Work Experience Education

Work Experience Education is an important component of the education and training that students receive at College of the Desert. The program is a hands-on learning tool that links academics to their current real-world work environment. Work Experience provides an opportunity for students to create and accomplish their own measurable learning outcomes that are new or expanded responsibilities. The goal is for students to become better employees, work on new projects that add to their resumes, and enhance their employability skills. Work Experience is a course designed for students who are cross training at their current work-site or internship site for upward mobility or possible career changes as well as those looking for entry-level occupational training through work-based learning experiences. College of the Desert recognizes job experience as a valuable learning resource. It has the uniqueness of turning community businesses, industry, and public agencies into extended educational training opportunities.

Work Experience Education provides students:

  • An opportunity to link classroom theory into the workforce
  • CSU transferable college units
  • An opportunity to explore desired discipline and career 
  • A learning environment where you can continue to develop professionally 
  • The ability to improve/enhance your resume
  • Networking opportunities with professionals 
  • Practical hands on experience
  • Exposure to 21st century employability skills 

Types of Work Experience

  1. General Work Experience Education is supervised employment of students with the intent to assist them in acquiring desirable work habits, positive job attitudes, and career awareness. Students' jobs need not be directly related to their educational or occupational goals. Students may register for 1-6 units per semester of General Work Experience with a maximum of 16 units total combined Work Experience during their college career. 
  2. Occupational Work Experience Education is supervised employment of students designed to extend their classroom-based occupational learning at an on-the-job site. This type of Work Experience is available to students whose job is directly related to their educational or occupational goals. Students may register for 1-8 Occupational Work Experience units per semester with a maximum of 16 total combined Work Experience units during their college career. 

Students may utilize their present work sites for improving skills or choose internships in another area through the Work Experience Office. Certain volunteer training activities may also qualify for college credit through Work Experience, provided that meaningful objectives are set and accomplished.

Transferable Units

Up to 16 units may be used as elective credit for the AA/AS degree. Certain COD programs require Work Experience units and/or allow them as electives within the requirements. All CSU campuses accept COD Work Experience units for elective transfer credit. (There are CSU campus limits on the maximum number of Work Experience transfer units accepted.)

Requirements to Enroll in Work Experience Courses

To enroll in Work Experience courses, students must:

  1. Have a declared major or career goal.
  2. Have a job, internship, student worker, or volunteer position secured before enrolling.
  3. Commit to the job/internship/volunteer position for the duration of the enrollment term (for example: 16-weeks, 12-weeks, or 8-weeks during summer).
  4. Be enrolled as a College of the Desert student.
  5. For each unit enrolled, Work Experience participants are required to complete:
    • 75 hours of paid work, or     
    • 60 hours of volunteer work

Note: Students with an F-1 visa must make a formal application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before they can begin any paid employment. Contact the International Student Office for more information.

How to Enroll

  • Visit the Work Experience Education and follow the "Work Experience Guide" for step-by-step instructions. 
  • Once registered, log into Canvas the first day of class to begin course and submit initial required application form.  

Participating Programs

Work Experience credit is available in the following academic programs:

  • Agriculture/Environmental Horticulture 
  • Air Conditioning Heating and Ventilation 
  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Automotive Technology
  • Biology
  • Business Hospitality Management
  • Business Accounting
  • Business Finance Management
  • Culinary Arts
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Construction Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Digital Design & Production
  • Child Development and Education
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Energy Systems Technology
  • English
  • Film
  • Fire Technology
  • General Work Experience (for students who have a job or internship not related to their major)
  • Golf Management
  • Health Science
  • History
  • Human Services/Alcohol & Drug Studies
  • Hotel & Restaurant Management
  • Journalism
  • Kinesiology
  • Mass Communication
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Natural Resources
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Radio & Television
  • Sociology
  • Theatre 

The Work Experience Office may be contacted at workexperience@collegeofthedesert.edu, 760.862.1344. Or in person at the Palm Desert Campus, Administration Building, Rooms 5 & 6 inside the Career and Workforce Solutions Center. Students may also visit our Work Experience Education webpage for additional information and other career resources.

HSAD 095B  Alcohol and Drug Work Experience   Units: 2

This course is the field work co-requisite for Supervised Internship I (HSAD 033A) and Supervised Internship II (HSAD 033B). The student builds on skills in an internship experience in the field of drug and alcohol studies. Students will develop counseling and communication skills and apply these skills in diverse drug and alcohol treatment programs. Students will master the 12 core functions of substance abuse counseling and apply these skills. The course consists of Internships/ clinical fieldwork experience at drug and alcohol treatment programs. Internships are a required component of the HSAD Certificate and Degree Program.
Lecture Hours: None         Lab Hours: 150          Repeatable: Yes
Grading: Letter
Prerequisite: HSAD 001 & HSAD 002 & HSAD 004 & HSAD 020 & HSAD 022 & HSAD 024 & HSAD 030 & HSAD 034. Corequisite: HSAD 032A HSAD 033B HSAD 033A HSAD 032B
Advisory: None
Limitation on enrollment: None
Transfer Status: CSU                 Degree Applicable: AA/AS
COD GE: None                 CSU GE: None                 IGETC: None