Boulder Valley School District

Work-Based Learning

What is Modern Youth Apprenticeship

You're sitting in a classroom. You're learning how to think, reason, analyze, evaluate, create. You've learned how to solve math problems, write persuasive essays, and debate controversial topics. You've seem amoebas swim, created chemical reactions, and interpreted data. All of this and more and yet do you know if you're ready for life beyond high school? Did you know that while you're still in high school you can take college courses, earn industry certificates, and learn skills on the job?

Work-Based Learning (WBL) combines what you're learning in the classroom with professional training opportunities. By interweaving WBL with industry certificate and/or post-secondary coursework you're not only career ready...you're career competitive!

BVSD is partnering with CareerWise Colorado to offer paid apprenticeships to high school juniors and seniors. This three year program begins the summer before 11th grade (or January of junior year for some programs) with a soft skills boot camp. During the school year, students split their days between academic classes and a meaningful paid work experience. While learning the skills necessary to be successful in a career pathway, students are also building a professional network of mentors and contacts. Employers also offer apprentices the opportunity to earn nationally recognized industry certifications and tuition for relevant college courses. 

Apprentices earn:

  • Meaningful work experience (unlike  a short internship, apprentices are being prepared to step into full-time roles)
  • A professional certification (signaling to employers they're ready to work)
  • Approximately a semester's worth of debt-free college credit (employers commit to up to $4000 in career-related coursework in the final year)
  • A professional network (apprentices work with a direct supervisor and their teams, are assigned a coach/mentor at the company and many have regular direct interaction with CEOs and other executives)
  • A good paycheck - many apprenticeships start at $12-14 or more an hour

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, students need to be on-track to graduate. If you're interested, please contact your school counselor or Madeline Brockish.

For an idea of the types of apprenticeships that may be available, visit CareerWise's occupations page. When the CareerWise Hiring Hub goes live in late September, specific opportunities with employers can be found here

Opportunities starting January 2022 - Priority Application Deadline OCT. 22The CareerWise Hiring Hub is accepting applications for the following positions:

Boulder Chamber of Commerce interview with Lexmark employer and apprentice

Business CommunityOur collaboration with CareerWise is growing. If you are a business interested in developing your next generation of talent, please check out Creating Talent Pipelines for Colorado Businesses. We are looking for partners in Business Operations, Education, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Financial Services, Real Estate Management, IT, Hospitality, and Maintenance Technology.

If you are an employer interested in other ways to provide work-based learning and career exploration opportunities for students, please contact us. Colorado's Work- Based Learning Continuum below provides many ideas for how to engage BVSD students of all ages in career development. We look forward to forming more alliances to ensure our students are ready for life beyond high school!

For more information, contact:

Madeline Brockish

Coordinator, Career and College Connections

720.561.5166