Did you know that WCC has a program that allows students to receive college credit while working on the job in a field within their degree? The Work-Based Learning (WBL) program at WCC does exactly that.
Work-based learning provides degree-seeking students with on-the-job training that in many ways is hard to duplicate in a classroom setting. Students in WBL classes gain valuable experience and receive college credit at the same time.
While not all of our programs at WCC offer work-based learning as part of their degree program, many of them do. Those programs include Accounting and Finance, Culinary Arts, Business Administration, Interpreter Education, Community Spanish Interpreter, Automotive Technology, and Criminal Justice Technology – just to name a few. There’s plenty more, and you can read more specifically about each of them on the Work-Based Learning page.
The work must be completed in the semester that the course is offered. So in a normal 16 week semester, that works out to only 10 required hours per week.
Oftentimes students receive job offers based on their work-based learning experience. Local employers frequently speak on the unique opportunity to work with our students during the semester, almost as a “tryout” for a job. This allows students to “show off” their knowledge and skills with their potential employer and entrench themselves within the organization.
And the work-based learning opportunity can even assist students in earning promotions. It’s important to note that not all WBL experiences are with new employers. Students can use their current worksite as their work-based learning experiences as long as they are completing work that’s different from their current position. Students are encouraged to identify skills that they need to develop to get a promotion. As they develop those skills, other job opportunities and promotions often come about as a result.
Rebecca Croom, WCC Interpreter Education student said, “Being able to watch different American Sign Language interpreters in a classroom setting and learn from each of them is such a beneficial experience. Observing each of their signing styles and seeing how different they are is preparing me for where my future is going to take me with ASL.”
Part of the process of completing work-based learning is for students to create learning objectives that relate to the job they are performing. This is a way for the employer and the student to identify skills that they collectively would like to work towards during the experience. During the semester, the student’s advisor meets with the student and the employer to make sure the student is working towards the objectives and that they are doing all that’s required of the experience.
Work-Based Learning Coordinator Alan Leonard shared, “We take great pride in the students who finish the WBL experience. The hands-on involvement working with and observing successful professionals provides our students with invaluable experience. Many of our students get a job offer from the company where they completed the experience.”
For more information, contact Alan Leonard, Work-Based Learning Coordinator and Economics/Business Administration Instructor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (252) 246-1303.
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