CWE Details: Students

Earn Transferable Credit for Your Job or Internship!

CWE involves supervised employment extending classroom learning at an on-the-job learning station related to your educational or career goals. This work experience may be paid or unpaid.  If you are currently working in the field of your major, those work hours can also be used to fulfill the program requirements, as long as you are going to learn new skills or enhance current skills.

How Do I Get Started?

  1. Get a job or internship. Need some help? Visit the Career Placement Center, Career and Re-Entry Center, or Gaucho Jobs for lots of great, current listings.
  2. Submit a CWE Application to your Academic Department Chair or Scott Fredrickson, the CWE Program Faculty Coordinator, to assign you to an appropriate faculty supervisor.
  3. Add CWE 180. Once your application is processed, your faculty supervisor will send you an APC to add the course to your schedule. Note: You never have to attend an classroom-based class for CWE 180. The workplace is your classroom, and your new employer is your teacher!
  4. Set Your Goals. Your faculty advisor will also share the Learning Objectives Form, which you complete and return at the start of your work experience. Set three learning goals that you would like to achieve at your workplace - help doing this is available here. You, your workplace supervisor, and your faculty supervisor will meet and assess your achievement of these goals throughout the semester.
  5. Work and Learn! This is what it's all about! Learn more about how to be a great intern/employee here. And, if you ever need guidance or advice, never hesitate to contact your faculty supervisor.
  6. Submit Paperwork to your Faculty Advisor. At the end of the semester, submit all of your CWE Forms to your faculty advisor, who will process them and submit your final grade to the College. 

What are the Credit/Hour Requirements?

Units for CWE are based on total hours worked during the semester as follows:


*** 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.



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

Required hours
60 120 180 240
Required hours
75 150 225 300

Note: Only students enrolled in a CTE 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. 

What are the Benefits of CWE?
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.

  • 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.



What Are the Student's Responsibilities?


  1. Identify learning objectives and discuss them with the job supervisor. The job supervisor must sign the objective form to show agreement with the objectives. Your instructor will assist you with writing the three objectives during the first class session. The objectives are your record of the semester's plan for educational growth and are the basis for evaluation and awarding of credit.
  2. Meet with the college instructor assigned to their course for approval of the objectives and to secure the instructor's signature on the Goal/Objectives form. Objectives will be due the 5th week of the semester.
  3. Attend the final meeting, at the end of the semester, when the instructor and job supervisor meet to discuss and evaluate the student's work.
  4. Submit all completed paperwork to the instructor by the date requested. These forms must be completed and returned to the instructor before a grade can be issued and credit awarded. If the required paperwork is not completed and returned to the instructor before the end of the semester a grade of "F" will result.
  5. Please notify your instructor of changes in:
    • job status,
    • college program,
    • address, email address and/or telephone number.

IMPORTANT: Please present the "Letter to Employer" to your job supervisor as soon as possible along with your objectives so that he/she may be advised of your participation in the Cooperative Work Experience Program.

Have more questions? 

Contact Saddleback's CWE Program Faculty Coordinator, Scott Fredrickson at either or (949) 582-4293.