• Career Development Team gives DPS students early exposure to thousands of career options as they learn more about their own passions and interests.


     How do you know if the type of career you want is really for you? Work-based learning is a way to learn about different careers in Colorado’s highest-opportunity industries and the educational paths that can get students there. The goal of the Career Development Team is to help students identify their passions, explore what they love doing and consider making a career our of it. 

     Students are also introduced to career through middle and high school career exploration opportunities. Students enrolled in Career and Technical Education classes take the skills they've learned and apply them in the workplace through shadowing, mentoring, internships and apprenticeships.

  • Spark Industry Introduction- Middle School Students

    • Learn about career possibilities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM and other fields through fun, hands-on activities in professional workplaces.
    • Typically for students in grades 6 – 8.
    • Spark workplace visits typically last two to three hours and feature hands-on activities and lively speakers to inspire students.

    Learn more here! 

  • Xplore Industry Exploration- High School Freshmen

    • A 2-3 hour group business tour that includes hands-on activities
    • Typically for high school freshmen but other grades may also participate
    • A “first glimpse” into a career field
    • An opportunity to connect what students are learning in the classroom with real-world careers

  • Coach Mentoring- High School Sophmores

    • Students map out an academic and career plan with the help of industry professionals. 
    • Typically for high school sophmores but other grades may participate; students meet one-to-one with their mentors for one school year.
    • Benefits including developing critical soft skills such as professional greetings, introductions and conversation and making a positive, lasting professional connection. 

  • Launch Internship- High School Juniors and Seniors

    • Students gain first-hand experience in an industry aligned with your coursework
    • Interns develop skills to succeed in the world of work
    • Typically for high school juniors and seniors but other groups may participate
    • Average internship length is 100-120 hours

  • Youth Apprenticeship- High School Juniors and Seniors

    • An immersive multi-year experience in which students work for a company while attending school. Apprentices continue to take both high school and college classes during the week, while getting paid to work for one of our company partners.
    • As students progress in each year of their apprenticeship, they take on more hours at their job and more classes on their college campus. Most apprenticeships are three years while others last two to four years.
    • Offered in six high-growth fields: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Operations, Information Technology, Healthcare, Financial Services and Education.
    • Students must fill out an application and typically begin the program while high school juniors. This means the program typically continues past graduation, during which time the student completes a year of postsecondary education.
    • Leading up to the first post-high school year, apprentices are supported with strong academic and career advising and encouraged to continue their education in parallel with their apprenticeship to reach their goals. In some cases, employers provide tuition reimbursement for college coursework.


  • Career Development Team
    Emily Griffith Campus
    1860 Lincoln St, 9th Floor
    Denver, CO 80203


    Theress Pidick

    Theress Pidick

    Director of Career Development




  • Work-Based Learning opportunities by school

    See whether your school or a school near you offers a work-based learning opportunity of interest.

    Prefer a list view of these schools? Click here.

  • Common questions about Work-Based Learning

    With so many options, it can get confusing. Talk to us and we’ll help you figure it out.

    Email us with your specific questions.

  • How long do internships usually last? A semester?

    Fall and spring internships are eight to 10 hours per week throughout one semester (approximately 10-12 weeks). Summer internships are 20 hours a week over six weeks.

  • Will I have to pay for transportation, lunch or work clothes?

    All Launch interns participating in an in-person or hybrid (combined in-person and virtual) are provided with a bus pass to get to and from their internship site. Clothing assistance for things like business clothes, work boots, etc. is also available.

  • How does an internship fit into my school schedule?

    Launch Program interns are usually released from their school day a little early to allow time to travel to their internship site and put in three to four hours at their internship site. You can work with your school counselor and Navigator or school administrator to ensure your schedule allows you to participate in the program.

  • Can I do an internship during the summer instead of the school year?

    Absolutely! The majority of Launch interns participate in the summer program.

  • What if I get an internship and I'm struggling?

    Even though an average of 95% of interns complete the Launch Internship Program successfully, concerns may come up from time to time. Luckily, each student has a school administrator or Navigator to help with any bumps along the way. More than likely, the administrator or Navigator at your school can help resolve whatever isn’t working and get things back on track.

  • "It's really cool because we're a small team and I have so much responsibility in the organization. To kind of give you an idea, I built their whole website from scratch last year ... I have a lot of creative freedom and I can learn so much."

    Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design
    Two internships

    Read Luis' Story Here!