Where your future begins

Work Based Learning

Categorized In: Pre-Employment Transition Services - Services

Approved Date: April 02, 2021

Owner: Brigid Griffin

Work Based Learning is an educational approach or instructional methodology that uses the workplace or real work to provide students with the knowledge and skills that will help them connect school experiences to real-life work activities and future career opportunities. It is essential that direct employer or community involvement be a component of the WBL to ensure in-depth student engagement. These opportunities are meant to engage, motivate and augment the learning process. These WBL opportunities can be done in conjunction with private, for-profit, public or nonprofit businesses in your community and/or through web-based resources. In addition, work-based learning requires in-depth engagement of students and an evaluation of acquired work relevant skills.

Work based learning may include opportunities outside the traditional school setting, that are provided in an integrated environment to the maximum extent possible.

Work based learning may include:

The paid and non-paid work based learning experience (WBLE) must be provided in an integrated setting in the community. Where paid work based learning experiences are provided, the wages are to be paid at no less than minimum wage.

 

Types of Work Based Learning Experience (WBLE):

Paid work based learning experiences- Conducted with a government office (federal, state, county or city) or a private business with the student being set up and paid as a student worker on the Department of Education payroll or on the employer’s payroll. The student chooses whether to be paid by direct deposit to a checking or savings account or by a debit card. The VR agency is responsible for the general supervision of the student at the work based learning site by checking in regularly with the student and business, monitoring the WBLE progress and ensuring the business has the necessary information to contact Nebraska VR. Liability coverage for this arrangement is covered by Workers’ Compensation.

Non- Paid work based learning experiences- Conducted with an any employment site with the student not receiving a wage or being set up as an employee. The VR agency is responsible for the general supervision of the student at the work based learning site by checking in regularly with the student and business, monitoring the WBLE progress and ensuring the business has the necessary information to contact Nebraska VR. Liability coverage for this arrangement is covered by the State of Nebraska's blanket accident policy.

 

Guidelines for Nebraska VR Paid/ Non-Paid Work Based Learning Experiences:

  • A work based learning experience is limited to 210 hours per experience;

  • Determine how many hours are appropriate for the work based learning experience before the start of the experience. This will vary depending on the student and the experience;

  • Students 14 and 15 years old will follow the hour restrictions provided by the Department of Labor: not more than 3 hours on a school day, not more than 18 hours in a school week, not more than 8 hours on a non-school day, not more than 40 hours in a non- school week, not before 7a.m. nor after 7p.m.(9p.m. from June 1st to Labor Day). For additional information see Nebraska Department of Education website: Child Labor Laws;

  • A student can participate in up to two work based learning experience during the pre-employment transition services eligibility period (an exception, with justification, can be sought from the Office Director);

  • Work based learning experience can be offered during the two years prior to graduation, including the summer prior to entrance to the second year prior to graduation;

  • Work based learning experience will not be more than 8 hours in a day or more than 40 hours during a week and in accordance with child labor laws;

  • While school is in session, work based learning experience will only be provided outside regular high school hours for the district (not specific programs within the district);

  • 1:1  level of support from a worksite skills trainer for the student to engage in a work based learning experience is not allowed. The role of the worksite skills trainer is to teach specific job tasks to perform the job and to provide workplace readiness training at the work based learning experience site. Worksite skill trainer support would not be expected to equal the number of hours authorized for the work based learning experience;

  • More individualized transition services can be provided to students that are eligible for VR services, when appropriate, including job coaching.

 

Work based learning experience initial Task Note will:

  • Articulate a clear rationale for the work based learning experience, including how the work based learning experience aligns with goals of existing IEP or 504 services;

  • Define learning objectives for the student, i.e.

           To learn… (specific task)

           To develop… (specific skill)

           To observe… (specific action);

  • Indicate that the rationale and learning objectives have been discussed with the student, parent, teacher, and employer;

  • Clearly state the need of the support required by the student.

 

Work based learning experience conclusion Task Note will:

  • Indicate how well the learning objectives were met;

  • Report any auxiliary learning that took place;

  • Discuss any issues identified

 

Work Based Learning Experience Wage: 

Work based learning experience wage may be paid on State payroll or employer’s payroll. The student is not hired by the business as an employee. Reimbursement of wages to the business are tied to the work based learning experiences.

Paid work based learning experiences (state paid) - Federal minimum wage plus FICA with no benefits.

Paid work based learning experiences (state paid) - Wages are paid according to the Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule.

Paid work based learning experiences - Wages are not intended to cover the basic living costs. 

 

Income Tax and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act)/Medicare

Paid work based learning experience - Income from a work based learning experience is not exempt from income tax; hence, the student will be issued a W-2 by the employer of record in January. FICA/Medicare deductions are taken and matched by the employer of record. For SSDI/SSI beneficiaries, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers any earned income where FICA/Medicare deductions are withheld as wages.

 

Important Information for students/ families receiving state and federal benefits:

Each of the benefits programs administered by Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and each Housing Authority has eligibility requirements—some are income based, while others include additional non-income-based criteria. 

It is important to inform the student that income earned in work based learning experiences could affect student or family benefits. Such benefits include, but are not limited to: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Energy Assistance, TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), and Housing Assistance. 

The student/family will need to report income to DHHS, and any other entities providing benefits, such as the local Housing Authority. The program that administers the benefit will determine whether the work based learning experiences income can be excluded based on its criteria. 

If a student who receives Social Security benefits will complete a paid work based learning experience, inform the student that they must report their earnings to the Social Security Administration. Timely reporting of earnings is important.

The Social Security Adminstration may request that the student complete the EARNED INCOME VERIFICATION REQUEST. The student should report the income even if they do not receive the form. 

Students under age 22 who are regularly attending school, college, or training to prepare for a job may qualify for the Student Earned Income Exclusion, which allows the student to exclude their income in calculating Social Security benefits up to specified monthly and annual amounts (with the thresholds changing annually).

 

Allowable service costs for work based learning experience

Pre-Employment Transition Services for students with a Pre-Employment Transition Consent and Information Release ONLY:

  • Background check, if required for all employees, if paid to the business

  • Benefits Orientation

  • Benefits Assessment

  • Travel Training

  • Employment/Training Medical Supports, if paid to the business

  • Interpreter-hearing impaired (ADA) 

  • Reader (ADA)

  • Tools-employment, if paid to the business

  • Uniform & Clothing, if paid to the business

  • Worksite skills trainer

  • ATP Consultation

More individualized transition services can be provided to students that are eligible for VR services, when appropriate,

Students that are eligible for VR services have access to all allowable VR service costs as necessary, in addition to allowable service costs for potentially eligible students. 

When a student applies for VR services, an Individualized Plan for Employment must be developed within the guidelines found in the IPE chapter. Either a Projected Post School Employment Outcome or Job Goal may be developed as appropriate. Refer to the IPE chapter. 

 

Termination of Work-Based Learning Experience:

• Paid and Non-paid work based learning experience - May be terminated by the work based learning site, Nebraska VR or the student.

Hiring:

• Paid and Non-paid work based learning experience - There is no expectation of the work based learning site to hire a student following a work based learning experience.

Multiple Work-Based Learning Experiences: 

More than one work based learning experience can be conducted with a student, if appropriate. However, the number of work based learning experience per student is limited to 2, unless by exception.

If a student participates in more than one work based learning experience, a new work based learning experience Information form would need to be completed with information regarding the new work based learning site. 

If a student has previously completed a W-4 for the current year, an additional W-4 form is not required for a new work based learning experience site.  

If a student has previously completed an I-9, and the required documents are not expired, an additional I-9 form is not required for a new work based learning experience site.  

If a student has previously completed a Direct Deposit form, and the banking information has not changed, an additional Direct Deposit form is not required.  

When submitting work based learning experience forms to nde.hr@nebraska.gov and vr.sofiscal@nebraska.gov enter the first name initial and full last name of the student in the subject line of the email. In the body of the email state the student has previously participated in a work based learning experience and none of the other forms (W-4, I-9, Direct Deposit) have changed.

Reporting Injury/Accident:

  • Paid work based learning experience - To report an injury/accident requiring medical attention or to report an injury/accident with no medical attention, staff need to contact NDE HR at 402.471.5026 to obtain the necessary forms/process on behalf of the client. Follow-up by completing and submitting the attached Client Incident/Accident/Injury Report form. Liability coverage for this arrangement is covered by Workers’ Compensation.

  • Non-paid work based learning experience - Liability coverage for this arrangement is covered by the State of Nebraska's blanket accident policy. Call 1-800-346-7692 and hit #1 for Claims. Policy Holder: State of Nebraska Policy Number: SRG 0009141321-B. Follow-up by completing and submitting the attached Client Incident/Accident/Injury Report form.

Employer Database:

  • ANY STAFF that has a substantial conversation with a business is responsible for creating or updating the contact in the employer database.  Substantial conversations should include at least one of the following:

    • Exchanging of contact information for future communications

    • In depth conversation regarding the business's needs

    • In depth conversation regarding Nebraska VR's services (work based learning experience)

    • Discussion regarding setting up a service for a client (WBLE, OJE, Job Shadow, Interview, etc)

    • Periodic progress reports on a service for a client (keep in mind the documented contact should not reflect details about the student, but instead should be focused on the business's needs being met by the service (work based learning experience), their feedback and experience, etc)

  • If regular contacts (such as weekly) are being made to the business to check on the status of a student’s progress, and nothing of note regarding the business and their needs is discussed, all of these contacts do not need to be noted separately.  Instead, the staff person could make a contact note once a month with a brief summary.  

 

Paid Work Based Learning Experience

1. Determine the need for a paid work based learning experience (WBLE). These experiences are meant to engage, motivate and augment the learning process for students with a disability.

2. Consult with a VR benefits specialist, along with the student to determine if student is an SSI/ SSDI recipient, the potential impact the wages from the work based learning experience will have on their benefits. Authorize benefits assessment if more information is needed about the impact of earning on family benefits so the student/family can make an informed choice about participation in a paid WBLE.

3. Locate a business who is willing and able to provide a work based learning experience site.  Utilize the Employer Data Bank to find potential business partners. Discuss options with the area Business Account Manager. 

4. Negotiate the essential details of the work based learning experience (start date, length of the experience, evaluation schedule, knowledge, skills and/ or behaviors to be learned and the agreed upon level of follow up). 

Complete a "Request for Certificate of Self Insurance" if the business requests written documentation of worker's compensation coverage. See Form Section. 

5. Enter the Pre-Employment Transition Service, work based learning experience, in QE2. 

6. Complete the Consent for Paid Work- Based Learning Experience obtain signatures of the student and authorized representative  and VR staff. 

7. Complete the I-9, W-4, and W-4N with the student. (NOTE: These documents may be completed electronically at this time). The local office I-9 Contact should be the staff member completing these forms with the student or reviewing the documents prior to submitting. 

 * Follow the instructions on the W-4 and W-4N form. 

 * Verify I-9 information with the List A documents (U.S. Passport, Permanent Alien Registration Card, Employment Authorization Documents with photographs, etc.)  or with one List B identity document (Driver's License, State ID, School ID with picture, etc.) and one List C employment authorization document (Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, Employment Authorization Document without photograph, etc.).

• Make copies of the identification documentation (driver's license, Social Security card, etc.).

• Verify the birth date on the I-9 with the birth in QE2.

• Enter the actual start date of the WBLE on the I-9.

8. Complete the Direct Deposit Information form (always) and the FOCUS Card Sign-up Form if the student elects the debit card. (NOTE: These documents may be completed electronically at this time). Provide the client with the On-Line Access to Pay Stub Information.

9. Complete the Work Based Learning Experience Information Form. NOTE: To calculate FTE, divide the total hours the client will work by the total hours available to a full time employee during the same time period (e.g. client is working 90 hours during an 8 week period. Total hours available in 8 weeks = 320 hours (8 weeks x 40 hours). Divide 90 (# of hours client will work) by 320 (total hours available) = .28 FTE).

10. Scan the I-9, identification documentation, W-4, W-4N, Work Based Learning Experience Information Form, Direct Deposit and FOCUS Card Sign-up Form (if electing the debit card) and email to nde.hr@nebraska.gov and vr.sofiscal@nebraska.gov as soon as possible in order to receive approval prior to the WBL start date. Enter the first name initial and full last name of the student in the subject line of the email. 

11. Prepare Case Service Authorization as usual with the NE DEPT of EDUCATION- Rehab Client Training as the provider.

• Include hourly rate and number of hours.

• For total encumbrance that includes FICA, multiply hourly rate x maximum hours x 1.0765.

• Include name, address and phone number of work based learning experience site provider.

12. Upon State Office approval, complete and print the authorization. Work based learning experience cannot start until authorization has been approved. Once approved, State Office will mail a letter to the client with the User ID and Password needed to access their pay stub.

13. Upon acknowledgment of receipt by NDE HR, shred original documents.

14. Prepare the Work Based Learning Experience Letter Checklist, Work Based Learning Experience Letter and State Work Based Learning Experience Timesheet/ Invoice.

15. Give the Work Based Learning Experience Letter, Work Based Learning Experience Time Sheet, Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule and Work Based Learning Experience report to be used to the work site supervisor prior to the start of the work based learning experience.

16. If work based learning experience is being done within VR, please submit a Request Temporary Access form. 

17. Instruct work based learning experience site supervisor where and when to submit Work Based Learning Experience Time Sheets.

18. Monitor work based learning experience as agreed upon with the work based learning experience site supervisor.

19. Process Work Based Learning Experience Time Sheet/Invoice.

  • The work based learning experience work site supervisor should send the Work Based Learning Experience Time Sheet to the VR specialist by the due date/time on the Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule in order to pay the client according to the Bi-Weekly Payroll Schedule. 

  • Specialist signs the Work Based Learning Experience Time Sheet verifying the hours worked and approving payment and gives to the Associate

  • Associate must verify:

  1. Signature of student, supervisor and specialist are on the timesheet 

  2. Dates of student, supervisor and specialist are after the last day worked

  3. All data on the timesheet is legible

  4. Time worked has been converted into decimal hours (conversion chart attached to chapter)

  5. Calculations are correct

  • Associate makes a payment in QE2 by entering the number of hours worked and rate per hour from the timesheet. QE2 automatically figures FICA;

  • Once payment is made in QE2, Associate emails the timesheet to NDE Central Accounting (nde.centralaccounting@nebraska.gov);

  • NDE Central Accounting verifies that the payment information entered in QE2 matches the timesheet submitted and exports for payment on the next bi-weekly payroll;

  • If there is a discrepancy between the timesheet and QE2, or errors on the timesheet that need to be resolved, NDE Central Accounting staff will contact the VR associate on the timesheet;

  • If changes are needed, the Associate will delete the invoice in QE2 and re-enter with the correct information. Invoices in QE2 can be deleted as long as Central Accounting has not processed (exported) the invoice for payment;

  • Timesheets emailed or entered in QE2 after the due date/time on the BI-Weekly Payroll schedule will be held for the next bi-weekly payroll;

  • Once invoices have been exported by NDE Central Accounting for payment, the bi-weekly date (e.g. (BW-10/24/2018) will display as the Batch # on the invoice in QE2.

The work based learning experience results are verbally provided by the business  to the VR Specialist or their designee at a minimum of once per month. The VR Specialist or designee will complete the Work Based Learning Experience Report. This includes the business’s ratings of the student for Unsatisfactory, Satisfactory and Exceeds Expectation.

20. Changes to work based learning experience

      A. Additional hours - if additional hours are added to an work based learning experience beyond what was on the original authorization and Work Based Learning Experience Information Form (not to exceed 210 hours), complete a new authorization in QE2 for the additional hours.

     B.   Extending end date - if the end date of a work based learning experience needs to be extended, extend the end date on the original authorization in QE2 to the new end date.

NOTE: Central Accounting does not need to be notified of date extensions or additional hours added to an existing work based learning experience.

21. New work based learning experience

      If a client is starting a new work based learning experience (different experience), complete the Work Based Learning Experience form and email to NDE HR (NDE.HR@nebraska.gov).

22. Process Completion or Termination of work based learning experience

  • Confirm completion or termination of work based learning experience with work based learning experience site supervisor and student.

  • Notify Associate of work based learning experience Completion/Termination.

  • Associate verifies that all time sheets have been accounted for and then e-mails NDE HR (nde.hr@nebraska.gov) and NDE Central Accounting (nde.centralaccounting@nebraska.gov) the student name and termination/completion date. Subject of email should be "WBLE Ended".

  • NDE Central Accounting will activate/inactivate clients in E-1 as needed according to Nebraska VR’s spreadsheet but will no longer monitor students termination status.

23. Document outcome of work based learning experience in a task note titled either WBLE-Completed or WBLE-Terminated.

 

Non-Paid Work Based Learning Experience 

1. Determine the need for a Non-Paid work based learning experience. These experiences are meant to engage, motivate and augment the learning process for students with a disability.

2. Locate a business who is willing and able to provide a work based learning site for a Non-paid work based learning experience.

Utilize the Employer Database in QE2 to find business partners. Staff should also work with the area Business Account Manager. 

3. Negotiate the essential details of the Non-paid work based learning experience (start and end dates, evaluation schedule, knowledge, skills, abilities and/ or behaviors to be evaluated and the agreed upon level of general supervision by VR).

Provide business a copy of the Volunteer/Non-Paid Accident Coverage Letter if requested. See Forms section below.

4. Enter the Pre-Employment Transition Service, work based learning experience, in QE2. 

5. Complete the Consent for a Non-Paid Work Based Learning Experience Form and obtain signature of the student and authorized representative and a VR staff.

6. Complete paperwork per these instructions.

• Prepare the Work Based Learning Experience Letter Checklist and Work Based Learning Experience Letter.

• Give Work Based Learning Experience Letter to the work based learning experience site supervisor prior to the start of the work based learning experience.

• Work based learning experience site supervisor will provide verbal feedback on student’s performance at least monthly and the VR Specialist or designee will document the information on the Work Based Learning Report form.

• If work based learning experience is being done within VR, please submit "Request Temporary Access" form.

7. Provide general supervision of Non-paid work based learning experience.

8. Confirm completion or termination of Non-paid work based learning experience with work-based learning site and student.

9. Document Outcome of Non-paid work based learning experience in a task note titled either Non-Paid WBLE-Completed or Non-paid WBLE-Terminated.


 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Employment Transition Services Work Based Learning Experience Report

 VR staff are responsible for completing this document. If a worksite skills trainer or someone at the work site prefers to fill it out, document that preference and follow up to inquire further, ensuring VR is getting detailed and usable feedback.


Approved Date
March 05, 2021 Show this Archived Version
February 14, 2020 Show this Archived Version
February 13, 2020 Show this Archived Version
February 10, 2020 Show this Archived Version
January 13, 2020 Show this Archived Version
October 28, 2019 Show this Archived Version
September 09, 2019 Show this Archived Version
April 30, 2019 Show this Archived Version
April 08, 2019 Show this Archived Version
April 08, 2019 Show this Archived Version
March 25, 2019 Show this Archived Version
January 02, 2019 Show this Archived Version
December 13, 2018 Show this Archived Version
October 10, 2018 Show this Archived Version
June 19, 2018 Show this Archived Version
June 19, 2018 Show this Archived Version
May 07, 2018 Show this Archived Version
April 16, 2018 Show this Archived Version
August 30, 2017 Show this Archived Version
May 12, 2017 Show this Archived Version
May 10, 2017 Show this Archived Version


back to top