Becoming a Work College

Each of the Work Colleges evolved over time into what they promote today.  However, they were founded through humble means: Students who wanted an education but could not afford one, and colleges with modest budgets that wanted to provide an education. A practical solution arose in allowing students to work while assisting with all institutional functions and operations. Today that means everything from technology to accounting and finance, faculty research to kitchen operations, and farm chores to the President’s office. Work College students do it all.

The seven Work Colleges are federally defined and follow specific guidelines and regulations. Each college has a work program structure that parallels that of an academic program including a Dean of Work and consequences for non-performance. The current federal guidelines for the Work Colleges can be found at this link: Federal Guidelines.


  • Work Colleges promote work as an integral part of the educational process.
  • Work College students are required to take their work seriously and are held accountable for failure to participate as expected in the “work program”.
  • Work Colleges strive to promote career opportunities, service to community, and debt reduction.
  • Each college has a work program structure that parallels that of an academic program, including a Dean of Work. 


Frequently Asked Questions
Thinking about becoming a Work College? Here are a few questions to consider:
  •  Do you currently have any type of student centered work culture on your campus?
  •  Do students contribute to institutional operations through labor?
  •  How are students supervised in their work?
  •  How are students paid, if at all, and at what rate of pay?
  •  How is student work supported financially?
  •  What infrastructure exists to support student work?


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