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CWE Guidelines

Cooperative work experience (CWE) is approved in accordance with requirements and criteria established by the Community College Workforce Development—Educational Improvement and Innovation (CCWD-EII). Procedures for approval of cooperative work experience are the same as for other occupational preparatory or Lower Division Credit courses. Cooperative work experience is considered to be an integral part of a program of study (associate degree or certificate of completion). CWE is expected to be an advanced learning opportunity, not an exploratory experience in a career area.

CWE guidelines and definitions for full-time equivalent reimbursement reporting:
  • Credit for CWE is based on CWE as a classroom lab with a 3 to 1 ratio (33 clock hours per credit).
  • A maximum of 12 credit hours per year per student can count for FTE reimbursement.
  • This is consistent with “No more than 24 credit hours of Cooperative Work Experience can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science degree or 12 credit hours for a one year certificate of completion” that has been in guidance.
CWE and the student's program of study
  • Cooperative Work Experience (CWE) is an integral part of a program of study (certification of completion or associate degree).
  • Goals for individual students' CWE are tied to a student's program of study.
  • The individual student's CWE plan includes student learning outcomes, measurable learning objectives, and an opportunity for structured reflection through CWE seminar and/or other embedded activities as outlined in the Community College Handbook and Oregon Work-Based Learning Manual.
  • The supervisor/employer, instructor and student collaborate in setting and assessing learning objectives.
Monitoring and assessing CWE
  • Good monitoring of the student's CWE plan occurs through periodic visits or contacts at the job site including the student, instructor and supervisor/employer.
  • Assessment should measure progress toward student goals and is undertaken by instructor, student and supervisor/employer.
  • Student evaluation of the supervisor/employer is an important component of CWE.
The College role in CWE
  • Roles and expectations for the CWE are clearly defined for the student, instructor and supervisor/employer
  • CWE is derived from a course outline approved through a college's curriculum approval process.
  • Instructors for CWE are qualified and approved through college processes.
  • The college follows guidelines from Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities concerning Contractual Relationship with Organization Not Regionally Accredited as it relates to direct control and CWE.
  • CWE agreement addresses applicable legal aspects, such as worker's compensation.
Logistics of CWE
  • Credit for CWE is based on CWE as a classroom lab with a 3 to 1 ratio (30-36 clock hours per credit).
  • Credit for CWE Seminar is based on the Seminar as a lecture course with a 1 to 1 ratio (10-12 clock hours per credit).
Additional Information:

Full text of CWE Guidelines available by request. It is expected that language concerning CWE in the Oregon Work Based Learning Manual and other resources will be aligned with that in the Handbook and the information in the Handbook takes precedence.

Effective July 1, 2009