CWE General Information

Cooperative Work Experience is a venture in which students, employers and Saddleback College work together to provide relevant, quality education and valuable work-related experiences for the student. It is called Cooperative Work Experience because it is dependent upon employers and educators cooperating to form a more complete educational program for the students. This is a unique plan of education combining classroom education with planned, supervised work experience and allows the student to earn college credit for work experience. This combination of instruction provides the student with educational opportunities that lead directly to productive employment in the community.

Students can use the student workbook for all procedures and forms.

Student Benefits:

  • Receive college credit for on-the-job experiences (paid or unpaid).
  • Learn or improve employment skills under actual working conditions.
  • Apply classroom theory to "real job experience" thus gaining a perspective on career goals.
  • Develop a better understanding of human relations as it relates to the workplace.
  • Be able to test personal abilities in selected work environments.
  • Refer to work experience education on resumes and future job applications.

In Cooperative Work Experience, the student's education, career and personal development advance simultaneously. Students earn college credit for what they learn and contribute on the job.

Employer Benefits:

The program helps maintain a flow of trained personnel into the occupational field, reducing the cost of employee turnover by employing people who are on a career path. The CWE student develops work objectives with his or her supervisor which furthers the employer's goal and the employee's work performance. The employer is provided with the opportunity to communicate business and industry needs to the college thus helping the college to remain current with industry standards.

Community College Benefits:

Cooperative Work Experience strengthens the relationship between the college and the business community. The interaction of student-instructor-employer provides valuable, current input concerning labor market conditions and the implications for curriculum. Student success and a skilled work force benefit the college and the community at large.

Shared Responsibility:

The student is responsible for regular attendance at work and college, appropriate appearance and performance, positive attitude and good human relationships, job skills, and educational progress.

The employer's responsibility includes providing a suitable work station, work experiences which have educational value for the student, and supervision to help the student progress on the job and accomplish specific on-the-job learning objectives.

The college provides organization, coordination, program supervision and maintenance of student records. A college instructor will visit and counsel with the student and employer during the semester and, together with the supervisor, determine the student's grade.

College Credit:

Students can receive transferable college credit toward their CTE certificate or degree by successfully completing CWE. CWE units are often transferable and will receive credit toward their occupation certificates based on the individual certificate requirements. Units for CWE are based on total hours worked during the semester as follows:

*** STUDENTS ARE ADVISED TO CONSULT WITH THEIR CWE EMPLOYER BEFORE REGISTERING FOR CWE TO DETERMINE THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HOURS TO BE WORKED DURING THE EXPERIENCE.

*** STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WORK THE AMOUNT OF HOURS REQUIRED FOR THE NUMBER OF CWE UNITS THEY REGISTER FOR. EXAMPLE: A student that registers for a 2 Unit Unpaid CWE course must complete 120 hours with the CWE employer by the end of the experience.

CWE UNITS AND REQUIRED HOURS

( *Available CWE course hours vary by department and are dependent on how the CWE course was created.)

 
# OF CWE UNITS
1 UNIT
2 UNITS
3 UNITS
4 UNITS
UNPAID CWE
Required hours
60
120
180
240
PAID CWE
Required hours
75
150
225
300

Note: ONLY STUDENTS ENROLLED IN A CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATE PROGRAM ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CWE AT SADDLEBACK COLLEGE.

If you are currently working in the field of your major, those work hours can also be used to fulfill the program requirements. You can also search for internships on Gaucho Jobs and ask for advice from your instructors.

Enrollment:

Students interested in the CWE / Internship program at Saddleback College should follow the 'Start Here' steps listed on the CWE Homepage.

*** Students are advised to contact the CTE Department Chair if they have a question about enrolling in CWE in that academic department. Unfortunately, not all of our CTE Departments offers CWE at this time.