Cooperative Work Experience

Frequently Asked Questions

How much credit is available through CWE?

You may earn up to twelve (12) credits during a calendar school year (Summer-Spring). However, no more than 24 credit hours of CWE can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science degree or 12 credit hours for a one-year certificate of completion. CWE credit is variable, 1 to 12 credits.

The amount of credit you earn is based on the hours you work and your curriculum. The normal guideline is 30 hours of work equals one credit. For example, fifteen hours of work per week in a ten-week term equals 5 credits of CWE, 150/30. 

In addition, students in certain programs must register for a one (1) credit CWE seminar. 

How does a student qualify?

You should be taking courses toward a specific major or courses that will eventually lead to a full-time job. Students should successfully complete two terms in their major before doing CWE. There may be course or GPA requirements before students have permission to register for CWE. Check with the CWE office or faculty advisors for CWE prerequisites in your major. Most majors require a faculty recommendation before enrolling in CWE. You do not have to be enrolled full-time to participate in CWE.

Will a College Work-Study position qualify as a CWE position?

In some cases, the Cooperative Work Experience and College Work-Study positions can be coordinated to allow students to earn credit for a CWE job while being paid with College Work-Study funds. CWE is an instructional program. College Work-Study is a federally funded program providing financial aid to students. Your work-study must be instructional and related to your major.

Will my current job qualify as a CWE position?

That depends. CWE positions must relate to your major field of study and be flexible enough to allow you new learning experiences. Many students have used full and part-time positions as CWE positions. The key to all CWE is in the learning that takes place on the job and how that relates to your program of study at LBCC. CWE credits cannot be earned for prior work experience.

Must I be currently employed to enroll in CWE?

The CWE Faculty Coordinator will assist you in locating a work-based learning site at which you can accomplish your CWE outcomes. However, the CWE Faculty Coordinator does not get you the position. You should expect to go through an interview and selection process. You may be required to have a resume, take a drug test, or provide medical information -- (whether the position is paid or non-paid). Until you are actually selected for a position, you may not register for CWE.

Students interested in incorporating Cooperative Work Experience into their college program should discuss it with their major faculty advisor and the Cooperative Work Experience Faculty Coordinator to plan the best term for registration. You should plan your CWE the term before you begin working to allow plenty of time to identify a training site.

How do I add a CWE class to my program?

A CWE class is listed in the class schedule like any other class. A course reference number (CRN) and course number are assigned each quarter to each CWE course (e.g.. 31070 BA280A CWE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT). The CWE credit is variable from one (1) to twelve (12) credits.

CWE is open entry. You may register for Cooperative Work Experience until the seventh (7th) week of the term, as long as the time you plan to spend on the job is enough to earn the credits you're signing up for. It takes 30 hours on the job for one (1) credit. It may be best to register for your regular classes first, then add CWE credits later. Most Cooperative Work Experience positions are scheduled around your prior classroom commitments.

Is CWE a graded course?

Most CWE courses are available with a grade of A-F or P/NP option. Grades are determined by your employer/supervisor, CWE Faculty Coordinator, and you. The employer/supervisor and your CWE Faculty Coordinator determine your attainment of the learning outcomes. You will turn in a written self-evaluation on how well you think you reached your outcomes: Were the outcomes met? How were they met? You will also give yourself a recommended grade. Your outcomes write-up and suggested grade are due the Friday before final's week.

If you do not complete the CWE paperwork, you will receive an (NP) Non-passing grade for your CWE. You have the following term to complete any course deficiencies. 

Am I required to pay for CWE and seminar credits?

CWE and seminar courses are approved college level courses. Therefore, students participating in CWE pay for the credits earned.

Will CWE credits transfer to other colleges?

Probably. CWE can be taken for vocational technical credits or college transfer credits. All four-year public colleges and universities in the State of Oregon accept work experience credits as free electives if they carry an appropriate alphanumeric course number. Check with the CWE Faculty Coordinator or advisor for more details. Many private educational institutions will also accept CWE credits.

Do VA benefits apply?

Approval of Cooperative Work Experience for veteran's benefits is the same as other courses in your approved curriculum. If CWE is required or optional in your program of study, then it will be approved. However, certain exceptions may exist. Veterans should inform the CWE Faculty Coordinator about their VA benefit status and then check with the LBCC Veteran's Office if questions arise.