Developing Job Shadow Experiences

Self-paced training about best practices in developing worksite learning opportunities for students

Course Objectives

  • Identify the essential components for developing meaningful job shadow experiences
  • Describe how to incorporate job shadow activities into transition instruction and assessment practices
  • Discuss the steps for developing individual and/or group job shadow sites
  • Reflect, apply, and develop a plan for next steps in your district

Course Format

  • The series consists of four modules that include written and video content.
  • Review modules individually or as a team.
  • Plan to spend approximately 30 minutes on each module.
  • Reflect on the content by completing activities at the end of each module. You may wish to download the Developing Job Shadow Experiences Activity Workbook to record your reflection activity responses.

Course Modules

After a brief introduction to the Center for Change in Transition Services, Module 1 begins with an overview of transition planning for students with disabilities. It identifies the four performance indicators for secondary transition and where job shadowing fits into the sequence of transition services. Then it explores the importance, purpose, and benefits of Work-Based Learning (WBL) and introduces a variety of types of WBL experiences. Module 1 ends with a link to OSPI’s Worksite Learning Manual, an essential resource for anyone exploring WBL experiences for their students.

Module 2 begins with reminders of the importance and benefits of collaboration with outside partners. It includes details for building partnerships between Special Education and Career Technical Education (CTE), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), parent groups, and businesses. 

Module 3 begins by exploring the benefits, characteristics, and success factors of job shadowing. Then it identifies the steps to developing job shadow experiences, including the roles and responsibilities of students and school staff. It provides recommendations for contacting businesses for potential job shadows and lists a variety of online resources that can support or supplement job shadow experiences in a classroom.

Module 4 includes recommendations for activities leading up to and after the job shadow that anchor students’ learning from their experience. It includes a final list of considerations to keep in mind while facilitating the job shadow experience.

Please consider taking five minutes to reflect on what you’ve learned throughout this course and share it in the Post-Training Reflection Guide.

Your feedback helps us create materials that are meaningful and accessible to stakeholders across Washington state.