Resources for Developing and Scaling Up Work-Based Learning

Pathways to Prosperity Network

Building Career Pathways to Help More Students Succeed

Building systems of career pathways linking high school, work, and community college, to increase the number of youth who complete high school and attain a postsecondary credential with labor market value.

Amy Loyd
Associate Vice President, Building Educational Pathways for Youth
617.728.4446 x282

Resources for Developing and Scaling Up Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning, which is a sequenced and coordinated set of activities through which students gain increasing exposure to the world of work, is a core component of the Pathways to Prosperity framework. Work-based learning addresses a shared goal of educators and employers: preparing students with the knowledge and skills, including both technical and 21st-century skills, needed for productive careers. In addition, students who participate in work-based learning deepen their understanding of both specific career options and of the world of work. The resources on this page are intended to support leaders who are implementing and scaling up work-based learning in states and regions across the Pathways to Prosperity Network.

Pathways to Prosperity Publications

Not as Hard as You Think: Engaging High School Students in Work-Based Learning

This brief is intended to allay concerns about perceived barriers to young people’s access to workplaces and to highlight the successes of employers who have opened their doors to high school students. The brief profiles employers within the Pathways to Prosperity Network who have found ways to provide young people with meaningful work experiences. These case studies highlight the ways that these employers have managed the logistics of work-based learning and explain the benefits of doing so for employers.
Download the PDF

What Employers Need to Know: Frequently Asked Questions about High School Students in Workplaces

This brief provides answers to most frequently asked questions about the logistics of access to workplaces for students under the age of 18. The answers to the questions in this brief are intended to clarify misconceptions and to serve as a starting point for employers that are considering offering internships to high school students.

Additional Publications and Resources

Federal Resources

These are resources published by the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA, including useful fact sheets and summaries of the laws affecting youth employment. Keep in mind that in addition to the web-based resources below, both the Department of Labor and OSHA have staff members available via email or phone who can answer any questions or clarify how policies apply in the case of a particular workplace.

State Materials

State-level agencies produce toolkits, guidebooks, and other reference materials about youth employment that are useful to employers. Your state is likely to have materials that highlight state-specific provisions related to the FSLA and other resources to support employers’ efforts to offer work-based learning opportunities to youth.

Resources from the Field

Below are resources from national leaders in structuring and implementing work-based learning programs and experiences for youth.


The documents in this section are drawn from work-based learning sites across the country. They are intended to serve as examples upon which employers and intermediaries can draw as they develop similar materials.

Work-based learning application forms
  • Application for students in the Carroll County Schools in Georgia, which outlines the responsibilities of students and parents and addresses topics that include insurance and liability.
  • Application for a summer internship program at Stanford’s Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills and Education Center. The packet includes a liability waiver, parent consent form, medical form, and student code of conduct.
  • Application for San Francisco's Mayor's Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP). The application includes a checklist of requirements for students to be eligible for paid summer employment opportunties.
  • Application for new employer mentors of San Francisco's YouthWorks Summer Internship program. This application includes questions for new employers to answer including why they are interested in becoming a mentor, their previous experience working with youth, and information about the types of tasks interns are likely to perform.
  • Application for returning employer mentors of San Francisco's YouthWorks Summer Internship program. This is a shorter version of the application for new employer mentors that asks returning mentors to provide updated information about the types of intern tasks and opportunities for career exploration the host site will provide.
Release forms. liability waivers, and agreements
  1. Liability waiver used by Nclear in Carroll County, GA
  2. List of approved tasks for students in the Tanner Connections program in Carroll County, GA
  3. List of eligibility requirements for student participation in BJC HealthCare programs in St. Louis, MO
  4. Permission to work form for minors that includes a checklist of requirements for youth employment from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  5. Media release form from Castle View High School in Castle Rock, CO
  6. Student transportation insurance form from Castle View High School in Castle Rock, CO
  7. Internship Agreement from MatchBridge Business Pathways Internship program of the United Way of the Bay Area, CA
  8. Employer MOU for MatchBridge Business Pathways Internship program of the United Way of the Bay Area, CA
  9. Employer MOU for Jewish Vocational Service School Partner Program in San Francisco, CA
  10. Employer MOU for the Mayor's Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP) in San Francisco, CA 
Confidentiality agreements
Student orientation materials