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Work-Based Education Works

VU International News and Reviews No. 108 March 12 2018

March 2018

Already in 2015, the Rockefeller Institute published a report “Applied Work-Based Learning at the State University of New York” that compares the experiences with work-based student learning at SUNY with those elsewhere in the US and globally (Australia, Germany, and Switzerland). At SUNY, work-based activities encompass Co-operative education, internships, ‘work-study’ arrangements, and clinical placements and are distinct from community-based activities (e.g. community service learning) and discovery-based activities (e.g. research). SUNY sees work-based learning as an important tool to enhance not only retention and graduation success but also employment success. The study concludes that work-based learning needs to be embedded throughout the degree programme, be credit-bearing, and asks for adapted modes of assessment of student learning. To be sustainable, it needs an adequate mandate as well as funding and a support structure. The reporters are cautious about the impact: due to data limitations, they will go no further than speak of indicators of a positive impact of work-based learning on the targeted retention, graduation and employability.

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