Work-based Learning

Building a stronger Workforce

Work-Based Learning (also called co-op or internship) is an instructional method that integrates classroom learning with supervised work experience in a business or agency situation directly related to the student’s major. Students typically work 10-20 hours a week, gaining valuable hands-on experience while also taking on-campus classes. The employer (or direct supervisor assigned to the student) participates in the student’s learning process through consultation on learning objectives and evaluation of the student’s progress.

Participating Academic Programs

  • Architectural Technology
  • Automotive Systems Technology
  • Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Business Administration
  • Civil Engineering Technology
  • Computer Engineering Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Culinary Arts
  • Digital Media Technology
  • Fire Protection Technology
  • Geomatics Technology
  • Health and Fitness Science
  • Information Technology
  • Landscape Gardening
  • Therapeutic Massage


Employer Information

Employer Benefits

  • Short-term commitment, usually one or two semesters. Agreeing to host a co-op student is not a guarantee of future employment.
  • Gain a competitive edge in hiring by having a strong influence in the education program of future full-time or part-time employees.
  • Provide valuable feedback to the College about the needs of your business/industry resulting in a positive impact on workforce development.
  • Community involvement and goodwill.

Employer Responsibilities

Provide a minimum of at least 160, 320, or 480 hours of employment per term/semester depending on course credit assigned.

Assist the student (with guidance from the assigned Faculty Coordinator) in developing and evaluating the Measurable Learning Objectives that will be related to the student’s academic studies.

Permit on-site visits by the Faculty Coordinator.

Notify the Faculty Coordinator at the College before any action that might result in the termination or change of employment status of the student.

Evaluate the student’s performance during on-site visits and at the end of the term/semester. Adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Provide the student with a supervised, progressive, and meaningful learning work experience. Assure a safe and healthy work environment.


There are several types of insurance coverage for which students and employers must be provided information before accepting any WBL/co-op position.

Accident Insurance

Accident insurance is included as a Student Activity fee as part of all students’ tuition. Coverage begins at the beginning of the term/semester and stops at the end of the term/semester.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation for paid co-op positions during the entire length of the Co-op activity. North Carolina law requires all employers to provide this coverage if employing three (3) or more employees.

Unemployment Insurance

By action of the Federal Government and the North Carolina Assembly, co-op students may not apply for unemployment insurance based upon co-op employment. Therefore, unemployment insurance premiums shall not be paid on co-op students working in the state.


Student Information

Student Procedures & Eligibility

  • Must complete a Work-Based Learning Application Form.
  • Must be approved and registered by the WBL/co-op Faculty Coordinator (usually your academic advisor or WBL instructor)
  • Must be officially enrolled in a program that offers the WBL/co-op option.
  • Must possess the basic skills required by the employer.
  • Must have job site approved by the WBL/co-op Faculty Coordinator.



Work-based Learning Forms