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Job Shadowing is a short-term (usually a half day) educational experience that introduces an individual student to a particular job or career by pairing the student with an employee of a business, industry, or agency. By following or "shadowing" the employee, the student becomes familiar with the duties associated with that occupation, the physical setting of the occupation, and the compatibility of the occupation with his or her own career goals.


Shadowing develops an awareness of the educational and technical skills required for entry and advancement in a specific occupation. The student becomes familiar with the work-site environment and the job-related characteristics of the specific job or career. Shadowing provides students the opportunity to discuss areas of interest or concern with the employee in the "real world" occupation they are shadowing. By providing a relevant experience outside the classroom, employers are able to contribute to the education of youth and help prepare students for future career opportunities.


  1. Identify the goals and policies of the job shadowing program.
    • Goals or objectives for the shadowing program
    • State and local policies and guidelines to be followed
  2. Develop selection criteria for both students and employers.
    • Criteria for participating students
    • Criteria for participating employers
  3. Develop application forms for interested students and employers.
    • Student application
    • Employer application
  4. Develop an evaluation form/process to monitor the success of the program.
    • Completed by both students and employers
    • Evaluates the degree to which goals/objectives of the experience were met.
    • Identifies strengths and weaknesses of the program
  5. Develop a parental permission form to be signed by parents.
  6. Develop awareness activities for students, parents, and employers.
    • School announcements and newspapers
    • Community news media, flyers, etc.
  7. Select instructional staff to work with the shadowing program.
  8. Survey employers to locate shadowing sites.
    • Determine which employers are interested.
    • Select sites that will provide a good learning experience.
  9. Recruit and select individual students to participate in the program.
    • Determine which students are interested.
    • Select students who will benefit most from the program.
  10. Organize an orientation session for students, faculty, and employers.
    • Discuss the goals, objectives, policies, and guidelines
    • Explain the various roles and responsibilities
  11. Identify where and when the shadowing will take place for each student.
  12. Determine transportation needs and how they will be provided.
  13. Review safety precautions to be followed during the experience.
  14. Instruct students as to expectations during the shadowing experience.
    • Dress code
    • Promptness
    • Behavior
    • Other expectations
  15. Design certificates and/or notes of appreciation for employers.
  16. Determine method of rewarding students for successful completion of the shadowing experience.


Students@Work is a project of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The goal is for North Carolina businesses to help middle school students in their community see the opportunities that exist in the workplace.


Creating a Work-Based Learning Program

  • Organizing Student Internship Experiences - shared by the Catawba Technology Education Consortium.
    (pdf, 32kb)
  • Apprenticeship Program Guidelines - shared by Catawba County Schools.
    (pdf, 431kb)
  • Apprenticeship Program Credit Guidelines - shared by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
    (pdf, 419kb)
  • Business Marketing Flyer
    (pdf, 425kb)
  • Student Marketing Flyer
    (pdf, 419kb)

Evaluation Forms and Process/Program Improvement

  • Survey of Business Sponsors - Alamance Burlington Schools
    (pdf, 465kb)
  • Student Survey - Alamance Burlington Schools
    (pdf, 459kb)

Job Shadowing Forms, Releases and Reports

  • Job Shadowing Processes with Students - adapted from the Roosevelt Renaissance 2000 Project
    (pdf, 8kb)
  • Shadowing Site Proposal - adopted from Henderson County Schools, North Carolina
    (doc, 30kb)
  • Parent-Child Day: Release Form - adopted from West Iredell High School, Iredell County Schools, North Carolina
    (doc, 30kb)
  • Confirmation Letter Sent to Business for Agreeing to Host Student - adopted from the Job Ready Work Based Learning Guide
    (doc, 25kb)
  • Postshadowing Report - shared by the Job Ready Work-Based Learning Guide
    (doc, 28kb)

Student Participation Requests/Application

  • "I want to enter the internship program because..." - shared by the Southern Regional Education Board
    (doc, 24kb)
  • Internship Program - Student Approval Notice - Shared by the Catawba Technology Education Consortium
    (doc, 24kb)
  • Mentor Application - Shared from the Job Ready Work-based Learning Guide
    (doc, 39kb)
  • Work-Based Learning Student Application Form - shared from McHenry County, South Carolina
    (doc, 39kb)
  • Apprenticeship Application - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
    (pdf, 435kb)
  • Apprenticeship Application - Guilford County Schools
    (pdf, 431kb)

Training Agreements/Parental Permissions

  • Parental Permission Agreement - shared by the Job Ready Work Based Learning Guide
    (doc, 34kb)
  • Parent/Guardian Work-Based Learning Sample Permission Form -shared from the South Carolina Department of Education
    (doc, 35kb)
  • Sample Training Agreement/Training Plan - shared from the Nebraska Department of Education.
    (doc, 40kb)
  • Apprenticeship Training Agreement - shared by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
    (pdf, 440kb)
  • Cooperative Education Training Agreement
    (doc, 34kb)
  • Work-Based Learning Agreement - shared by McHenry County, South Carolina
    (doc, 43kb)

Training Before Working/Safety Precautions

  • Verification of Safety Training - shared from the Southern Regional Education Board
    (doc, 23kb)