FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
It is called “Cooperative Work Experience Education (CWEE)” because the program establishes a three-way relationship between the student, the college, and the employer. This structured relationship allows students to create short-and long-range career goals and to recognize his/her progress by establishing three measurable learning objectives for the semester. CWEE provides a practical learning model for students and helps them prepare for their future careers through the integration of the on-the-job learning experiences and academic classroom lessons. By integrating both study and work, each area should become more relevant, interesting, and rewarding.
You must be working or volunteering during the current semester (no credit is available for past experience) and you must be currently enrolled in and complete at least one additional class, which includes CWEE, at an accredited college or university.
- Prospective students must first apply for admissions if they are new or returning students to WLAC. To apply for admissions at West Los Angeles College visit the Admissions & Records Office page.
- Download and complete the CWEE Application Packet.
- Enroll and Complete the CWEE Orientation.
- Call the CWEE office at (310) 287-7215 or send an email to WLAC-CoopEd@laccd.edu to schedule the intake appointment.
- Show up to your appointment to have your application packet reviewed by the CWEE Coordinator. A permission number to add the class will be provided for registration upon review and approval of application.
All students must learn three (3) new skills at their worksite during the course of the semester.
- If your job is related to your major and you wish to receive elective credit in your major, your objectives must relate to your major.
- If your job is not major related, objectives need only be new learning experiences.
- All 1st time CWEE students must attend the employment prep program offered during the semester. All 2nd, 3rd and 4th time CWEE students will have to attend a different a different 21st century employability skills program each time. We are currently not offering major related coop ed courses, more details coming soon.
- General CWEE courses may be repeated for a maximum of 6 total units.
- Occupational CWEE courses may be repeated for a maximum of 16 total units.
- For General Work Experience, students may enroll in the on-line schedule listed under Cooperative Education similar to enrollment for regular classes (i.e. Coop Ed 195, Coop Ed 295, Coop Ed 395).
- For Occupational Work Experience, courses - more information will be coming soon.
Workplace Learning Objectives are the goals developed between you and your supervisor on the job that must be completed by you no later than the date specified which is near the end of the semester. You and your supervisor should discuss and decide on what three objectives you are to accomplish by the due date. Each objective needs to take between 16-20 hours to complete. These objectives will form the basis for the grade your supervisor will be asked to give you at the end of the semester. These proposed objectives must be submitted at the time of the initial meeting with the CWEE instructor. Once your objectives have been approved, you will be given an Agreement for you and your supervisor to sign. Once signed, this Agreement must be returned within one week during regular office hours.
Cooperative Work Experience Education units are used as elective units in your major if your job is related to your major. If your job is unrelated to your major, the units you earn are considered General units. These units can be used to complete required number of units to graduate and / or complete general education requirements. Example: You need 62 units to graduate. You've completed all required classes and you only have 56 units. You' re short 6 units. The General Cooperative Education units you earn can be used to fill in for the units you're short.
These units are transferable only to the CSU system. California State Universities (Los Angeles, Northridge, Fresno, etc.)
If the units earned are major related, you can transfer up to 12 units. If you earned General units you can transfer up to 6 units.
The total hours worked determines how many units you qualify for. If your job is related to your major the most units you can earn in one semester is 4. Working 75 to 149 hours total for the semester would get you 1 unit; 150 to 224 hours total = 2 units; 225 to 299 hours total = 3 units; 300 + hours total = 4 units. If your job is unrelated and you're earning General units, the most you can get for the semester is 3. The same schedule applies as above. Internship / Volunteer positions: The total hours worked determines the number of units you qualify for. Working 60 to 119 hours total earns you one (1) unit. 120 to 179 hours total = 2 units; 180 to 239 hours total = 3 units; 240 + hours total = 4 units.
If your job is in or related to your declared major you will earn units in your major. Skills learned must be directly applicable to major. Coop ed related to your major is not being offer now, it will be offer in the future.
You've completed your three objectives you will still get a grade but the units applied for may be affected by the loss of hours and a Section Transfer may be required to finalize your grade. If you haven't completed the objectives then there is no basis for a grade so you may have to drop the class. Remember to inform the Coop. Ed. office of any changes in employment.
Inform our office of the change and make sure the new supervisor is aware of the program and what your objectives are so that when the visitation and evaluation take place your supervisor will know about it.
Inform our office of the change. If you've completed the objectives with your former employer then all you have to do is come in and fill out an application with your new employment information so that the hours will still accumulate. Otherwise we will only total the hours worked at your former job. If you haven't completed the objectives, you will need to set up one to three new ones depending upon if you have completed any objectives with previous employer. Please let us know of any changes so that the evaluation and visitation will be done at the proper location.
The seminars are part of the coop ed requirements, you have to enroll and complete the seminar-related assignments in order to receive full credit. If its your first time, you will need to enroll in the Workforce Opportunities I & II seminar programs, offered as noncredit courses. More details will be provided once you attend your meeting with the Coop Ed Coordinator.
No. If you have already taken the seminars as a first time Coop. Ed. student, then, as a repeat Coop. Ed. student you have to enroll in different seminar, more details will be provided once you meet with the Coop Ed coordinator.. You must also complete three new objectives. Everything is the same except the topics of the seminars.
You would have to make up what you need to take care of the incomplete, meanwhile you can sign up as a repeat student and get that paperwork taken care of.
Yes. Many employers who have internship positions require students to earn units for them
According to the Department of Labor, there are six criteria differentiating between an employee and an intern:
- The training, even though it includes actual operations of the facilities of the employers, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school.
- The training is for the benefit of the student.
- The student does not displace a regular employee, but works under the close observation of a regular employee or supervisor.
- The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student; and on occasion, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
- The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
- The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.
The federal Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has recognized that a person may volunteer time to religious, charitable, civic, humanitarian, or similar non-profit organizations as a public service and not be covered by the FLSA. Such a person volunteers freely for such organizations without compensation or expectation of compensation.
Such activities are described by the DOL as “ordinary volunteerism.” In determining whether an activity is “ordinary volunteerism,” the DOL considers a variety of factors, including:
- Nature of the entity receiving the services (nonprofit, for instance)
- Compensation of any sort (such as money, room & board, perks, etc.)
- Expectations of benefits in the future
- Whether the activity is less than a full-time occupation
- Whether regular employees are displaced
- Whether the services are offered freely without pressure or coercion, and
- Whether the services are of the kind typically associated with volunteer work.
If an individual volunteers in a part of a nonprofit which is commercial and that serves the public, such as stores or restaurants, the DOL does not recognize them as volunteers for FLSA purposes.