Community-based learning programs encourage the expansion of learning opportunities for elementary, junior high, and senior high school students by bringing the community into the school and by placing students in the community as part of their studies. Community-based learning is a partnership involving the student, family, school, and community, with each partner sharing the responsibility for the student’s learning experience (Nova Scotia Department of Education 2013).
Students benefit from the expertise, talent, and resources of community-based service agencies, business, citizen groups, entrepreneurs, families, industry, and organizations. They gain opportunities to apply and enhance, in real-life contexts, knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired through their work in school.
Community-based learning enhances students’ personal development, their sense of belonging to their community, and their understanding of community roles and responsibilities. Community-based experiences also help students develop skills described in the Conference Board of Canada’s Employability Skills 2000+ (2000), including fundamental, personal management, and teamwork skills; specific career, occupation, and job skills; and labour market knowledge and understanding
The TCRSB currently offers the following community-based learning courses and/or programs:
- Options & Opportunities (O2), a grades 10-12 program offered in all 8 TCRSB high schools
- Co-operative Education, a compulsory course for all O2 students, but non-O2 students can also enroll in Co-op at DHCS, YCMHS & DRHS
- Skilled Trades courses, offered at the grade 10 & 11 level at SRHS & BMHS only
- Discovering Opportunities (DO), a grade 9 program offered at YCMHS only
- Community Based Learning – Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
- Test Drive – Automotive Sector Council
- Building Futures for Youth
- Parents as Career Coaches