Work Based Learning in the Slate Valley
Local Businesses Provide Students with Valuable Experience

In the Slate Valley, learning takes place both in and outside of the classroom. The Work Based Learning program at Fair Haven Union High School (FHUHS) provides students with a unique opportunity to develop basic work skills as well as gain competence in a chosen occupational field that relates to their career goals.

"Our Work Based Learning program allows our students to participate and earn academic credit, explore career paths and earn real work experience before they leave high school,” said Kim Ransom, Work Based Learning Coordinator. “Students have the chance to explore interests in ways outside the classroom setting and gain skills that may actually be useful in the workplace."

As part of the Work Based Learning program, local businesses provide students with learning experiences in our community. Because of these businesses, FHUHS is able to provide students with a new model of education that supports career and college readiness. In addition to working outside of the school, students can also choose to serve as a volunteer within the school community.

“One of our students is gaining real world, hands on experience, for a position she will attain after attending a four-year college,” said Ransom. “She absolutely loves that she has chosen her field of study and can see the big picture of her future in many years to come.”

Employers involved in our Work Based Learning program for the 2019-2020 school year include: A+ Child Care, Aladdin Food Service, Fair Haven Concerned, Fair Haven Inn, Makoto School of Martial Arts, Maplefields, McDonalds Fair Haven, Mill Pond Farm, R&D Automotive, Rutland Regional Medical Center, Rutland Veterinary Clinic at Castleton Corners, Shaw’s Supermarket, Shaw’s Supermarket-Deli, Slate Valley Physical Therapy, and Wolfpack.

“We wish to thank these employers for their cooperation in our new Work Based Learning program for the 2019-2020 school year,” said Ransom. "Our local employers and non-profits are so happy have our students. In fact, two of our students have already been offered full-time positions with benefits upon graduation in June 2020.”

Participation in the Work Based Learning program also helps students develop transferable skills such as clear and effective communication, self-direction, creative and practical problem solving, responsible and informed citizenship, and informed and integrated thinking.

"Work based learning programs are gaining traction in Vermont and other states as schools consider ways to better prepare students for college and careers,” said Ransom. “Educators and experts say such programs may engage disengaged students, increase graduation and attendance rates, and help students develop career goals at an earlier point in their lives.”