Assuring learning excellence and readiness for a changing world



Work Based Learning

Mankato Area Public Schools has several layers of work-based learning opportunities for students. From an exploratory job shadow to a multi-year youth apprenticeship, students can apply classroom learning to a work setting.

Teacher helping a student


Work-Based Learning Opportunities

Job Shadowing

Job shadow permission form

What is a Job Shadow?
A job shadow is a school-sponsored career exploration experience that takes place at a business or organization in your community.  Job Shadows provide a student with a meaningful introduction to the workplace.

Why are Job Shadows important?
A job shadow helps you identify career interests by observing and interviewing employees in your field of interest.  It helps you learn about the academic and technical skills required for a job.  A job shadow can point you in the right direction and help you identify the skills required for employment.

How do I set up a Job Shadow?
Contact your Career Development Assistant, teacher, or counselor.  First, we’ll work together to identify your field of interest.  Then, we’ll provide you with a business in the community who has agreed to host job shadows.  Fill out the necessary paperwork and you’re ready to go!

What can I expect on Job Shadow day?
You’ll see how the knowledge you’re gaining in school is used on the job and you’ll gain an understanding of the skills and education that you need to get a good job.

  • Observe job duties and responsibilities.
  • Learn what employees receive besides a paycheck.
  • Find out more about the workplace.
  • Explore new career ideas!
Remember to ask questions!
Your Shadow experience is an opportunity to inquire about factual information:  hours and salary range, skill and educational requirements, related occupations, typical career paths, and what is most and least satisfying about the work.  Use your visit to get all of your questions answered.  Research the profession before you go and be prepared to ask lots of questions!  Here are a few questions to start with:
  • What are your job responsibilities? Describe a typical day.
  • What recommendations do you have for someone who would like to enter this field?
  • How competitive is entry into this field? What is the outlook for future openings?
  • What characteristics, skills and education does a person need to effectively do the job? What qualities make a person successful here?
  • What challenges might a new employee encounter in adjusting to this job/organization?
  • What professional publications are read by people in this field?

Feedback from STUDENTS:
“It was very hands on and I loved that aspect of it.  They were very welcoming and very open to answering my questions.  They really encouraged me to push myself and they made me enthusiastic about possibilities in the field.”  Lauren

“It gave me a better idea of what the job really is rather than just researching it on the internet.  It was nice to get one-on-one attention.  It was very informative and it strengthened my desire to want to become a PT.”  Emma

“I loved it there!  It was a wonderful experience and I really felt like I belonged.”  Jake



Work Experience

Work Experience is a credit bearing opportunity to develop on-the-job skills in entry-level positions. A minimum of 90 hours is required for credit. Students must also have completed or be enrolled in Career Planning to participate. 

Examples of Work Experience opportunities include (but are not limited to):

Hy-Vee, Mankato Islamic Center, Kohls, McDonalds, Culver's, Lucky Lure, Western Specialized, Red Lobster, Herberger's, Habilitative Services, Panera Bread, Jake's Stadium Pizza, Cinemark, Kwik Trip, Kind Heart Daycare,, Tires Plus, Wal-Mart, Scheels, and many more.


Career Internships

Work Based Learning Employer Flyer

Career Internships are a semester-long 90 hour (minimum) experience in an area of interest. Many internships require a related course prior to entering the field. This paid or unpaid experience allows students to engage in learning that suits their individual career interests in an authentic work environment. Students meet weekly with the Work-Based Learning Coordinator to work on career (soft) skills and build a portfolio of learning.

Youth Apprenticeship (Including YEAP)

Several Youth Apprenticeship opportunities are available within career pathways in Mankato Area Public Schools including:

  • Information Technology: Snell Motors
  • Business/Accounting: Snell Motors
  • Auto Tech: Snell Motors
  • Manufacturing: YEAP (see below)
  • Engineering: MNDOT Phoenix Program
  • Automotive: North Central Utility


A Clear Direction to your FUTURE  

A Youth Apprenticeship is a learning experience like no other! 

  • Students spend up to 2 years and 900+ hours in a paid work experience while earning credit and industry recognized credentials.
  • Students can prepare for a career pathway in manufacturing through hands-on learning with industry mentors and coaches.


  • PLTW Intro to Engineering & Design
  • Mechatronics
  • Welding & Fabrication I

"Earn While You Learn"

For more information, please view our YEAP Brochure

Photos Courtesy of Limerock Photography


Participating Industry Partners include:

Image result for mtu onsite energy        Image result for ei microcircuits .    Image result for KATO CABLE

MTU Onsite Energy        EI Microcircuits        Kato Cable


Department of Teaching & Learning
Career & College Readiness 
Kim Mueller, Coordinator
10 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 3
Mankato, Minnesota 56001