WA teens to get credit for after-school jobs

By on Friday, August 5th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

OLYMPIA – Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal released his plan to allow students ages 16 and older to earn elective credits toward their high school diploma from the jobs they hold. During his announcement yesterday, he pointed out that nearly 30 percent, (45,000 to 55,000) of Washington’s high school students are employed.

“Through work experience, students learn employability and leadership skills – skills like interpersonal communication, personal finance, time management, taking direction, receiving critical feedback, and following through on commitments – that supports their long-term success in the workforce and in life,” Reykdal said.

Under the plan, students could earn credits at a rate of one elective credit for 360 hours worked or half an elective credit for 180 hours worked. Students will be allowed to earn up to four elective credits through work experience, and no more than two of those credits may be earned in a year.

To earn elective credit for their work hours, students will be required to complete a request form and provide verification of employment to their schools. Their schools will be responsible for verifying employment, reaching out to employers to monitor student progress, and for keeping students’ high school and beyond plans updated with their work experience.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will initiate rule making for this proposal; aiming to have the new program in place by the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. School districts will be required to report student participation and elective credit attainment via verified paid work experience to the state.