Cooperative Work Experience Education (CWEE) is an academic program in which students earn college credit for what they learn while working at paid jobs or as volunteers (even if self-employed).
Up to 16 units will apply to the Associate Degree and can be transferred to 4-year California State Universities as elective credit.
Students, with the guidance of their work supervisor and CWEE instructor, set their own Learning Objectives, which they achieve during the semester. Learning Objectives define what and how a student will learn on the job. Students must typically have 1 Learning Objective for each unit of CWEE in which they are enrolled.
Students must work 75 hours (if paid) or 60 hours (if volunteer) over the semester for each unit attempted. Students who work at least 20 hours a week can earn up to 4 units and students who work full-time can earn up to 8 units of credit in one semester.
Students whose work relates to their educational or occupational goals can enroll in Occupational Work Experience (196 or 197) for 1-8 units in one semester. Students whose work does not relate to their educational or occupational goals can enroll in General Work Experience Education (CED 50 or 195) for ½-6 units each semester.
1. Enroll in either CED 50, CED 195 or one of the Occupational 196 courses (see below for explanations). You can find course section numbers here. Generally speaking, you are better off enrolling in one of the Occupational 196 courses, if possible. If you are enrolling after the end of the 2nd week of classes (spring or fall semester census date) you will need an "add" card signed by a CWEE instructor in either Lakeport, Willits or Ukiah. Click here for enrollment information.
2. Sign up for an Orientation. Click here for the orientation schedule. If you wish to enroll after the last scheduled orientation meeting, contact the CWEE office for an alternate orientation meeting.
4. Complete the CWEE Student-Employer Contact Info Form and have your supervisor sign it before submitting it to the CWE office.This should be completed within 2 days after your Orientation.
5. Submit a Job Description. If your employer cannot provide you a written job description for your position, complete the Job Description form and submit it with your supervisor's signature within 1 week after your orientation.
6. Create Learning Objectives
- Read the instructions for creating CWEE Learning Objectives and review the Pre-Written Objectives.
- Meet with your job supervisor to discuss your personalized Learning Objectives.
- Draft your Learning Objectives (1 for each unit of CWEE you are attempting) as a text document (Word or Works) so that you can save your drafts in order to easily revise them, if necessary. Use spell-check!
Submit drafts of your objectives using the online Learning Objectives form. This is due one week after your orientation. Copy from your text document and paste the information in the text fields of the online form. When you complete the form and click on "continue" an electronic version will be automatically forwarded to your instructor for review. Your instructor will then email you with feedback.
Respond to your instructor's feedback by making any necessary changes in your draft Learning Objectives. Resubmit your revised objectives by using the online Learning Objectives form. Once you receive approval, you will print your objectives and then sign them and have your supervisor sign them before turning them in to your instructor. You can fax a copy to your instructor and then mail or drop off the original at the appropriate campus. Contact information for your instructor can be found on the CWEE Homepage. If you don't have access to a computer, call your instructor to set up an appointment.
1. Keep track of your hours using the Time Sheet. By the 5th day of the month, submit a Time Sheet for the previous month’s hours, signed by your supervisor, to your CWEE instructor.
2. Stay on top of your learning objectives. Be sure to keep a record of the resources you use as part of your “learning process”, including the people helping you learn (who trained you; who you observed; who observed you and provided you with feedback). Keep a list of your other learning resources, such as books or videos you reviewed, trainings you attended, etc.
3. Work on your Project if you are enrolled in CED 50 or CED 195 (“General Work Experience”).
4. Keep your supervisor informed of your progress or need for further assistance to achieve your learning objective.
5. Communicate with your instructor if you have any problems with or need for changes in your learning objectives. Remember that any significant change in your learning objective will require the approval of your instructor.
Concluding Your Semester:
1. Submit a Time Sheet for any remaining hours.
2. Complete your Self-Evaluation. Be sure to include any documentation of resources used.
3. Submit your completed Project if you are enrolled in CED 50 or CED 195 (“General Work Experience”).
4. Remind your supervisor to complete his or her Employer Evaluation of you.
5. Check Web Advisor for your grade after the last day of the semester.
There are several options for CWEE Education:
Occupational Work Experience (196)
Occupational Work Experience Education allows students to earn college credit on-the-job by learning or improving knowledge or skills related to their educational or occupational goals. This allows the student to practice discipline-specific occupational learning in a job related to one of the college's programs of study. Students can work in either paid or unpaid (internship) positions. Occupational Work Experience courses can be found under a variety of different occupational disciplines, from Administration of Justice (ADJ 196) to Welding (WLD 196)*.
The student's work must be related to the 196 course (e.g., if enrolled in Business (BUS) 196, a student must be working in a business setting, and his or her objectives will be business-related). The objectives students create for themselves need to be "college level". Students can earn from 1-8 units, and up to 16 units can be applied to the Associate Degree and transferred to most CSUs.
*Disciplines with Occupational CWE courses are: ADJ, AGR, AOD, ART, AUT, BOT, BUS, CAM, CDV, CSC, EDU, ELT, FOR, FSC, HLH, HUS, MUS, NRS, RLS, SPN, THE, and WLD
CED 195: General Work Experience
General Work Experience Education allows students to earn college credit on-the-job by learning or improving knowledge or skills related to any type of job, whether paid or volunteer. CED 195 is intended to assist students in acquiring desirable work habits, attitudes and career awareness. The work experience need not be related to a student's career goals or any specific vocational program or major offered by the college. Any type of work, paid or volunteer, is appropriate. The objectives students set for themselves need to be "college level". Students can enroll in 1-6 units, for a maximum of 16 units. These units can be applied to the Associate Degree and transferred to most CSUs.
CED 50: Intro to Work Experience
This is a lower level General Work Experience. Units earned are applicable to the Associate Degree but are not designed to transfer to a 4-year college. Students can enroll in 1/2 unit increments up to 3 units, for a total of 6 units . The objectives students set for themselves need to be "college level" but are not required to be as challenging as the ones in the other CWEE courses. "General" Work Experience does not have to be related to any particular vocational program or major offered by the college. Any type of work, paid or volunteer, is appropriate.
Definition of "College-level"
Objectives must be challenging, just as you would expect in a college course. "College-level" learning means:
- Taking ideas or concepts you’re learning in the classroom and applying them to the work place. This may mean taking principles of good customer service, for example, and applying them at work by improving the manner in which you interact with customers
- Examining the work you are doing by thinking critically about how you accomplish certain tasks, how you might do them differently, and whether the way you complete the tasks results in the outcomes you desire
- Working independently in completing complex assignments that require planning, organizing and implementing new tasks, skills or behaviors
- Demonstrating skills you’re learning in the classroom, like creating a spreadsheet or leading a group counseling session, and doing it in a professional manner with appropriate conduct and vocabulary.
Work Experience Benefits for Student
- CWEE students earn college-credit on-the-job; they get paid for learning, and earn units that apply to higher degrees!
- CWEE units are academic units and are counted toward eligibility for financial aid, family insurance, etc.
- CWEE graduates earn 50-71% more annually than non-CWEE/non-Occupational graduates. CWEE graduates earn 17-21% more than graduates who participate in occupational coursework alone.
- CWEE graduates are 22% more likely to maintain stable earnings over three years compared to non-CWEE/non-Occupational graduates, and 6% more likely to maintain stable earnings when compared to Occupational graduates who did not enroll in CWEE.
- CWEE participants exit community colleges with a strong 15-22% lead in workforce participation compared to other graduates.
- CWEE students test their personal abilities in work environments; CWEE courses help students clarify career goals by applying classroom theory to actual workplace practices.
- CWEE graduates tend to receive Associate degrees at a higher rate than Occupational graduates who did not take CWEE courses.
- CWEE students build self-identity and confidence as a worker through individual attention given by the instructor and employers.
- CWEE students use this experience to build powerful resumes.
For more information
Contact the CWEE Office at 468-3047
or email Dan Jenkins at email@example.com
Other instructors' contact information can be found on the CWEE Homepage
Created: January 24, 2006 @ 11:55 AM
Last Modified: January 30, 2015 @ 03:18 PM