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Internships with Cooperative Work Experience

Earn college credit while getting hands-on experience and earning money as an intern in your desired field.

Internships Earn College Credit & Money

Are you ready to put all your classroom work to the test? Numerous local employers partner with Chemeketa to offer students like you the opportunity to gain specific skills and a broad understanding of your chosen career field. You can also begin to develop a network of professional contacts that might lead to full-time job opportunities after graduation.

Employers evaluate your skill level and fit within the company, with no long-term commitment, and it may lead to job offers when they determine future staffing needs. Many employers decide to hire their Cooperative Work Experience students after the experience because they have proven to be a valuable member of the team.

Call 503.399.5048 to find out if you are eligible for a Cooperative Work Experience internship and make your appointment for the upcoming term.

Think of CWE as an Internship

Students earn credit and experience at the same time. You will spend between three and 35 hours per week, depending on your credit load, working at a training site in your chosen field.

Some programs require completion of a cooperative work experience. Here are a few –

  • Automotive technology
  • Business technology
  • Computer information systems
  • Criminal justice, law enforcement and corrections program
  • Early childhood education
  • Fire protection
  • Health information management
  • Horticulture

Other programs offer Cooperative Work Experiences to earn elective credit within their program.

This is your opportunity to build your employer connections and gain work experience.

  • Financial aid approved
  • Transferable credits
  • Possible transportation cost covered

For CWE Students

  • Documenting your progress

    Required Cooperative Work Experience seminars or individual faculty/student conferences are taught each term by instructors and Cooperative Work Experience coordinators. The seminars provide ongoing assistance to students in relating classroom theory to on-the-job-training. They also cover a number of employment-related topics.


    Students will need to complete weekly time sheets, reading reports, and/or other research and projects. The requirements for Cooperative Work Experience are slightly different for each program and are outlined by the individual program.

  • Student Handbook

    Review the CWE student handbook to find answers to your questions and understand your responsibilities.

For CWE Employers

  • Successful placement & supervision experience

    A quality cooperative work experience placement begins with a commitment from the training site to the student. As the student is exposed to authentic work situations, they can apply their classroom knowledge in a work context. Quality supervision allows the student to ask questions and understand the work they are performing.

    Quality placements include –

    • Strong commitment to training through cooperative work experience placement
    • Clearly delineated job description outlining tasks and projects to be undertaken
    • Positions that represent progress towards the students stated career goal
    • Provisions for a specific work area for the student
    • Scheduled exposure to other professional staff, clientele or activities for professional growth
    • Opportunity for professional monitoring
    • Emphasis on the development of critical thinking and skills development

    Quality supervision includes –

    • Direct, one-to-one supervision and training provided by work supervisor and coworkers
    • Provisions for a regular meeting time during the week with the work supervisor for training, answering questions, discussion with student, clarification, or new assignments
    • Opportunities to discuss issues which may arise at the job site and to hear feedback from student
    • Opportunities for career exploration by student
    • Interviewing other people in the office, talking with Personnel Director, etc.
    • Time for participation in on-site mid-term visit by cooperative work experience placement coordinator and/or instructor
    • Exit interview of student and completion of final evaluation form by site supervisor

    What are the benefits to my organization?

    • Trains students to be qualified, skilled employees
    • Frees regular workers to perform more complex tasks
    • Allows students to work on special projects during peak workload periods
    • Serves as an excellent recruitment tool to find highly qualified employees
    • Allows students to be trained on equipment and experience technology important to your business that is not available on campus

    Do I have to pay the student?

    Paid Option

    • Employer may receive a multiple term commitment from the student with increased productivity each term
    • Paid positions are usually the students foremost choice and most likely to be filled first
    • Employer may use student for temporary and/or part-time employment needs
    • Compensation motivates the student and provides resources to finish their education
    • Provides an effective way to assess and select employees without a permanent commitment for employment
    • Greater commitment of time from the student than with non-paid option

    Non-Paid Option

    • No cost involved for salary expenses
    • College will pay the students Worker's Compensation Insurance
    • Provide more training for the student because they are not being paid for their time on task

    Does the college provide support if I encounter difficulties with a student placement?

    The Cooperative Work Experience office provides a coordinator to assist employers and students. An instructor from the student's specific program of study will also advise the student and be available if a problem arises.

    Are students covered by Worker's Compensation while at my site?

    The employer is responsible to pay Worker's Compensation for all paid employees including those in the CWE program. In non-paid CWE the college will provide worker's compensation insurance for the number of hours the student works at the training site.

    Will I be able to interview the student before making a decision?

    Yes, we encourage training sites to provide a professional interview for each student they are considering. This allows the training site to determine if the student will fit within the organization before a commitment is made and it also allows the student to gain experience by going through the formal interview process.

Wesley's Welding Story

My internship is catching me up on the modern world.

Having been out of school for more than 20 years, Wesley needed to expand his knowledge of modern welding and fabricating techniques to gain a competitive edge in his business.

Jennifer's Business Technology Story

The internship gave her an idea of the type of job she would be happy in.

After raising kids, Jennifer tried to return to the workforce only to find that her previous 25 years of experience wasn't enough to get the type of job she wanted.

Anabella's Transfer Student Story

Since joining my CWE internship, I have learned the amount of dedication I can put into something I like.

Growing up in a migrant family, Anabella worked in fruit fields alongside her parents each summer. This is where she learned the value of hard work and the struggles faced by migrant workers.

Alan's Fire Prevention Story

Never give up on your dreams — keep your mind focused on the next step in your life.

After raising his son, Alan returned to college to earn a degree in fire inspection and investigation.