Lesson Introduction

Course Syllabus and Timeline

Develop a course syllabus and timeline to structure learning activities so that all course Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) are covered and critical deadlines are met. 

A course syllabus and timeline also help students envision what they will be expected to accomplish over the school year and plan their time accordingly.


Take a moment to bookmark the Texas Administrative Code web pages with TEKS for all state approved career and technical education (CTE) courses:

Safety Expectations

Include workplace safety instruction at the beginning of all courses that include WBL experiences. Instruct students on local safety policies and procedures as well as applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines and Child Labor Laws.

Make it clear to the students that they are expected to always adhere to safe practices, both in the classroom and at the job site.

For more information about OSHA and child labor laws, refer to Section 5.

Program Rules and Discipline Policies

At the start of each course, review the school’s WBL program handbook with the students to make sure they understand its policies and rules, as well as any additional policies or rules specific to the course.

Go over the disciplinary procedures and consequences for not following rules.

TEA Recommendation: Require students and their parent/guardian sign documents stating that they have read and understand their responsibilities with regards to the course, and that they are aware of the consequences for failing to meet their responsibilities. It is important that both the student and the parent/guardian are aware that the work component counts towards the student’s grade for the course.


Take a moment to review and save a sample Program Agreement form. 

Grading Policies and Procedures

Cover the grading procedures with the WBL students at the beginning of the course and answer any questions the students may have. The WBL handbook, course syllabus, and/or program rules sheet should explain how students earn their grades. 


Section 9 discusses WBL evaluation and grading in more depth.

Take a moment to review and save the sample grading and evaluation rubrics from the Texas CTE Resources Center website.

Attendance Expectations

Discuss attendance requirements and possible consequences of absences both from class and from work.

Explain the procedures for documenting hours worked, how absences may affect the student’s weekly wage/hour form, and whether docked hours may be made up with extra hours.

Some districts allow students to “bank” hours by working additional hours in one week to make up for fewer hours in another.

During the discussion on attendance expectations, make sure students are aware of proper procedures for notifying instructors and employers in advance of possible tardiness or absences.

Students should not report to their training site on a day that they are absent from school, with the possible exception of special circumstances and when approved in advance by the teacher-coordinator.

Professional Work Ethic

At the beginning of each course, describe the characteristics of a strong work ethic and explain the basic expectations employers have of employees.

The characteristics of a strong work ethic can be summarized for students using the “3 Ps Plus.”

Having a strong work ethic means being

  • punctual;
  • polite; and
  • professional.

Plus, a strong work ethic means doing what you say you are going to do.

Suggested Classroom Activity

Ask students for examples of specific behaviors that make someone punctual, polite, and professional. Write their responses on a flip chart or whiteboard/chalkboard.

Look for answers like those listed here.

Being punctual means:

  • leaving the house early in case traffic is bad;
  • setting a realistic appointment time;
  • being somewhere when you say you will be there; or
  • arriving at least five minutes before you are scheduled to start work.

Being polite means:

  • being considerate of others;
  • being courteous; or
  • addressing adults using “Mr.” or “Ms.” and saying “please” and “thank you.”

Being professional means:

  • taking work seriously;
  • speaking and writing clearly and correctly (no slang or text speak);
  • dressing appropriately, or
  • being polite to people even if you don’t like them.

Lesson Review

Lesson Conclusion