Our Priorities

Work-Based Learning

All students should have the opportunity to benefit from quality work-based learning experiences, including internships and apprenticeships.


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Learning by working is a vital ingredient to success after completing a degree or other credential. We envision a future in which all students have access to work-based learning experiences, such as paid internships, that help connect their education to their career goals.

The Power of Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning, such as internships, apprenticeships, micro-internships, and experiential/project-based learning, allow students to engage in structured work experiences that reinforce and expand their skill sets within professional settings that are aligned with their career interests and goals. While there is value in all types of work-based learning, internships and apprenticeships have the strongest evidence base for improving student outcomes.

Making Work-Based Learning a Path to Opportunity

Paid internships are particularly effective. Recent Strada research showed undergraduates who completed a paid internship worked in higher-paying jobs a year after graduation and were more satisfied with their first job. Gaps continue to exist in access to internships, however, and current research on participation, quality, and equity is limited.

Support for Innovation in Work-Based Learning

Strada supports proven work-based learning models that are responsive to changing workforce needs and students’ interests. Our grantees include: The Council for Independent Colleges’ Work-Based-Learning Consortium, a partnership between independent colleges and an online experiential learning platform; Work+, a network of universities redesigning student employment; and the National Center for Apprenticeship Degrees, which supports states, employers, and higher education institutions in their efforts to develop apprenticeship degree programs.

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