School-based activities focused on employment can include a career education curriculum, academic coursework, employability skills instruction, career and technical education, on-campus jobs, career counseling, self-determination instruction, school-based enterprises, and vocational assessment (Test, Aspel, & Everson, 2006).

One effective method of providing a simulated work environment on the school’s campus is the development of a school-based enterprise (SBE). While students are developing, planning, and implementing their SBE, they are also learning key academic skills they need to complete high school.

Benefits of School-Based Enterprises:

  • Provides leadership opportunities to students
  • Provides training in a safe environment
  • To assist students in understanding the relevance of academic skills to vocational tasks
  • Engages students in starting and operating a business
  • Stresses personal responsibility, group problem-solving and decision making
  • Teaches work ethic and other soft skills
  • Promotes the importance of academics in the work setting
  • To provide opportunities to develop integrated school-to-work programs for students with and without disabilities.

Examples of School-Based Enterprises