A Workplace Challenge is a Career Preparation activity where small groups of students (four to six per team) are engaged in solving a real-world problem or a challenge issued by an employer. The challenge is identified by the employer in consultation with the work-based learning coordinator and a classroom teacher. The structure of the challenge is based upon effective project-based learning approaches, enhanced by a focus on the targeted career pathway and an authentic problem or issue faced by an employer partner.
Students work as a team to identify possible solutions. They then create and deliver a presentation on their solutions to the employer. Designed to meet specific learning outcomes, workplace challenges are educationally rich, are tied to the curriculum, and help students connect what they’re learning in school with the workplace.
If the time and intensity of the workplace challenge described here is difficult to apply in your program model, consider a “workplace challenge lite.” Maintain key components of the challenge (employer issues a real-world challenge, students work together to define a solution and present to the employer) but identify a simpler problem with the employer that a small group of students might define over a single two- or three-hour session.
Workplace challenges are one activity in the continuum of authentic work-based experiences provided to all students engaged in career-related programs or course of study in New York City schools.
*In New York State, this includes certified work-based learning coordinators and others who facilitate, arrange and support work-based learning activities for students.