Work-Based Learning with Career and College Success

How do you know if the type of career you want is really for you? Work-based learning is a way to learn about different careers in Colorado’s highest-opportunity industries and the educational paths that can get you there.

Policy of Nondiscrimination

Consistent with federal civil rights laws (Title VI, Title IX, Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and Age Discrimination Act), state law, and Board of Education policies, DPS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, transgender status, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, veteran status or disability in admission into, access to, or treatment within its educational programs or activities or in employment, including career and technical educational pathways. Additionally, DPS does not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of genetic information. Harassment is a form of prohibited discrimination. DPS prohibits retaliation against any individual for making a good-faith complaint or participating in good faith in an investigation of discrimination or harassment.

Find more information, including our notice of nondiscrimination, how to access grievance procedures, and who to contact for further details here.

Work-Based Learning opportunities in DPS

Work-based learning is your chance to discover things you can’t learn in a classroom. Get inside information about the career you’re interested in, or simply get a taste of what it’s really like on the job.

Click to see overview of options and link for more details.

  • Students in grades 6 – 10 hear live from professionals in a Chat and/or Challenge format.
  • This program is available to all schools serving any of these grade levels.
  • Chat: Professionals discuss their careers, their company and their industry. These fun live chats are caught on video to reach as many students as possible.
  • Challenge: Companies engage students in a real-life industry challenge, such as designing a web page for a department or developing a marketing plan for a new product. Students submit their solutions by deadline and companies select the winning student or team of students.
  • Learn about career possibilities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM and other fields through fun, hands-on activities in professional workplaces.
  • Typically for students in grades 6 – 8.
  • Spark workplace visits typically last two to three hours and feature hands-on activities and lively speakers to inspire students.
  • A 2-3 hour group business tour that includes hands-on activities
  • Typically for high school freshmen but other grades may also participate
  • A “first glimpse” into a career field
  • An opportunity to connect what students are learning in the classroom with real-world careers
  • Map out an academic and career plan with the help of someone from your career field
  • Meet one-on-one with someone from the industry that you’re studying
  • Typically for high school sophomores but other grades may participate
  • Develop critical soft skills such as professional greetings, introductions and conversation
  • Make a positive, lasting professional connection
  • Gain first-hand experience in an industry aligned with your coursework
  • Develop skills to succeed in the world of work
  • Typically for high school juniors and seniors but other groups may participate
  • Average internship length is 100-120 hours
  • An immersive multi-year experience in which students work for a company while attending school. Apprentices continue to take both high school and college classes during the week, while getting paid to work for one of our company partners.
  • As students progress in each year of their apprenticeship, they take on more hours at their job and more classes on their college campus. Most apprenticeships are three years while others last two to four years.
  • Offered in six high-growth fields: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Operations, Information Technology, Healthcare, Financial Services and Education.
  • Students must fill out an application and typically begin the program while high school juniors. This means the program typically continues past graduation, during which time the student completes a year of postsecondary education.
  • Leading up to the first post-high school year, apprentices are supported with strong academic and career advising and encouraged to continue their education in parallel with their apprenticeship to reach their goals. In some cases, employers provide tuition reimbursement for college coursework.

Work-Based Learning opportunities by school

See whether your school or a school near you offers a work-based learning opportunity of interest.

Prefer a list view of these schools? Click here.

Common questions about Work-Based Learning

With so many options, it can get confusing. Talk to us and we’ll help you figure it out.

Email us with your specific questions.

How long do internships usually last? A semester?

Fall and spring internships are eight to 10 hours per week throughout one semester (approximately 10-12 weeks). Summer internships are 20 hours a week over six weeks.

How does an internship fit into my school schedule?

Launch Program interns are usually released from their school day a little early to allow time to travel to their internship site and put in three to four hours at their internship site. You can work with your school counselor and Internship Coordinator or school administrator to ensure your schedule allows you to participate in the program.

Can I do an internship during the summer instead of the school year?

Absolutely! The majority of Launch interns participate in the summer program.

Will I have to pay for transportation, lunch or work clothes?

All Launch interns are provided with a bus pass to get to and from their internship site. Clothing assistance for things like business clothes, work boots, etc. is also available.

What if I get an internship and I'm struggling?

Even though an average of 95% of interns complete the Launch Internship Program successfully, concerns may come up from time to time. Luckily, each student has a school administrator or Internship Coordinator to help with any bumps along the way. More than likely, the administrator or coordinator at your school can help resolve whatever isn’t working and get things back on track.

“It feels like I am doing something meaningful and truly contributing.”

It's really cool because we're a small team and I have so much responsibility in the organization. To kind of give you an idea, I built their whole website from scratch last year ... I have a lot of creative freedom and I can learn so much.

Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design
Two internships