Business Tours/Field Trips

A business tour and/or field trip is an excursion or planned Work-Based Learning Experience for a group of students allowing them to explore or observe occupations.  These experiences should be carefully planned to provide a quality educational experience, protect the safety of the students and create positive relationships with the business.  This experience must be supervised by a Career and Technical Education (CTE) certified teacher or school counselor.

The purpose of business tour and/or field trip is to provide students with an informative introduction to careers in various businesses.

Benefits

  • Permit the flexibility of arranging the business tour/field trip for one student, a small group of students or an entire class.
  • Provide an exposure to careers and jobs in the actual work setting.
  • Expands student learning beyond the walls of the classroom into the local community.
  • Provide students with experiences and perspectives that are not possible to duplicate in the classroom.
  • Allows students to gain realistic perspectives on expectations in a job and/or career field and the workplace requirements.
  • Supplements information that can be obtained through other work awareness and work exploration strategies.
  • Allow more informal, personal interaction and conversation between the business tour/field trip guide than traditional classroom presentations.
  • Provide an opportunity to develop students’ career readiness skills, including communicating effectively and appropriately (speaking, professional etiquette), personal responsibility, etc.
  • Provides information on the industry, types of careers and occupations, knowledge and skills requirements and work processes in the actual work setting.
  • Students learn the importance of thinking about career development through the career path stories their tour guides share.

Success Factors

  • Reach out to diverse local employers and professionals that align to students interests
    Choose business tours/field trips that allow students exposure to all aspects of the industry.
  • Review examples of the business/industry’s marketing materials, products, or services performed in advance of the visit.
  • Prepare students for the work environment (guidelines, restrictions, safety requirements, etc.).
  • Have students generate a list of questions, prior to the visit to ask the guide(s) during the visit.
  • Identify the education or training required and the skills needed for the occupations found at the business/organization.
  • Clearly communicate expectations/guidelines and your understanding of what the business tour/field trip will involve to the business guide(s).
  • Ask the business/employer to build in demonstrations during the tour to explain why the company has been successful.
  • Request that guides allow time for employees to explain their roles, responsibilities, and how they were educated, trained or qualified to be employed at the worksite.
  • Provide reflection opportunities after the business tour/field trip
    Encourage business tour/field trip guides to have tangible take-aways such as brochures, handouts, business cards, etc.
  • Clearly communicate the objectives of the business tour/field trip to the guide(s) AND to the students participating.
  • Have students identify and discuss the career readiness skills observed.
  • Require students to write reflections and/or thank you letters following the worksite visit.
  • Recognize business partners, publicly, for their involvement (e.g., thank you letters, awards, newspaper articles, framed certificate).
  • Relevant company safety and health rules should be reviewed with students.
  • School district policies regarding transportation and liability apply.
  • Students and teachers participating in business tours/field trips should receive relevant safety instruction and gear (e.g., eye goggles, hard hat, gloves, etc.).

Student selection for participation in business tours and/or field trips is to be determined by the Local Education Agency (LEA).  Students in grades 7-12 can benefit from this experience.

The student is responsible for demonstrating a business-like attitude and appropriate conduct.

Credit is not awarded for this work-based learning experience.

Adequate supervision as required by the (LEA) is important to participate in the experience.

Each student should submit forms required for participation by the LEA.

Each student participating in the experience should be covered by personal insurance or group coverage offered by the school or activity sponsor, if applicable.