Teen volunteer tending to plants

Work-Based Learning Program


Are you a high school student looking to log off, get outside, and learn something new?

Gain hands-on work experience. Make new friends. Earn Pathway credit!

The Delaware State Parks Work-Based Learning Program offers team-based volunteer work-based learning in Delaware State Park locations throughout the school year for high school juniors and seniors with an interest in environmental stewardship or conservation. The program seeks to engage Delaware students in meaningful, hands-on park projects as a means of connecting academic work with practical job readiness skills in a real-world workplace environment.
Time slots are available 5 days a week in northern and southern region parks. See below for more information and to find the opportunity that’s right for you!

Core Components

  • Practical hands-on work and training opportunities:
  • Work-place skills:
    • Alignment of classroom and workplace learning
    • Application of employability skills in a real workplace setting
      • Completion of time sheets
      • Appropriate work attire
      • Workplace culture
      • How to be an employee
      • Communication with a supervisor
      • Commitment
  • Support from workplace mentors through regular feedback from Field Coordinators and Work-Based Learning Program staff

Benefits:

  • Team atmosphere
  • Meet like-minded teens from other schools in your area
  • Gain real job-readiness skills
  • Practical hands-on experience
  • Ongoing support from workplace staff for continued growth
  • Flexible schedule
  • Networking with Delaware State Parks professional staff
  • Learn more about Delaware State Parks and what keeps the parks running throughout the year
  • Earn Pathway Credit (Be sure to work with your CTE or advisor to find out what qualifies for your school credit)
Teen volunteer group doing field group

FAQ

What will I do?

  • You will work as part of a team of 5 students with a Field Team Leader
  • Team will work together on various park-based projects such as:
    • Trail maintenance
    • Invasive plant identification and removal
    • Facility management
    • Nature center exhibit maintenance
    • Special event help
    • And more!
  • Projects will primarily be outdoor, though some indoor opportunities will be offered
  • Provides students with experience in the variety of work it takes to keep a Delaware State Park running through various parts of the year
  • Participants will have the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from park professionals for career networking

Who can participate?

  • High school students at the Junior and Senior level
  • Students following a career pathway in a related field:
    • Environmental and Natural Resource Science (ENRS)
    • Natural Resource Management
    • Plant Science
    • Other pathways may apply; be sure to check with your advisor to confirm what counts for credit
  • Teens with an interest in gaining work and team experience in DE State Parks

What do I need?

  • Completed registration forms (see Step 3 below)
  • Work gloves
  • Mask
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Comfortable, weather-appropriate work clothes that can get dirty
  • Commitment to show up ready to work, learn, and be a team player

What is the process to get started?

  • Step 1
    Have a discussion with your school advisor if you're interested in obtaining classroom credit for your participation
  • Step 2 - See What’s Available
    View our calendar below or visit our calendar list page to view our Work-Based Learning project locations.
  • Step 3
    • Register for a Work-Based Learning session by clicking the Register button on a Work-Based Learning calendar event.
    • Complete the one-time volunteer application form that will be sent to you after you register for a calendar project date.
    • Complete the one-time parental consent form by visiting the link provided in your confirmation email
    • Provide our Work-Based Learning office with any forms or information from your school needed to receive credit for participation
    • Updates will be sent via the email address you provide – be sure to check it regularly for updates from your assigned Field Coordinator as you prepare for your Work-Based Learning experience
  • Step 4
    Prepare to participate – be sure to check the information provided about what to wear, what to bring, and how to contact your Field Coordinator

Ready to start your Work-Based Learning Adventure?

Sign up for available time slots!

Important: If you are interested in committing to a full Work-Based Learning experience, or if you need a specific number of hours to be completed for your school or course credit, we encourage you to sign up for as many time slots as you can commit to ahead of time to secure your spot.

Open spots will be offered to all interested students and will not be held or blocked unless specifically requested by a school or a student through the Work-Based Learning Office at DNREC_helpyourpark@state.de.us

Other Info

Contact the Work-Based Learning Office. We are happy to work with you to find the experience that best fits, and we look forward to seeing you out in the parks!

Work-Based Learning Calendar

Use the calendar below to find scheduled work-based learning sessions. Click on an event you're interested in participating in to view details and register.