Program Criteria 

Required Program Contents

Each YA/WBL program shall:

  • Have strong employer commitment and involvement;
  • Enroll students at the end of the tenth grade into a 3-4 year YA/WBL program of study that begins in the 11th grade and ends with the attainment of a postsecondary associate degree, certificate and/or completion of a traditional apprenticeship;
  • Provide high-quality supervised learning opportunities for students at the work site;
  • Integrate academic and vocational teaching and learning in the classroom and at work;
  • Foster interactive, team based learning in the classroom; Using competency-based measures for evaluating student progress;
  • Provide both academic and occupational credentials;
  • Provide access and support to nontraditional groups; and
  • Explicitly address issues presented by diversity in society and the workplace.

Approved Occupations and Industry Employers

The industries and occupations selected for this program must offer entry-level jobs with good opportunities for career advancement into high-skill, high-wage jobs. DWE, the State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee, and local sites will take joint responsibility for identifying these industries and occupations. The State Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee will take responsibility for identifying traditional apprenticeship programs that are currently in place. Approval of new apprentice program areas must be submitted 60 days prior to requested approval date.

Career Focus Program of Study

A YA/WBL career focus program of study is a coherent sequence of rigorous academic and technical courses and structured work-based learning component that prepares a student for successful completion of state academic standards and more advanced postsecondary education and work experiences related to their career cluster of interest. This program of study must combine the 11th and 12th grades of high school and a postsecondary associate degree, certificate, and/or traditional apprenticeship. The career focus must be designed around one of the U.S. Department of Education 16 career clusters, the KUDER assessments, and the Arkansas ‘Smart Core.’ Entry into the YA/WBL program requires a career focus program of study signed by the student, parent and instructor.

U.S. Department of Education Career Clusters:

  1. Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  2. Architecture and Construction
  3. Arts, A/V Technology and Communications
  4. Business, Management and Administrative Services
  5. Education and Training
  6. Financial Services
  7. Government and Public Administration
  8. Hospitality and Tourism
  9. Health Science
  10. Human Services
  11. Information Technology
  12. Law, Public Safety and Security
  13. Manufacturing
  14. Marketing, Sales and Services
  15. Scientific, Technology, engineering and Mathematics
  16. Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics

Structured Plan for Student Learning

(Work-Based Learning Plan)

A structured plan for student learning is developed by the classroom instructor and workplace mentor and outlines the individual student’s learning in the workplace with progressively higher levels of work experience accompanied by training and mentoring along with wage progression; identifies work placements by the employer that engage the student in all aspects of the industry through job rotations and in structured learning opportunities that meet program/career learning objectives; and clarifies the legal rights, responsibilities, and liabilities of the partners. This plan must be signed by the employer, instructor, and student before the student begins the apprentice position with the employer.