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Welcome to Cooperative Work Experience (CWE)


What is Cooperative Work Experience?

Cooperative Work Experience Education (CWE) is an academic program that offers students the opportunity to earn units of college credit while they are working. There are two types of CWE:

Occupational Work Experience: Supervised employment which extends the classroom-based learning at an on the job location. This is directly related to the student’s educational or occupational goals.

General Work Experience: Supervised employment which is intended to assist students to acquire work habits, attitudes, and awareness. It does not need to be directly related to the student’s educational goals.

CWE requires the participation of the student, the instructor, and the student’s work supervisor. Together they establish learning objectives for the student to pursue. The instructor and the supervisor act as “co-educators” to help the student achieve the learning objectives. In Cooperative Work Experience, the student’s education, career and personal development advance simultaneously.

Golden West College’s CWE Program offers any eligible student in any of the College’s academic programs the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while earning course credits which are transferable to a California state university (CSU).

What are the benefits of Cooperative Work Experience?

Student Benefits

Participating in an Occupational Cooperative Work Experience allows the student to:

• Gain valuable work skills before graduation.
• Obtain enhanced understanding of classroom concepts and apply them to the workplace.
• Provide increased value to the employer.
• Build an expanded resume
• Participate in networking opportunities.
• Document work experience on college transcripts.
• Be awarded credit for hours worked.
• Apply Work Experience units towards an AA degree and most certificate programs.
• Transfer Work Experience as elective units to the California State University (CSU) system.
• Receive individual career guidance from professionals in the field.
• Improve employee/employer relationships.
• Earn job advancement/pay increase opportunities.
• Inform their employer of career goals, educational progress, and desire for advancement.
• Test career choices.

Employer Benefits

• Prepares employees with the potential for advancement/promotion.
• Provides an opportunity for the employer to observe and direct employees in the operation and philosophy of their company.
• Enhances employee motivation and job satisfaction.
• Reduces training costs through the use of educational resources and services and reduces turnover by having committed employees.
• Provides a direct return from tax dollars through employee utilization of educational resources and facilities.
• Provides the employer with an opportunity to input and advise how college programs can be more meaningful.

Community College Benefits

• Strengthens the relationship between the college and the business community.
• Provides valuable, current input concerning labor market conditions and the implications for curriculum.
• Student success and a skilled workforce benefit the college, the employer and the community at large.