• Thank you for your interest in Work-Based Learning (Cooperative Education)

    Alabama's Career and Technical Education programs are preparing students for success- for both the global workforce and postsecondary learning experiences.  We stress the importance of work (all careers) and career development for today's students- equipping them with the communication, time mamnagement, and leadership  skills necessary for a lifetime of success.

    The purpose of work-based learning is to provide work-based experiences in approved stations that typically cannot be obtained in the classroom. This work-based experience will be supervised by a work-place mentor/supervisor and the Work-Based Learning (WBL) Coordinator.

    Benefits of Work-Based Learning

    Work-based learning is a major component of career and technical education.  Improved skills lead to higher efficiency and the availability of a better-trained labor pool that encourages business growth and productivity. Well-managed work-based learning experiences build confidence in the school system and have benefits for the student, employer, mentor, school, and the community.

     Students may be given the opportunity in work-based learning experiences to:

    • Receive specific school-based and work-based training in a chosen career while attending high school.
    • Earn income and become financially literate in some experiences.
    • Reinforce and apply academic competencies.
    • Develop, demonstrate, and refine safe work habits.
    • Demonstrate responsibility, maturity, job competency, and decision-making skills.
    • Gain an understanding of the financial operations, employment opportunities, and organizational structure of business and industry.
    • Develop a portfolio of academic, technological, occupational, and work-readiness skills.
    • Improve the transition from school to work.
    • Participate in Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) related to their career objectives and coursework.

     The employer or the employer-mentor may be given the opportunity to:

    • Be involved in the total school program.
    • Participate in the development of a work-based training plan that meets labor market demands.
    • Create an awareness of training needs for their business and industry.
    • Employ part-time employees that provide more flexible scheduling.
    • Develop positive public relations and build goodwill through partnerships with schools.

     The school may be given the opportunity to:

    • Increase the graduation rate.
    • Create broader curricula that encourage students to accomplish their educational goals.
    • Allow flexibility of instruction.
    • Meet the career goals of a diverse student population.
    • Correlate school-based learning with work-based learning.
    • Provide valuable industry contacts and opportunities for partnership development.
    • Enable students to receive training in a number of occupations in state-of-the-art facilities, utilizing the most current technology with minimal capital expense for the school.

     The community may be given the opportunity to:

    • Participate in partnership development with the school system.
    • Increase the local economy with student earnings.
    • Provide awareness of local career opportunities.
    • Assist students in appropriate career selection.
    • Participate as a member of a local CTE Advisory Council/Committee. 


    Determination of Student Eligibility:

    • Is at least 16 years of age.
    • Is classified as a 12th grader.
    • Is on track for graduation (all necessary credits up to date and counselor approved).
    • Has a clearly defined career objective.
    • Has sucessfully completed the required prerequisite course, Career Preparedness, or documentation of course content objectives achieved for students on a general education or essential pathway track.
    • Has completed the entire application packet (applications can be found with a counselor).
    • Has provided Teacher Recommendation forms ( 3 minimum) including a recommendation form (3) different subject areas.
    • Must hold/maintain a valid driver's license and transportation (prefer to have your own automobile- cannot depend on other people for your transportation)

    Program Requirements:

    • Maintain acceptable attendance, grade, and discipline records during the school year.
    • Obtain acceptable employment by the beginning of the school year (August).
    • Submit monthly wage and hour reports to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator by the first Friday of every month.
    • Maintain continuous employment during the entire school year. If employment is lost, you will be removed from the program and place in available courses.
    • Complete 140 total work hours (August through May) for each class period that you are not at school. (i.e. missing two periods a day requires 280 total work hours, missing three periods a day requires 420 total work hours)
    • Receive acceptable evaluations from the employer and the Coordinator.


    An acceptance letter will be emailed to the guidance counselor and the student once the student portfolio is completed and approved by the co-op coordinator.  (You are not to leave campus until the email stating acceptance into the program is sent.)


    If you have any questions or need any additional information, please feel free to contact me.

    Melanie Haynes

    Business Education/ Cooperative Education Teacher


    205-594-7055 Ext. 6107

    205-594-4124 Fax