BUSINESS TOURS/FIELD TRIPS

 
 
 
 

Definition

A business tour/fieldtrip is an excursion or planned work-based learning experience for a group of students allowing them to explore or observe occupations.  These experiences should be carefully planned to provide a quality educational experience, protect the safety of the students and create positive relationships with the business.  This experience must be supervised by a Career and Technical Education (CTE) certified teacher or school counselor.

Purpose/Objective

The purpose of business tour/Fieldtrip is to provide students with an informative introduction to careers in various businesses.

Benefits

  • Permit the flexibility of arranging the business tour/field trip for one student, a small group of students or an entire class
  • Provide an exposure to careers and jobs in the actual work setting
  • Expands student learning beyond the walls of the classroom into the local community
  • Provide students with experiences and perspectives that are not possible to duplicate in the classroom
  • Allows students to gainrealistic perspectives on expectations in a job and/or career field and the workplace requirements
  • Supplements information that can be obtained through other work awareness and work exploration strategies
  • Allow more informal, personal interaction and conversation between the business tour/field trip guide than traditional classroom presentations
  • Provide an opportunity to develop students’ career readiness skills, including communicating effectively and appropriately (speaking, professional etiquette), personal responsibility, etc.
  • Provides information on the industry, types of careers and occupations, knowledge and skills requirements and work processes in the actual work setting
  • Students learn the importance of thinking about career development through the career path stories their tour guides share

Success Factors

  • Reach out to diverse local employers and professionals that align to students interests
  • Choose business tours/field trips that allow students exposure to all aspects of the industry
  • Review examples of the business/industry’s marketing materials, products, or services performed in advance of the visit
  • Prepare students for the work environment (guidelines, restrictions, safety requirements, etc.)
  • Have students generate a list of questions, prior to the visit to ask the guide(s) during the visit
  • Identify the education or training required and the skills needed for the occupations found at the business/organization
  • Clearly communicate expectations/guidelines and your understanding of what the business tour/field trip will involve to the business guide(s)
  • Ask the business/employer to build in demonstrations during the tour to explain why the company has been successful
  • Request that guides allow time for employees to explain their roles, responsibilities, and how they were educated, trained or qualified to be employed at the worksite
  • Provide reflection opportunities after the business tour/field trip
  • Encourage business tour/field trip guides to have tangible take-aways such as brochures, handouts, business cards, etc.
  • Clearly communicate the objectives of the business tour/field trip to the guide(s) AND to the students participating
  • Have students identify and discuss the career readiness skills observed
  • Require students to write reflections and/or thank you letters following the worksite visit
  • Recognize business partners, publicly, for their involvement (e.g., thank you letters, awards, newspaper articles, framed certificate)

Key Legal, Safety and Health Issues

  • Relevant company safety and health rules should be reviewed with students
  • School district policies regarding transportation and liability apply
  • Students and teachers participating in business tours/field trips should receive relevant safety instruction and gear (e.g., eye goggles, hard hat, gloves, etc.)

Prerequisites & Related Instruction

None

Student Selection/Qualifications

Student selection for participation in business tours/fieldtrips is to be determined by the Local Education Agency (LEA).  Students in grades 7-12 can benefit from this experience.

Roles and Responsibilities

The student is responsible for demonstrating a business-like attitude and appropriate conduct.

Credits Earned

Credit is not awarded for this work-based learning experience.

Supervision/Coordination Requirements    

Adequate supervision as required by the (LEA) to participate in the experience.  

Required Documentation & Forms   

Each student should submit forms required for participation by the LEA

Insurance Coverage

Each student participating in the experience should be covered by personal insurance or group coverage offered by the school or activity sponsor, if applicable.

JOB SHADOWING

 
 
 

Definition

Job shadowing is a structured component of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum that provides a supervised observational experience in an approved business/industry setting.   Job Shadowing experiences are integrated within specific CTE courses that allow the student to observe technical skills learned in the classroom. This experience is directly supervised by the CTE teacher.

Purpose/Objective: Career Exploration

Job Shadowing provides an opportunity for students in grades 8–12 to gain knowledge by observing previously learned theory in CTE courses. These experiences are uniquely designed to meet course content standards through supervised experiences and observations, which are coupled with related classroom instruction.

Success Factors

  • Develop a plan that includes a career process for selecting potential job shadowing participants andsites for quality job shadowing/work experiences
  • Develop a process to identify employees at a business or organization who are willing to be shadowed and demonstrate the ability to:
    • Support the growth and career development efforts of the participant
    • Help participants explore career options and job opportunities
    • Convey a sense of caring and importance
    • Enhance the student’s feeling of self-worth
  • Develop a process for matching student’s interests with related careers, businesses, and industries
  • Encourage parental input
  • Provide a clear understanding to the job shadowing site and mentor (in writing) that explains how the student will be prepared and what is expected from the site and the mentor
  • Provide safety instruction for all job shadowing/work experiences, especially where there may be a physical risk
  • Ensure that job shadowing/work experience participants are supervised by the school and a school employee is assigned to that duty
  • Conduct orientations for the student and the job shadowing mentor(s)
  • Prior to the job shadow, have the student research the occupation, develop questions, and establish learning objectives and goals
  • Arrange for students to have exposure to all aspects of industry
  • Identify the education or training required and the skills needed for various occupations
  • Provide reflection opportunities after the job shadow such as journals to record and reflect on the shadowing experience
  • Accommodate students of all abilities
  • Review job shadowing activities periodically and adjust accordingly

 

Benefits

  • Designed to promote:
    • Exploration of a field of interest
    • Exposure to careers and jobs
    • Awareness of the academic, technical and career readiness skills required in particular jobs
  • Provide an exposure to careers and jobs in the actual work setting
  • Expands student learning beyond the walls of the classroom into the local community
  • Provide students with experiences and perspectives that are not possible to duplicate in the classroom
  • Allow students to gain realistic perspectives on expectations in a job and/or career field and the workplace requirements
  • Supplement information that can be obtained through other work awareness and work exploration strategies
  • Provide an opportunity to develop students’ career readiness skills, including communicating effectively and appropriately (speaking, professional etiquette), personal responsibility, etc.
  • Provides information on the industry, types of careers and occupations, knowledge and skills requirements and work processes in the actual work setting
  • Students learn the importance of thinking about career development through conversations with the job shadowing mentor

Key Legal, Safety and Health Issues

  • Job shadowing/work experiences are usually considered to be similar to field trips. School district policies regarding transportation and liability apply
  • Relevant company safety and health rules should be reviewed with students
  • Students participating in job shadowing activities can participate in mock situations, shadow employees or even participate in the operations of the workplace as long as the person typically responsible for the duty is observing the students’ actions (US DOL Fact Sheet No. 013, Employment Relationship Under the Fair Labor Standards Act)

Prerequisites

Prior to placement in a shadowing experience each LEA shall ensure that a Job Shadowing Training Agreement is secured. Parent signature on training agreement is required in order to participate in shadowing experience.

    Student Participation/Qualifications

    Students participating in Job Shadowing must:

    • Be enrolled in grades 8-12.
    • Be physically and mentally capable of observing and maintaining attention while shadowing.
    • Be in good academic standing and have an acceptable discipline record as determined by the CTE Teacher.

    Roles and Responsibilities

    Job Shadowing requires time, commitment, and collaboration of the following partners:

    • Students must arrive at the business/industry at the appropriate time and in the appropriate dress.  Students must comply with the rules and regulations of the school district, school, and training facility. 
    • Parents/Guardians should provide ongoing support to the student and assume the responsibility for the conduct of the students. 
    • CTE teachers shall identify the business industry and placement of students based on their area of interest.

    Credits Earned

    Credit is earned for the specific CTE course for which the student is enrolled.

    Workplace Supervisors Role

    It is important for the supervisor to understand that job shadowing students are not present to work. They are there to observe and ask questions.

    Upon agreeing to take a job shadowing student, the supervisor will:

    • Be responsible as the single point of contact for daily contact and planning
    • Meet with the students at the start and end of each job shadow day
    • Arrange for the actual job shadowing experience(s)
    • Inform the student of any relevant polities or regulations at the worksite
    • Answer any relevant questions about the profession or facility
    • Direct students to the area of their career interest
    • Connect the student with professionals that support their area of interest
    • Monitor the student and contact the district supervisor should there be any problems
    • Complete the Workplace Supervisor’s Job Shadow Feedback Sheet upon completion

    Student Expectations

    As part of the job shadowing experience, students will:

    • Make phone contact with the job shadow contact 5-10 business days before the experience begins
      • Verify: dress code, safety requirements, meeting location and meeting procedures
    • Dress according to the standards of the particular site
    • Call the site before the scheduled time if unable to attend on the appointed day
    • Call the school district contact before the scheduled time if unable to attend on the appointed day
    • Arrive at the site at the agreed upon time
    • Provide the job site with an up-to-date resume
    • Follow all guidelines and policies of the site
    • Complete any school assignments related to the job shadow experience
    • Complete all required paperwork (permission, medical authorizations, etc.)
    • Send the business a thank you letter within 0-5 business days of the job shadow

    List of required assignments for the job shadow:

    • Written report on a specific career
    • Information about the job shadow site: media and photos of work areas and projects *verify photos are allowed
    • Summary of employee interviews
    • A journal entry describing each day’s activities
    • Classroom oral presentation and multimedia on careers represented at the job shadowing site

    Teacher's Role

    The classroom teacher will be responsible to see that all students participating in the job shadowing experience have met all of the criteria required prior to the placement of students on the job shadowing sites and assess the job shadow assignments.

    • Collecting appropriate information from the students
    • Contact information
    • Job shadow preferences
    • Biographies
    • Parent contact information
    • Parent permission slips
    • Waivers specific to the job shadow site
    • Student resumes
    • Thank you letters drafts
    • Arrange presentations of job shadows
    • Assess student’s documentation and presentations
    • Review supervisor feedback

    District Supervisor's Role (Teacher Coordinator)

    The District Supervisor (Teacher Coordinator) will be responsible to see that all students participating in the job shadowing experience have met all of the criteria required prior to the placement of students on the job shadowing sites.

     The coordinator’s responsibilities and duties include:

    • Arrange Job Shadow week, student business alignment and record keeping
    • Follow-up with the worksites for feedback on the job shadow
    • Monitoring completion of student assignments
    • Being available in emergency situations
     

    JOB SHADOW FORMS

     
    Job Shadow Registration Form

    Job Shadow Registration Form

    Job Shadow Observation Worksheet

    Job Shadow Observation Worksheet

    Job Shadow Example Questions

    Job Shadow Example Questions

    Workplace Supervisor's Job Shadow Feedback Sheet

    Workplace Supervisor's Job Shadow Feedback Sheet

    Job Shadow and Presentation Evaluation Form

    Job Shadow and Presentation Evaluation Form

    Job Shadow Reflection Form

    Job Shadow Reflection Form

    Job Shadowing Training Agreement

    Job Shadowing Training Agreement

     

    MENTORSHIPS

     
     
     

    Definition

    Mentorships are career exploration activities in which the student is matched with an adult professional in a chosen field of interest to explore careers, postsecondary education options, industry expectations, and career readiness skills. The career mentor serves as a resource by sharing insights and providing guidance about the workplace, careers and education.  The mentors can help the student understand the required education for a given career as well as any requirements such as licenses, certifications, registrations or educational degrees.

    Students benefit from regular contact with a knowledgeable and supportive adult mentor outside of the classroom and school environment. A mentor may visit the classroom, conduct interviews, and provide information related to the needs of the business or organization.  The student may also visit the workplace and gain better understanding of the career in which the mentor is engaged and the related job duties and responsibilities. Career mentoring is a formal, long-term supportive relationship between a student and an individual more senior in age and experience with similar career interests.

    The mentor serves as a good role model, but does not serve as a counselor for the student. Student with personal issues should be referred to the school counselor. Career mentoring can occur as a face-to-face activity or as an e-mentoring activity.

    The mentoring relationship generally begins after the student has entered the ninth grade and has established a tentative career interest area. Mentors and students interact one-on-one as a mentor assists a student in developing a career plan to integrate knowledge, skills and abilities the student will need to achieve career goals. The mentor offers support, guidance, motivation and concrete assistance as the student enters new areas of career exploration and takes on important tasks to further career aspirations.

    Purpose/Objective: Career Exploration

    Students benefit from regular contact with a knowledgeable and supportive adult mentor outside of the classroom and school environment. These experiences are uniquely designed to enhance CTE course content experiences and observations with the mentor.

    Benefits

    • Promotes exploration of a career area of interest for the student.
    • Allows students to gain realistic perspectives on expectations in a job and or career area and the workplace requirements from an adult role model.
    • Provides the flexibility to educate beyond traditional time, location and method constraints.
    • Unites education and business to best meet career interests of an individual student.
    • Increases self-confidence, self-worth, self-knowledge, interpersonal skills and knowledge in a career area.
    • Supplements information that can be obtained through other work awareness and work exploration strategies.
    • Provides an opportunity to develop students’ career readiness skills, including communicating effectively and appropriately (speaking, professional etiquette), personal responsibility, etc.
    • Provides information on the industry, types of careers and occupations, knowledge and skills requirements and work processes in the actual work settings.
    • Engages students in thinking intentionally about the importance of career development through conversations with the career mentor.
    • Empowers setting long-term attainable goals.

    Success Factors

    • Develop a plan that includes a clear process for selecting prospective participants.
    • Match students with career mentors based on career interest and personality.
    • Develop a process to identify career mentors that demonstrate the ability to:
      • Support the growth, skill and career development efforts of the student.
      • Help the student explore options, values and career alternatives.
      • Convey to the student a sense of caring and importance.
      • Contribute to the student’s feeling of self-worth.
    • Have a procedure in place to check the backgrounds of prospective career mentors.
    • Work with students in the development of a portfolio that describes career interests, experiences, goals and other background information.
    • Develop and provide written career mentorship agreement that includes:
      • Expectations of a mentor and student.
      • Length of the mentorship relationship.
      • Number and location of the mentorship meetings.
      • Description of the mentorship evaluation process.
      • Signatures of mentor, student, parent and school representative.
    • Allow the mentor and student to interview and select each other.
    • Have the student and mentor set and communicate expectations that are assessed on a regular basis.
    • Provide orientation activities for the participant and mentor prior to the beginning of the mentorship.
    • Ensure participants are supervised by the local educational agency/institution.
    • Develop an application and interview process for prospective students to provide a means for the instructor to meet and clarify mentorship goals.
    • Require a mentorship training to prepare the student for the activity.
    • Require students to keep a journal to record and reflect on discussions they had with their mentor. Journals may be graded as a part of the workplace experience program.
    • Provide time for weekly meetings with classmates and instructors to share experiences and ensure student follow-through.
    • Send thank-you notes to business and agencies for allowing their employees to participate in the program. Recognize individuals who volunteer as mentors.
    • Contact local media to promote activities and to recognize businesses and agencies that participate.

    Key Legal, Safety and Health Issues

    • Mentoring should focus on career exploration, training and related education
    • Mentoring should take place at the school, workplace or an approved outing.
    • Mentors that participate in activities with students outside the workplace should be approved by the school administration and parents. A mentoring permission form should be used when setting up the mentoring relationship.

    Prerequisites

    Prior to placement in a mentorship experience each LEA shall ensure that a Mentorship Training Agreement is secured. Parent signature on training agreement is required in order to participate in mentoring experience.

    Student Participation/Qualifications

    Students participating in Job Shadowing must be enrolled in career and technical education and seek a mentor in a career area of interest.

    Credits Earned

    Credit may be awarded through regular classroom and laboratory grading.

     

    MENTORSHIP FORMS

    Student Application for Mentoring

    Student Application for Mentoring

    Mentor Questionnaire

    Mentor Questionnaire

    Teacher Evaluation for Mentoring Form

    Teacher Evaluation for Mentoring Form

    Student Mentoring Evaluation Form

    Student Mentoring Evaluation Form

    Mentor Evaluation Form

    Mentor Evaluation Form

     

    SIMULATIONS

     
     
     

    Definition

    Simulations are a way to expose students to careers and to explore them without actually being in the workplace.  Career simulations allow students to experience opening a business, manufacture products, and demonstrate career readiness skills in a non-threatening, safe environment in the classroom.  Simulations can be for individuals or for teams.  Simulations can be fun and engaging a have a high degree of accuracy as it relates to the workplace.  They offer the opportunity to “preview” jobs.  Gaming technology is evolving rapidly and is enhancing the virtual reality experience of career simulations.  The U.S. Military has been creating advanced simulations tools.

    Purpose/Objective: Career Exploration

    Simulated workplace experiences are beneficial when laws, travel or logistics make it difficult to experience the actual workplace.  Simulations rely on current software and Internet for creating the workplace experience.

    Success Factors

    • Align simulations with classroom instruction for maximum impact.
    • Consider having students work both as individuals and as collaborative groups during the simulation to imitate a real work environment.
    • Allow the simulation to take place over an extended time period to replicate real world work.
    • Create the simulation of a workplace in the classroom or CTSO experience. Fund raising for a CTSO provides an excellent framework to create a simulated business experience.

    Benefits

    • Provides students with a workplace experience that may not be available to them due to limiting factors of time, distance, etc.
    • Allows all students to participate rather than those with transportation or other enabling factors.
    • Technology allows students to actually make decisions and evaluate the results of those decisions in real time or through an accelerated timeframe.
    • Students may be able to participate in a variety of simulations to explore different career areas.

    Key Legal, Safety and Health Issues

    • Do not allow students to invest money in any workplace experience simulation or use any simulation that requires a financial investment to complete.
    • Carefully monitor personal information provided to workplace simulation websites.

    Prerequisites

    Prior to placement in a mentorship experience each LEA shall ensure that a Mentorship Training Agreement is secured. Parent signature on training agreement is required in order to participate in mentoring experience.

    Credits Earned

    Credit may be awarded through regular classroom and laboratory grading.

    SUMMER EXPERIENCES

     
     
     

    Definition

    Summer camps and experiences are unique ways to provide in-depth workplace experiences for students. Several organizations provide a camp or conference type of experience that provides learning experiences for students.

    Purpose/Objective: Career Exploration

    Provide an extended opportunity for students to explore the workplace and develop technical and career readiness skills through a focused camp or summer experience.

    Benefits

    • Provides a focused, extended workplace experience for students.
    • Promotes opportunities for students and business/industry to develop partnerships without restrictions of the school day.

    Success Factors

    • Successful summer experiences have been developed in several Nebraska communities. These usually involve a partnership with areas business/industry to provide an extended experience. Several communities have a week-long event where a student can spend a week shadowing a business/industry and discover if they would like to pursue a career in that industry. Most of the successful experiences allow a student to discover all aspects of the industry rather than focusing on one particular job.
    • Summer experience camps can be a popular way to engage students in experiencing the work of the industry. Examples are a summer construction or manufacturing camp where students actually work side by side with industry professionals in work that is approvable for students less than 18 years old.
    • Summer camps and experiences are most successful when the student is engaged in trying the work rather than watching or being told about the nature of the work.

    Key Legal, Safety and Health Issues

    • Monitor the activities to make certain they are appropriate for the age of students and do not allow students to work in any of the hazardous occupations.
    • Make certain students and parents know the expectations for student behavior, dress, performance, etc.

    Prerequisites

    Prior to participation, students and parents should sign appropriate forms. Students should research the business they plan to visit.

    Student Participation/Qualifications

    Students in grades 9-12

    Credits Earned

    Credit may be awarded through regular classroom and laboratory grading.