Cooperative work experience can be thought of as an internship for community college students. Students earn credit and experience at the same time.
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Students spend between three and thirty five hours per week, depending on their credit load, working at the training site to gain specific skills and a broad understanding of their chosen career field. They also begin to develop a network of professional contacts that might lead to full-time job opportunities after graduation.
While serving as a training site, employers have the opportunity to observe Chemeketa students in action. Employers can evaluate the students skill level and fit within the company, with no long term commitment, when determining future staffing needs. Many employers decide to hire their CWE student after the experience because they have proven to be a valuable member of the team.