T-STEM Academy » T-STEM Benchmarks 5.1-5.4: Work-Based Learning

T-STEM Benchmarks 5.1-5.4: Work-Based Learning

Student Portfolios
West Middle/High School will be utilizing the advisory period to assist students with portfolio development.  All portfolios will be housed on the Learning Management System, Schoology,  These portfolios will showcase each individual student’s best work and be a cumulative product of their work at West ISD.
Capstone Projects and Internships
Capstone is a senior level course that allows a student to develop a meaningful project developed throughout the year and ending with a community presentation.  
Internship activities are established on an individual basis for each T-STEM student. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, West High School added the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program through a partnership with the McLennan Community College and West Rest Haven. 
West High School is in the process of developing externship opportunities for teachers in addition to those provided through our Education Service Center (Region 12).
Regional Job and Occupation Lists

The Waco Chamber’s Economic Development Strategic Plan identifies five target industries with the highest probability of sustained success for building a stronger regional economy. Greater Waco’s economic stability is enhanced by the diversity of its economic base with no single industry dominating the market.

To capitalize on this diversity, the Chamber’s Strategic Plan identifies these target industries as advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, supply chain management, professional and financial services, and healthcare.

Work-Based Learning Extracurricular Activities
The following T-STEM extracurricular activities are offered for all interested Grades 6-12 West Middle/High School students. The students in these programs have advanced to both the state and national levels over several years.
Work-Based Learning Needs Assessment

Academic Literacy is an expectation of all teachers and students at West Middle/High School. Professional development prior to the start of school set the expectations with instructors for academic literacy in their respective content areas. Content teachers develop content activities that reinforce academic literacy in both reading and writing to reinforce their curriculum.


During Professional Learning Team (PLT) times, teachers participate in current research trends, book studies, and discussion on their implementation of the literacy initiatives.


Currently, West Middle/High School is focusing on academic writing that supports the content areas. It is expected that students will write in all classes to reinforce their learning. West Middle/High School believes in the best teaching practices of Sean Cain's "The Fundamental Five", which includes a focus on writing critically.


Write Critically (from "The Fundamental Five"):

  • Purposeful and intentional writing;
  • Writing for the purpose of clarifying, organizing, defending, refuting, analyzing, dissecting, connecting, and/or expanding on ideas or concepts;
  • Process not an end product;
  • Examples: short list, summary, mind map, purposeful note taking, exit ticket, formal essay, etc.; and
  • Intent to distill abstract thoughts into concrete understandings.