At a Glance

The second section of the Work-Based Courses toolkit focuses on the importance of having a strong team to support the development of a work-based courses program and how to build such a team.

Published jul. 27, 2000

Building a Team and Institutional Support

Work-based courses require community college administrators, faculty members, and companies to work together to design and deliver courses that make sense for workers who are also students. Launching a work-based course program first requires putting together a strong team composed of senior administrators and teaching staff. Because the work-based course model differs from the usual way of doing business, perhaps the single most important attribute a college must have is flexibility—a willingness among senior administrators and faculty to try new things.

Given the central role of employers in work-based courses, program administrators should understand the regional manufacturing economy and have established collaborative relationships with some of their local employers. To recruit employers as strategic partners in work-based courses, colleges should approach them in a listening mode, asking “How can we help address your challenges?” As soon as one employer is on board, its willingness to speak to the program’s value may help a college’s efforts to recruit others.

The work-based team will serve as both experts and champions for the model. In partnership with that team, program administrators can continue to build support for work-based courses across the college, with additional faculty members, and among other regional manufacturers.

Building Faculty Support

Questions to Ask before Watching This Video

  • How does on-the-job industry experience differ from classroom learning?
  • How can a faculty member’s industry experience inform teaching and make it more relevant for students?

Questions to Ask after Watching This Video

  • Why is it important to get faculty to support the work-based course model?
  • What is your faculty’s experience with work-based learning programs or otherwise partnering with industry? What has worked well in these relationships? What challenges have they faced?