Work-Based Learning Prepares Students for Future Employment

Work-Based Learning serves to prepare students for securing and maintaining meaningful post-graduation employment and/or education that will allow them to lead financially independent and productive adult lives. Our program focuses on helping students identify realistic career interests; providing students with work-based learning experiences; and helping them to develop key life and employment skills.

Learn and Earn Program

Green Chimneys students learn and practice a variety of employment and job skills as part of the “Learn and Earn” program, where they receive individual and group education, seek campus job assignments, and get paid—modestly—at an hourly rate. With assistance from a vocational education counselor, classroom teachers and social workers, interested students voluntarily sign up for age-appropriate work assignments in various campus locations.

Work-based learning can take place both on- and off-campus, as long as it is within an authentic work environment. The Farm & Wildlife Center, dining hall, building and program offices, and Boni-Bel Farm & Country Store all offer opportunities for students to acquire real-world skills. Students work under the guidance and supervision of skill coaches on vocational task responsibilities that demand commitment and are designed to mirror those found in a community workplace.

This highly sought-after program builds self-discipline, confidence, and life skills, and establishes the relationship between work (learn) and stipend/reward (earn). One half of the money earned through this program is placed into a savings account for each student, to be disbursed upon their discharge from Green Chimneys School. Students may keep the other half of their earnings to spend on trips, during special occasions, or at home.

Preparing our high school Students

As part of the curriculum standards designated by New York State, our High School program includes Work-Based Learning (WBL) opportunities and Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS).

Work-Based Learning includes course instruction that introduces students to career opportunities and requirements and helps them to obtain technical skills, apply academic skills and develop career-related behaviors and mindsets. In grades 9 through 12, WBL includes the specific disciplines of agriculture education, business and marketing education, family and consumer sciences education, health occupations education, technical education, technology education and trade/industrial education.

The CDOS certificate is earned throughout the student’s high school education at Green Chimneys and encompasses career development; integrated learning (application of knowledge and skills to job-related responsibilities; and ultimately, a career plan. The certificate is awarded to students who have acquired entry-level work readiness skills and have met the high school learning standards necessary for work success.