___________________________________________________ Program Management
Work-based Learning (WBL) Advisory Council
Very few teacher-coordinators have the occupational background to conduct an effective
work-based learning program without the advice of people in business and industry.
Creating and using an advisory council can be a very productive and relevant method of
involving the community in the educational process.
Potential members of the council should come from fields outside education and be
chosen for their specialized knowledge and/or general standing in the community.
Suggestions for advisory council membership may come from the school board, school
administration, Chamber of Commerce, professional organizations, civic clubs, labor
organizations, school faculty, businesses, industries, former or current students, the Iowa
Department of Education, employment agencies, the Iowa Division of Labor Services or
the US Department of Labor, and institutions of higher education. Key qualifications
include an interest in education, the school, and the work-based learning program;
occupational experience and specialties; enthusiasm; character; and available time.
Balanced representation for the final council membership is also important.
Among other services, advisory councils may be called upon to assist teacher-
coordinators with public relations, classroom instruction, on-the-job training, and
program evaluation. The council should:
Provide a link between the school and community, including identification of
training stations and placement opportunities;
Create a close relationship between local businesses and the WBL program;
Provide an opportunity for interested employers to help organize and impact the
educational needs of the community, including suggestions for program
standards, components, changes, and evaluation;
Serve as a sounding board for policies, procedures, innovations, ideas, and other
elements of the work-based learning program;
Help publicize and increase community support for the WBL program;
Assist with teacher-in-the-workplace experiences that contribute to professional
growth of faculty in occupational areas and new technologies.
Structure and procedures for advisory councils can be determined by the local group and
facilitated by the program teacher-coordinator. Many models exist and can be adapted for
Student organizations play an important role in preparing students for occupational
success. Their broad goals involve social, educational, occupational and character
development; leadership training; and the development of a sense of personal
responsibility and civic consciousness in students. Each student organization also has
specific goals and objectives that are unique to the discipline it serves. With good
planning and strong support, student organizations can stimulate student learning inside
and outside the classroom. Students from the work-based learning program may also
WBL Guide 2002 __________________________________________________ A -- 34