skip to main content

Work-Based Learning at CCAC

Work-based learning is the practice and application of classroom knowledge in a real-world setting or simulated environment under the supervision of an experienced professional. It can be offered within credit or noncredit coursework. Courses may also incorporate industry-based projects and simulations.

Credit Options


  • Programs are registered by the state
  • Students must apply and be accepted
  • These opportunities are managed by the organizations offering them
  • Students are paid; employers get tax breaks
  • Examples: Carpenters, Heavy Equipment Operating
  • Engineers, IBEW, Iron Workers, Plumbers, Sheet Metal
  • Workers, Stationary Operating Engineers, PA Early Education

practicum iconPRACTICUM

  • Provides preemployment experience in the field
  • May be paid or unpaid (must be unpaid for ECD)
  • Course description must list the minimum number of hours required
  • Departments identify and manage practicum sites
  • Examples: Court Reporting, Criminal Justice, Dietetics, Early Education, ASL-English Interpreting, Social Work

capstone iconCAPSTONE

  • The culminating course in a program
  • A work-based learning component may be included
  • May offer students the opportunity to analyze real-world problems facing companies and to present their solutions at the end of the semester
  • Part of program requirements

clinical iconCLINICAL

  • Health care-related
  • Provides preemployment experience in the field
  • Typically a defined number of days/hours/weeks
  • Normally required by the program
  • Requirements outlined by the department
    and clinical site

cooperative education iconCOOPERATIVE EDUCATION

  • Hands-on experience, applied knowledge
  • Usually full-time, paid positions
  • Offered with variable credit based on hours
  • May or may not be required for a given program
  • Specific criteria apply
  • Coordinated by the discipline departments or Workforce and Job Readiness

other opportunities iconOTHER OPPORTUNITIES

  • Application of coursework to projects
    by students
  • Topics/problems identified by organizational partners
  • Science, engineering, health care, logistics, IS/data, environmental
  • Can be incorporated into other courses
  • May be a capstone course

Noncredit Options

INTERNSHIPinternship icon

  • Supervised, structured learning in a professional setting, paid or unpaid
  • Typically requires a specific number of hours within a defined time frame
  • Routine feedback from an experienced supervisor
  • Microinternship: a short-term (weeks-long) experience related to a specific job or task
  • Credit may be awarded within Allied
  • Health programs

externship iconEXTERNSHIP

  • Short-term shadowing experience
  • Helps students make connections
    with professionals
  • Paid or unpaid
  • Credit may be awarded within
  • Allied Health programs