Work-Based Learning In Two-Year Colleges In The United States

Work-Based Learning In Two-Year Colleges In The United States

Feb 1995


Debra D. Bragg
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Russell E. Hamm
National Council for Occupational Education
Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, Colorado

Kay A. Trinkle
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Executive Summary:

Competition in the world economic marketplace is being fought in the arena of human resources. Countries with education and training systems that provide highly skilled workers have a powerful advantage and America, seeking that advantage, is evaluating her own public and private education systems to determine their state of readiness. Secondary and postsecondary schools are being assessed, and new and heavy expectations are being levied. The expectations set for schools, the sum of which is to lift human resource preparation to the ranks of the world's best, include a variety of plans and programs at the local, state, and federal levels. Two-year colleges are an undeniably vital part of the nation's educational system; therefore, it is important to better understand the role they play in future workforce preparation efforts.

This report documents the first of two studies on the status of work-based learning in America's community, junior, and technical colleges, referred to as "two-year colleges" throughout this report. The intent of this first study was to determine the aggregate depth, scope, and quality of work-based learning in the nation's two-year colleges. The timing of this research just prior to passage of the federal School-To-Work Opportunities (STWO) legislation provides a baseline from which progress on implementation of new work-based learning programs involving two-year postsecondary education can be assessed. The overarching goal, as STWO legislation overlays the nation's educational system, is to learn if America has or may soon have in place the structures to meet new federal STWO directives.


Bragg, D. D., Hamm, R. E., & Trinkle, K. A. (1995, February). Work-based learning in two-year colleges in the United States. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.