Structured Learning Experience

What is a Structured Learning Experience (SLE)?

A “structured learning experience” is an experiential, supervised educational activities linked to the Core Curriculum Content Standards that is designed to provide students with exposure to the requirements and responsibilities of specific job titles or job groups, and is intended to assist them in gaining employment skills and making career and educational decisions. A structured learning experience may be either paid or unpaid, depending on the type of activities in which the student is involved.

Why Develop an SLE Program at your School?

• SLEs are required by Code

• SLEs may be used to help students meet the current 5 credit graduation requirement for Standard 9: 21st Century Life and Careers using Option II of the graduation requirements

• Match learning opportunities to student learning styles: evidence‐based practice successful for many learners

• SLEs provide individualized student learning Opportunities

• SLEs may be used as performance assessments, where teachers can observe and evaluate demonstrations of what students know and can do (N.J.A.C. 6A:8‐1.3)

• SLE relationship to post‐school success: improved graduation rates, improved employment rates, more successful college experience (NJDOE post-graduation survey of students with special needs)

Who Can Participate in SLE?

• Career and Technical Education Students

• Special Education Students

• General Education Students

• College Prep Students

• Gifted and Talented Students

• All Students

SLE EXAMPLES:

Job Shadowing

• Job shadowing is a career exploration SLE.

• All students, no age restrictions, no hands‐on activities. Students observe and interview employees, develop presentations about their experiences and what they learned, activities are graded, included in student portfolios.

• Job shadowing is a good way to introduce career exploration to students and to begin implementing an SLE program in a district.

• Treated like a field trip – one or multiple students may participate at a time.

Volunteer Experiences

• Volunteering is a career exploration SLE.

• All students, ages 16 or older. Students participate in hands‐on activities at a not‐for-profit site in non‐hazardous occupations only.

• May be graded or offered for stand‐alone credit via Option II of the graduation requirements; included in student portfolio.

• Includes student training plan for volunteer site activities that are tied to the NJCCCS.

• Includes onsite supervision of student by SLE teacher or cooperative education coordinator.

Short Term Paid or Unpaid SLEs

• Paid and Unpaid experiences are career exploration and workplace readiness SLEs.

• All students, ages 16 or older. Students participate in hands‐on activities at a for‐profit site in nonhazardous occupations only.

• May be graded or offered for stand‐alone credit via Option II of the graduation requirements; included in student portfolio.

• Includes student training plan for SLE site activities that are tied to the NJCCCS.

• Includes onsite supervision of student by SLE teacher or cooperative education coordinator.

• Paid experiences include working papers.

Senior Year Options

• Senior Year Options are typically career exploration or workplace readiness SLEs.

• Students ages 16 or older. Students have completed graduation requirements.

• Students participate in hands‐on Career Internship at a for‐profit site. This type of internship is typically unpaid.

• Included in student portfolio.

• Includes student training plan for SLE site activities that are tied to the NJCCCS.

• Includes onsite supervision of student by SLE teacher or cooperative education coordinator.

• Paid experiences include working papers.

Cooperative Education Experiences

• Cooperative Education Experiences are career preparation SLEs.

• All career and technical education students, ages 16 or older.

• Long‐term experiences that must be paid and must offer stand‐alone graduation credit.

• Experience must be in the occupation for which the student is preparing in their career and technical education program.

• Includes student training plan for SLE site activities that are tied to the NJCCCS.

• Includes onsite supervision of student by a cooperative education coordinator.

• Paid experiences include working papers.

• If the student is enrolled is a hazardous career and technical education program, such as construction and culinary arts, student is permitted to participate in cooperative education experience in that occupation even though it is prohibited to other minors.

SLE Resources

SLE Homepage (Where you can subscribe to the SLE Infoshare mailing list)

Transition from School to Adult Life

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