11 Steps to Creating a Simulated Workplace in the Classroom

IMG_1372Last year the Alabama State Department of Education launched its Alabama Simulated Workplace initiative to transform the culture of career and technical education (CTE) in the state with high-quality learning environments representing business and industry. Through the program, students engage in relevant curricula with opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials. The goal of the program is to have all graduates be college and career ready. In a simulated workplace, students no longer go to CTE classes like welding or robotics. Instead, they attend high-quality, business or industry learning environments simulated as companies. These simulated companies must meet the same standards of quality, productivity and financial performance as any real-world company. A simulated workplace offers a high-level academic and technical learning environment where students are held accountable for their own learning and instructors can be flexible and creative in delivering engaging curriculum. A simulated workplace is NOT a rigid instructional model based on the 1970’s vocational instructional delivery with more work on the instructor. Alabama’s students are making great strides in the classroom. Are you ready for your students to take more ownership in their learning? The following are 11 steps to transform the culture of the learning environment by creating a high-performance, simulated workplace:
1. Use time clocks or another form of formal attendance recordkeeping.
2. Adhere to the school system’s random drug testing policy (if applicable).
3. Conduct an application and interview process for enrolling students.
4. Develop a company name and procedures manual.
5. Ensure all students receive quality safety training.
6. Submit quarterly and annual reports developed by students and instructors.
7. Establish work teams and an organizational system with students rotating across teams.
8. Ensure all instructors and students have computer access.
9. Participate in business and industry annual onsite evaluations.
10. Utilize a portfolio system for students to document learning, credentials earned, etc.
11. Celebrate year-end accomplishments.

Today’s students want to be the next generation of top professionals. Providing students with quality academic, career and leadership development is critical to helping them on their career paths.

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Philip C. Cleveland

Philip C. Cleveland, Ed.D., is the deputy superintendent for Alabama State Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education. In...

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