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Student Resources (CWE)

What is Cooperative Education?

  • An opportunity for hands-on learning that enhances your classroom studies.
  • A way to earn college credit for practical experience gained on a work site.
  • A paid or volunteer experience in your career area, sponsored and coordinated by RCC.

How can it help me?

  • With Cooperative Education Work Experience on your resume, you can compete for better jobs. Your site supervisor can provide you with a good reference.
  • You can get your "foot in the door" at a work site for your choice. Many students are hired by their training site after their Cooperative Education is completed.
  • Cooperative Education credits are required by many programs. Other programs use them as electives. They are transferable credits for the AA transfer degree.

Can I get credit for my current job?

  • Yes, as long as it meets requirements for an eligible work site.

What makes a work site eligible?

  • If offers work directly related to your major.
  • Your assigned duties involve learning new skills.
  • The site supervisor will train you, give feedback on your work, and communicate with RCC for your grade.

What about Work Study or Learn & Earn?

  • Work Study or Learn & Earn positions can become training sites for your Cooperative Education credits. Any site you choose just needs to meet standard site requirements.

How many work sites can I experience?

  • You can earn all of your credits at the same site. You can also train with more than one employer for a variety of experiences.

How many credits can I earn?

  • For most programs, one credit is awarded for every 33 hours of work.
  • Up to six credits can be applied to the AA Oregon transfer degree as electives. Check with your advisor for guidelines in other programs. Most RCC programs allow a minimum of 3 credits, or 99 hours of work.
  • If you plan to transfer to a college that does not accept the AA Oregon transfer degree, check with the admissions office of that college to be sure your Cooperative Education credits will be counted. Most colleges do accept them, but it's better to be sure.

How do I enroll?

  • Check with your RCC advisor for particular program requirements, and to pick up a Student CWE Packet. If you do not know who has been assigned as your advisor, ask the Cooperative Education Office for help.
  • Your advisor may be able to help you identify a work site. Ask the Office of Cooperative Education for additional help if needed. Your advisor gives final approval for any site you may choose.
  • You must register for credit before beginning work that will count for credit.
  • Be sure to go over the work Ethic Evaluation (green sheet in your packet) with your site supervisor at the start of your experience.
  • Some programs ask you to enroll in a one-credit Cooperative Education Seminar before you start working at your site. The seminar helps you develop skills to enhance your success at the work site.

Grading and evaluation:

  • Your grade will be based on your site supervisor's feedback. Your cooperative Education advisor will contact your site directly, but may also ask for your own assessment of your work.
  • Grades are given for your progress on the learning objectives you have on file. If your learning objectives need to be adjusted due to workplace changes, check with your advisor.
  • To earn credit, you need to complete the number of work hours that correlate with your registration.
  • Seminars, if required, are graded separately.

Insurance Coverage:

  • The college provides Workers' Compensation accidental insurance for students working at non-paid training sites.
  • You must be registered for credit for the insurance to be in effect.
  • In case of an accident, notify your supervisor and the Office of Cooperative Education immediately.