Students Developing Skills For Their Future With Work-Based Learning

Students Developing Skills For Their Future With Work-Based Learning

An afternoon at school for Brevin Wickham is a bit different compared to that of most high school students.

The Richland High School senior, donning a safety vest and any other necessary gear, works on safety improvements to campus beautification projects with Richland School District grounds workers. In the process, he is growing his technical skills and knowledge as well as honing his soft skills such as time management, interpersonal relationships and more, all of them crucial for success once he graduates.

“Work-based learning connects the classroom to the real-world, providing students with a hands-on opportunity to practice and apply their learning in a job or internship,” says Ryan Beard, the district’s Director of Career & Technical Education. "Students learn technical skills, and critical workplace readiness skills such as leadership, communication, problem-solving that have been shown to increase the likelihood of post-secondary success.”

More than 70 high school students across the district are involved in Work-Based Learning (WBL) programs like Brevin. Some are within the district itself, such as with the Grounds or IT department. Others are with community partners ranging from retailers and local farms to healthcare providers. There are opportunities for students of any ability level and interest, whether students just want something different from a classroom experience or they want to intentionally prepare for a specific future career.

The district continues to recruit WBL partners and search for new experiences for students wanting to give it a try. Any business or organization interested in working with district students are encouraged to contact Beard at or the WBL coordinators at Hanford, Richland or River’s Edge high schools