judge, resource speakers.

Extended Contract Responsibilities (if applicable)

It is recommended that the Teacher Coordinator should be on an extended contract that provides the time to plan and carry out required activities needed to manage the experience.  Listed below are a number of activities that must be completed in preparation for the next school year if the student and community needs are to be met:

  • Schedule meetings with parents.
  • Coordinate summer work-based learning experience.
  • Conduct business community surveys.
  • Locate and secure prospective training stations.
  • Conduct training for workplace supervisors/mentors.
  • Provide summer coordination.
  • Plan the instructional program.
  • Assess and counsel students.
  • Participate in professional development.

Supervision of the extended-contract period is the responsibility of the LEA.  The minimum standards for an extended contract for the Teacher Coordinator beyond the regular school term require the submission for LEA approval of a written Program of Work for the extended time period.  The LEA shall have on file documentation of appropriate CE activities with measurable goals and objectives and timelines for each teacher with an extended contract.  The Teacher Coordinator must file a weekly itinerary in advance with the local CE administrator or principal to account for time both on and off campus. 

Required Documentation

Each step in the cooperative education process has documentation that must be completed.  This documentation must be kept on file a minimum of three years (five years preferred) or as directed by LEA Policy.

Required documents must be on file in the Teacher Coordinator’s office and must include the following:

Individual Student Records:

  • Application for Enrollment
  • Resume (recommended)
  • Interview Evaluation form
  • Training Plan
  • Training Agreement
  • Work-based Learning Evaluation Reports (one per grading period)
  • Training Station/Agency Visit Teacher Coordinator Summary
  • Wage and Hour Reports
  • School Regulations and Policies (signed)
  • Teacher Recommendation forms including a recommendation from a career technical education course teacher related to the student’s career objective
  • Interest/Aptitude Inventory (recommended)
  • Safety Training Documentation
  • Proof of Insurance and Emergency Contact Form
  • Potential Training Station Evaluation (recommended)
  • Student Evaluation of Training Site (at conclusion of work-based experience)
  • Other forms as required by the LEA or training site

Other required documents:

  • Business/Community Survey
  • Travel Reports as required by LEA
  • Record of Business Contacts
  • Follow-up Records
  • Extended Contract Program of Work (if applicable)

Selection of Students

The student is the most important component in work-based learning.  In all cases, the Teacher Coordinator must ensure that the student has a clearly defined career objective in the cluster for which employment is being considered.  Students must have the ability, aptitude, and attitude for successful employment.

In situations where students have an IEP, it is required that the Teacher Coordinator participate in the development of the Individual Education Program (IEP) prior to placement in work-based learning experiences.  It is also strongly recommended that a CE teacher representing the cluster related to the student’s occupational objective also be included in the IEP development process.

Determination of Student Eligibility

The Teacher Coordinator will ensure that all requirements for cooperative education are met.  The Teacher Coordinator ensures that the student:

  • Has a clearly defined career objective in the career cluster for which employment is being considered.
  • Possesses the knowledge, skills, behavioral qualities, and abilities required for successful employment.
  • Is at least 16 years of age.
  • Is physically and mentally capable of performing the essential functions of the desired work-based experience.  Essential functions are responsibilities that must be performed by the position, are fundamental to the position, and cannot be reassigned to another position.
  • Has successfully completed the required prerequisite course(s).
  • Is classified as an 11th or 12th grader.
  • Is on track for graduation.
  • Has an acceptable attendance, grade and discipline record as validated by the Teacher Coordinator.
  • Has completed an Application for Enrollment.      
  • Has provided the names of a minimum of three educators who know and are not related to the student who will complete recommendation forms including the teacher of the career cluster course.
  • Has participated in a student interview to review information on the application, discuss parental/guardian support of participation, and discuss possible training stations.
  • Has the ability to provide transportation to and from the training station.
  • Has provided proof of current health or accidental insurance coverage and, if driving to and from the training station, proof of automobile liability insurance.

The steps for selection are:


The Teacher Coordinator will review the:

  • Completed application.
  • Prerequisite courses.
  • Completed recommendation forms.
  • Attendance record.
  • Discipline record.
  • Academic record.
  • Eligibility criteria.
  • Results of career interests, aptitudes, and skills test.


The Teacher Coordinator and applicant will:

  • Review the information on the application.
  • Discuss parental/guardian support of work-based learning participation.
  • Discuss possible training stations.


The Teacher Coordinator will accept or reject an application based on:

  • Teacher Coordinator documentation and record review.
  • Student interview.
  • Career objective related to a specific career cluster.
  • Interest in learning the skills for the career.
  • Completed recommendation forms.


A planned recruitment campaign is appropriate and necessary.  Support is needed from teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and students.  Activities should be planned well in advance to articulate with overall school calendars and to have adequate time to visit feeder schools.  Publicity should include purposes, career opportunities, and enrollment procedures. Designate a specific time frame for recruitment activities.  The following are suggested recruitment activities:

  • Classroom Visits
  • Posters/Flyers/Brochures
  • Awareness Presentations
  • CTSO Presentations
  • Assembly Programs
  • Advisory Committee Presentations
  • Distribution of Enrollment Information and Applications
  • Personal and Parental Contact


To be considered for acceptance in cooperative education, the student must submit a completed application.  The application provides information relative to the student’s interests, abilities, and adaptability in relation to the chosen career objective.


A minimum of three completed recommendation forms must be submitted to the Teacher Coordinator.  These forms must be submitted by the cluster course teachers related to the student’s career objective.  Additional forms may be submitted by other teachers, counselors, or administrators.


Registered apprenticeships are innovative work-based learning and postsecondary earn-and-learn models that meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor (or federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies. They provide on-the-job training while safeguarding the welfare of apprentices.


Registered Apprenticeships are innovative work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and- learn models that meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor (or federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies.  Registered Apprenticeship training is distinguished from other types of workplace training by several factors:

1. participants who are newly hired (or already employed) earn wages from employers during training;

2. programs must meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor (or federally-recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies;

3. programs provide on-the-job learning and job-related technical instruction;

4. on-the-job learning is conducted in the work setting under the direction of one or more of the employer’s personnel; and

5. training results in an industry-recognized credential

Purpose/Objective: Career Exploration

Most Registered Apprenticeship opportunities include on-the-job training, and classroom instruction provided by apprenticeship training centers, technical schools, community colleges, and even distance learning. Often Registered Apprenticeship sponsors work directly with community colleges that ultimately provide college credit for apprentice.


  • First and foremost, Apprenticeship sponsors develop highly skilled employees. Once established, Apprenticeship programs also reduce turnover rates, increase productivity, lower the cost of recruitment, and increase safety in the workplace/job site.
  • Registered Apprenticeship is used widely across all industries and includes union and non-union programs. Registered apprenticeship sponsors include unions, but also employers, community colleges and universities, workforce investment boards, industry associations, and the military.
  • Today, most Registered Apprenticeship opportunities include on-the-job training, and classroom instruction provided by apprenticeship training centers, technical schools, community colleges, and even distance learning. Often Registered Apprenticeship sponsors work directly with community colleges that ultimately provide college credit for apprentice.
  • After completion of an apprenticeship program, the apprentice earns a nationally recognized credential from the Department of Labor that is portable and stackable.

Additionally, an apprentice, along with earning a paycheck throughout the apprenticeship, is also elevated to journey-worker status that leads to increased pay and upward career opportunities.

Key Legal, Safety and Health Issues

The U.S Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship, works in conjunction with State Apprenticeship Agencies to administer the program nationally. These agencies are responsible for registering apprenticeship programs that meet federal and state standards; protecting the safety and welfare of apprentices; issuing nationally recognized and portable Certificates of Completion of Apprenticeship to apprentices; promoting the development of new programs through marketing and technical assistance; assuring that all programs provide high quality training; and assuring that all programs produce skilled and competent workers. In addition, a wide variety of stakeholders exist, including state organizations, industry associations, educational organizations (both secondary and post-secondary), workforce development organizations, economic development organizations, community-based organizations, and others. These stakeholders have a substantial interest in its success of Registered Apprenticeship.


Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors identify the minimum qualifications to apply for a program. The eligible starting age can be no less than 16 years of age; however, individuals must usually be 18 to be an apprentice in hazardous occupations. Program sponsors also identify additional minimum qualifications to apply, (e.g., education, ability to physically perform the essential functions of the occupation, proof of age.) All applicants are required to meet the minimum qualifications.

For more information

The US Department of Labor maintains a number of web-based resources. Here you can find our newest technical assistance products including our Quick Start Toolkit, which provides helpful steps and resources to start and register an apprenticeship program as well as our Federal Resources Playbook, which provides information on using the other Federal funds and resources to support your registered apprenticeship program.  For more on Registered Apprenticeship, please visit the DoL online.  Also, find out what’s happening throughout the Registered Apprenticeship system.

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