Work-based learning (WBL) enhances students’ education through internships, apprenticeships, and mentorships. Additionally, WBL exposes students to mock interviewing, talent tours, resume workshops, and industry guest speakers. Kathy Hurley, Kalamazoo RESA Career and Technical Education (CTE)’s new work-based learning supervisor, understands the value of work-based learning and how it strengthens a student’s educational experience.
Hurley envisions WBL opportunities for all students. Her task is to work with local districts to reach students in CTE, special education, career awareness and exploration, and non-CTE programs.
“It’s an important experience for students to have in order to understand their strengths, build confidence, and really learn who they are and what they want to do,” she said. “There are great opportunities in place, and we want to scale up those opportunities.”
Hurley worked at Portage Public Schools for 17 years before joining KRESA as Transition Coordinator in 2017. As the WBL supervisor, she hopes to provide direction and a support system that is an extension of the local school districts. “This may look different from district to district, depending on what supports are already in place,” Hurley said. “We believe all students have the potential to grow through work-based learning experiences. Collaborating and supporting local districts will allow us to bring those experiences to all students.”
For more information about KRESA programs and services, visit www.kresa.org.