Work-Based Learning

Samueli Academy has made a multi-year investment in a promising approach to high school education called Work-based Learning (WBL). This approach connects strong academics with real-world experience in a wide range of fields, such as engineering, arts and media, science and technology. Used in schools throughout California, this integrated approach helps students build a strong foundation for success in college and career — and life. By linking learning with student interests and job preparation, multiple pathways contribute to higher graduation rates, increased college enrollment and higher earning potential. A central component of this approach is work-based learning, where students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the world of work.

During their freshman year at Samueli Academy, students will have the opportunity to lay a foundation for not only their academic career here at the school, but also lay a pathway for their professional goals. Samueli Academy starts this career pathway with the freshman with the chance to “job shadow”, as an introductory activity in the work-based learning experience. The students observe and experience the application of knowledge and skills in the workplace, and where students have the opportunity to explore all aspects of an industry for the purpose of career exploration.

Freshman Business TourOnce a quarter the students are sent on a Career Exploration Tour. These sites vary in business categories; from engineering, technology, environmental science, law and many more. Students are bused to the locations and spend approximately 3-4 hours at the site, learning about the company and the varying professional careers offered there. Check the school website calendar for upcoming tours.

2019-2020 Career Exploration Tour Dates

Portfolio Creation

To showcase your most successful work from all facets of your life with the intention of obtaining a job.

Materials (provided by school):

  • Binder w/front window — no larger than 2”
  • Insert a sheet with your full name centered in Times New Roman (72-point)
  • Sheet protectors for all items
  • Dividers (wider dividers that protrude beyond sheet protectors)
  • Appropriate receptacles for items such as discs


  • Place a resume as the first page. (Grades 10, 11, 12)
  • Divide your portfolio into 4-5 sections: Leadership, Collaboration,
  • Technology Skills, and (optional) topic of your choice.
  • Place an artifact in a sheet protector– pictures, print-outs, etc.
  • Place a typed (12 pt. Times New Roman font) label with title of artifact AND date (an approximation is acceptable- i.e. Fall 2014) in the bottom right corner of each artifact.

Artifacts: The following numbers are guidelines for how many artifacts you should include.

Justifications: In your classes, you will reflect after each project, considering how what you accomplished by completing the project prepared you for job/career readiness. An example follows below.

As soon-to-be college or business professionals, there are often situations where we interact with others at parties, networking events, seminars, conferences and even just around the office. Students will learn the unwritten rules of what to say and how to act, all levels of professionals from the c-suite down to the mailroom and everyone in between gets to know that they are authentically and are ready to trust them. During the 10th grade, students will learn the secret rules of etiquette and how to have fun while impressing everyone around them, which can lead to more happiness and great job satisfaction and even more money in their pockets from getting a raise or more clients. In this engaging and exciting year students will discover three main areas:

Combining personal conduct, soft skills, and social confidence in life
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Body Language
  • Six Handshakes and What They Convey
  • Introductions and Proper Responses
  • How to remember names
  • Business Card Protocol
  • Nine Magic Steps of Networking Anywhere
  • Networking Without Nervousness
  • How to Make Small Talk 5 winning topics
  • Your Network is Your Net Worth
  • Respectfully Disengage From a Conversational Ramble
  • Communication Success: Skype, FaceTime and Video Conferencing
  • Texting, Emails and Digital Dos and Taboos
  • Behaving Gladly: The Platinum Thank You That Makes an Impact

Professional Networking opportunities at Samueli Academy for 10th graders can happen any number of ways; workshops, lunches, meetings and conferences. These are set up quarterly to give all 10th graders at least 3 rotations and expose them to various members of our society, from college students to business professionals, from college professors to community service personnel (police, fire fighters, politicians ect). Giving students the chance to engage with adults with varying backgrounds will ultimately assist them in the next program for 11th grade; successful completion of the Samueli Academy Internship program.

Portfolio editing:
  • Place a resume as the first page. (Grades 10, 11, 12)
  • Divide your portfolio into 4-5 sections: Leadership, Collaboration, Technology Skills, and (optional) topic of your choice.
  • Place an artifact in a sheet protector– pictures, print-outs, etc.
  • Place a typed (12 pt. Times New Roman font) label with title of artifact AND date (an approximation is acceptable- i.e. Fall 2014) in the bottom right corner of each artifact.
  • Resume Creation: Spring in Biology class

Portfolio Presentation: Late Spring; each student will present artifacts from their portfolio in a Mock attempt to get hired for a job.

Successful completion of the Internship Program is a graduation requirement. During the Junior year, the students will have the ability to apply their knowledge and experience in action. The first two years of the Work-based Learning Program was to give the students a foundation of what careers are available to them and encourage them to explore their interests. Juniors will have the ability to delve deeper into those interests with more exploration tours, specific workshops geared to them and at the end of their Junior year, complete an Internship. An internship is a learning and career preparation method that occurs within the context of our program. Internships embody the interplay of exploration, reflection, and direct experience with feedback and guidance offered by staff, teachers, mentors, employers, and peers which offer rich opportunities for students to learn about themselves as they learn about the world and how to make their way through it. An intern obtains a good understanding of the requirements of the occupation and an overview of all aspects of their chosen industry, and develops college and career readiness and success skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and communication. These positions may be paid or unpaid with a minimum of 45 hours. 

(Priority due date November, regular December)

Every aspect of the internship is graded, from the Mock Interview to the resume. The goal is for students to work hard and get high grades on each assignment. The higher the grade overall the earlier the student will be able to come see me to sign up for internship interviews. This can be the most important aspect to the process, this gives students a major role in having a successful and fulfilling internship experience.


  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Portfolio
  • Internship Enrollment Packet (Application, Cover Letter, Resume and
  • Portfolio Approval)
  • Internship Enrollment Packet
  • Time off Request Form
  • Internship Agreement

Portfolio Completion:

  • A signed Portfolio Approval Sheet from the student’s advisor is required for this step to be completed.
  • Place a Completed resume as the first page. (Grades 10, 11, 12)
  • Place a Completed Cover Letter as the second page
  • Divide your portfolio into 4-5 sections: Leadership, Collaboration, Achievements, Technology Skills, and (optional) topic of your choice.
  • Place an artifact in a sheet protector– pictures, print-outs, etc.
  • Place a typed (12 pt. Times New Roman font) label with the title of artifact AND date (an approximation is acceptable- i.e. Fall 2014) in the bottom right corner of each artifact.

Internship Completion: Once the summer is over and students have completed at least the minimum of 45 hours, they have a few things to turn in; Reflection Paper, Evaluation, participate in the Internship Faire and an updated resume.

What is an Internship Faire? This faire will be in a similar format as a Science Fair. An internship faire is normally about your personal experience and lessons or realizations you learned during your time in your internship. You will display your projects or work that you performed during your internship. How you do this is up to you; display board, video, photographs, illustrations, activities, the list goes on. Feel free to be as creative as you would like.

Evaluation: A three-page questionnaire that covers everything in their internship, from their personal performance to integration at the company. This evaluation is used to seek information from the students to see if the company provided all the tools, skills, and experiences to be authentic.

Reflection Paper: A reflection essay is normally about a personal experience and a lesson or realization from it. It is a personal account of what you think and feels during and after that experience. There is no specific format in the sense that you are to decide what to write and how to write it. However, writing seems to be difficult for most people; so here’s a reflection paper format to serve as a guide. (Guide is given)

Status Reports: These reports are meant to serve as check-ins with the student and the Internship Coordinator on campus. The reports offer a quick glimpse of the work the student is completing, a look at what is coming and a celebration for all they have already accomplished. One is due after 20hrs of their internship experience and after 45hrs on site.

The Senior Defense process is designed to give the student an opportunity to claim what they are anticipating as the next step after high school (e.g., college, trade school, career, military, etc.), as well as defend, or support with evidence, why they are ready for this next step. 

The Defense is a live event before a panel of teachers, community members, and at least one other student. Parents and other guests may be present, as well, at the student’s discretion. 

The senior will make the case that he/she is ready to move on to the next step of their journey—in this case, what he/she plans to do after graduating. As with any argument, it must cite evidence to support the claims. In this case, they will cite evidence from their artifacts.

Students who PASS the Senior Defense are eligible for the Samueli Scholarship Program.
Additional Materials

How it works

Your defense will be scheduled for a 60-minute time slot, during which you will stand at the front of a room and make your presentation with your supporting visual imagery. The 60 minutes will break down as follows (times in parentheses are suggestions for how long this will take):

Intro to Mission Statement and Next Step (3-5 minutes)

  • Present your Mission Statement, elaborating on how you arrived at it
    What inspired the components? Why did you choose certain words over others? What is the significance to you?
  • Discuss your “Next Step” as it relates to the Mission Statement
    Why are you going to junior college, four-year college, military, etc.? What do you plan to do there? What is your intention after completing the requirements? What do you plan on studying? Why? What is the connection to your Mission Statement?

Artifact 1 — Academic (7-10 minutes)

  • Indicate the first element of Agency where you have shown growth
  • Provide context for the project that relates to the Agency element you want to discuss
    • What was the project? What were the objectives of the project? How would you describe the project to someone outside of the class? What was it about the project that provided an opportunity to grow?
    • Summarize your growth in the Agency element through the project
    • How did you grow through the project? Where were you before? Where were you after? How do you know that you grew? Provide specific examples to support your growth
  • Discuss how this growth will be useful for success during your Next Step
    • How will you use the Agency element going forward?
    • What are your opportunities to continue this growth into the future?

Artifact 2 — Academic (7-10 minutes)

  • Same as above. Address all the same questions as in Artifact 1

Artifact 3 — Student Choice (7-10 minutes)

  • Same as above. Address all the same questions as in Artifact 1 and 2

Summary and Conclusion (3-5 minutes)

  • Summarize the three Agency elements you’ve shown growth in
  • Discuss the Agency elements as they prepare you for future success in your Next Step
  • Wrap up with any remaining remarks regarding your Mission Statement and plans for Next Step

Questions (10-15 minutes)

  • Panel asks questions in response to the presentation

Panel Deliberation (7-10 minutes)

  • The student leaves the room while the panel discusses scoring and feedback

Held twice a year, 10th-grade students have the ability to choose four workshops to participate in based on their career interests. This is a great opportunity for sophomore students to hear from professionals about their career and how to get to it; including education, average salary, daily schedule and more.

Lyon Air Museum

For juniors the first conference allows students to have the ability to choose four workshops they feel will be vital to internship success. These workshops are held by business professionals and range from live Mock Interviews (juniors are 1:1 in-person interviews), Business Etiquette, Professional Attire, Time Management, Finding the Positive and much more. The second conference held in the Spring is when the 11th-grade students interview for their actual internships.

Seniors students will participate in the Fall conference were they have the ability to choose four workshops on ‘life skills’ and/or Adapting to College including; Buying a Car, Banking 101, Credit Cards, Taxes, Renting an Apartment, Living in a Dorm, How to join Clubs, Time Management and much more.

Coming Soon

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