Work-Based Courses Section 6: Connecting Workers to College

At a Glance

The final section in the Work-Based Courses toolkit centers on how to provide the right supports that enable students to truly benefit from a work-based course.

Published jul. 30, 2000

Connecting Workers to College

Work-based courses can serve as a gateway to college for workers who started their careers without having earned a college degree. By providing access to educational and career benefits, work-based courses can be a life-changing opportunity. But, students need strong supports to ensure that they will truly benefit from the educational opportunity that a work-based course offers.

Statistics show that attrition from community college is particularly high among working adults, who face additional challenges in balancing academic, work, and personal demands. Adult students succeed better when the college provides strong mentoring, tutoring, support services, and linkages to employment—support that recognizes that working students differ from many other students and helps them balance their demands.

When developing a work-based course program, establish internal partnerships with other college departments, especially admissions and student services. Then, when the work-based courses are being taught, work with these departments to connect students to the college’s broader resources and facilitate a transition into longer-term programs of study.

Connecting Students to College

Questions to Ask before Watching This Video

  • Do your employer partners value and encourage worker attainment of degrees and credentials? Explain.
  • What services does your college provide to support students who are interested in workplace experience?

Questions to Ask after Watching This Video

  • To which type of employees would your employer partners promote a work-based course program? Long-term employees? Newer employees? Explain.
  • In what ways could work-based course learning meaningfully enhance a student’s academic performance?