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Work Based Learning Gives Students Career Experience

Last updated on March 17, 2019

By Lauren Fraine

Students at Volunteer State Community College have the opportunity to attain work experience through the Work Based Learning academic program.

In the WBL program, students work off campus and integrate classroom learning with real-life work experience while developing work-related professional and personal skills, as well as career readiness.

Through WBL, students acquire workplace savvy that is directly related to their major. Students can explore a potential career while earning college credits and pay.

WBL student and Journalism major Nick Kieser at a basketball game assignment.
WBL student and Journalism major Nick Kieser at a basketball game assignment.

“It’s a college course-based, for-credit experience. Many of the students in WBL courses are compensated financially by the employers,” said administrator of Work Based Learning, Rick Parrent.

The majority of WBL courses are in Business and Technology, Education, Criminal Justice, Health Sciences, Mechatronics, Communications, English, and Music.

“You could walk away from this kind of program possibly comfortable enough to go out and get your own job. It’s been a huge eye opener because I’ve had to learn how to do more than one thing on my own,” said Journalism major Nick Kieser.

Kieser worked for the Vol State radio station, has access to the social media accounts for all Vol State athletic teams and also conducts interviews after athletic events.
“Doing the work study is a lot of fun, I would highly recommend it. It will be beneficial to have on my resume when I go to my next school,” said Kieser.

The WBL program not only gives students experience and practical application, but also the chance to network and create future employment opportunities.

“The WBL and the Reserves led me to being hired as a full time police officer,” said Vol State graduate Perry Foxx. “I gained real-world experience and training during WBL, which goes hand-in-hand with what I’m currently learning at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy. It put me ahead of the learning curve.”

WBL offers students credit-bearing real-world work experience, skills enhancement, networking opportunities and pay.

“Employers receive talented individuals who want to grow individually and professionally. Businesses also gain a valuable connection to the college and a network for new employees,” Parrent said.

WBL courses may be offered during fall, spring, and summer semesters. Contact your faculty advisor to determine eligibility and course availability.

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