Work Experience

What is Work Experience?

Work Experience courses provide college credit for your work in a job, internship, or volunteer position in or out of your field of study. Paid or unpaid placements and all position types (in-person, virtual, or hybrid) are eligible.. Students are supported by faculty as they explore career pathways, learn professional skills, and gain real-world training in the workplace through this non-traditional class. 

  • Earn college credit for work/internships (in or out of your field of study)
  • Paid, unpaid, or volunteer placements are eligible
  • Many Work Experience courses are associated with certificate and degree requirements
  • CSU-Transferable - Complete and use units towards transfer requirements

WE courses require an add code/permission #. View Steps to Enroll

Work Experience Courses

Many Work Experience courses are required as part of certificate and degree requirements or can be taken as elective units. Work Experience credit counts towards total degree units and are CSU-Transferable.

A program of on-the-job learning experiences designed to assist the student in developing occupational effectiveness. Employment need not be related to vocational or occupational major.

On-the-job learning experiences for students employed in a job or internship related to an occupational major. Students develop workplace competencies, critical thinking skills, and problem solving abilities through the creation and achievement of job-related behavioral learning objectives.

View Work Experience courses for Summer 2024

Work Experience Requirements

  • Students participating in Work Experience must first secure a position, paid or unpaid, to receive college credit.
  • Credit is earned based on 75 hours of paid work or 60 hours of unpaid internship/volunteer work per unit the student is enrolled.
  • Internship sites are required to designate a Site Supervisor who can provide regular training,  supervision, and work direction for the student.
  • A Work Experience placement must provide new and expanded learning related to a student's education or career goal to be eligible for academic credit.
  • Every student sets 3 learning objectives (SMART goals), in consultation with their site supervisor and approved by the internship instructor, to ensure new and expanding learning related to their major or education.
  • Work Experience instructors visit sites to consult with Site Supervisors on students' progress toward learning objectives and overall performance twice during the semester. Work Experience course credit is earned by successful progress of learning objectives and completion of hours. 

WE Credit & Hour Requirements - WE Hours Must Be Completed Within Course Dates:
1 unit - 60 Hours Unpaid | 75 Hours Paid
2 units - 120 Hours Unpaid | 150 Hours Paid
3 units - 180 Hours Unpaid | 225 Hours Paid
4 units - 240 Hours Unpaid | 300 Hours Paid

Steps to Enroll

Students must have a job, internship, or volunteer position and complete all requirements below in order to be eligible for an ADD code/permission # to enroll in Work Experience.

Once ALL forms and requirements are approved, the Work Experience Instructor will send an email to you with an ADD/permission # to enroll in the Work Experience class shortly before the semester begins.

*NOTE: Students in paid/unpaid positions may be required to complete additional requirements or forms to onboard and work for a company. Students completing an unpaid internship or volunteer position at Mesa College or SDCCD will be required to submit the SDCCD Volunteer Form and additional forms to their hiring department. Please ask your direct supervisor of your department about what is expected and the process. 

Mesa Impactship Program (MIP)

Interested in receiving a one-time $1000 payment (AKA stipend) or hourly compensation to offset expenses during your workplace training & enrollment in a Work Experience course? Check out and apply for the Mesa Impactship Program (MIP) to check your eligibility!

Find Work! - Resources & Support

Need a Work Experience Placement?

Utilize ALL resources to search for jobs & internships – Search in a variety of places, follow companies on LinkedIn/social media, google industry companies, and ask your network (friends, family, professors, etc.) to see if they know of any open opportunities to apply for.

Use the tips & supports below to get help finding a job, internship, or volunteer position! 

Contact a Mesa Internship Coordinator – Mesa offers assistance & resources in applying for workforce training or internships, but a placement must be secured by the student in order to be eligible and approved to enroll in Work Experience.

Resume Help - Update your resume & schedule an appointment with a Mesa Career Peer Ambassador on Handshake for assistance with highlighting your skills

Handshake SDCCD Job Board - Activate your FREE account to to search for jobs/internships, explore careers, register for career events, schedule appointments, and more! Use your MySDCCD email to login and apply for positions. 

List of Job Boards – There are tons of job search engines out there. This is a list of tools that focus on jobs and internships for students, some are more specific to certain student populations and/or industry so check them out.

Medical / Clinical Volunteer Opportunities - Apply for volunteer and internship oppportunities available in the medical / healthcare field. 

Career Resources - Check out Mesa Career Services for articles, videos, & tools to find open positions & stand out to employers

Child Development Students

Need CHIL 151 as a co-requisite to CHIL 270?
Students pursuing the Child Development degree must take CHIL 151 and 270 together as combo classes at the same campus because the class content and field experience assignments are aligned. Students following this track must have a job/internship/volunteer placement at a licensed, early childhood education program that serves children 5 years of age and under and must be directly supervised by California Mentor Teacher, or by a classroom teacher who holds the California Master Teacher permit. CHIL 151/270 will be offered through Mesa College during the Spring 2024 semester:

CHIL 151 - CN # 55136 - Cross, Ida

CHIL 270 - CN # 56230 - George, Maria (120 Unpaid Hours | 150 Paid Hours)

Employer Partners

Work Experience is a partnership between company sites, students, and San Diego Mesa College. Work Experience is a structured educational process that combines real-world work experiences with regular academic or vocational instruction and is an integral part of the community college curriculum. Work Experience strengthens student learning and builds effective work habits and career awareness. Students receive college credit and develop workplace competencies through hands-on experiences within industry.

Employer Benefits:
  • Participation in the Work Experience program provides access to a pipeline of qualified, motivated candidates, and increases awareness and interest in your organization.
  • Recruit new potential employees by hosting a paid or unpaid intern through Work Experience.
  • Nurture a student’s career exploration and emphasize desired skills and training needed for success.  
Employer Site Supervisor Role & Commitments:
  • Beginning of Term: Collaborate with student and Work Experience instructor at an in-person visit to develop 3 learning objectives (SMART goals - projects, tasks, or skills) for the student to achieve throughout semester.
  • During Term: Oversee daily tasks and responsibilities of the student. Check in to answer questions, conduct training, provide appropriate equipments/materials, and ensure progress of objectives, projects, and skills.
  • End of Term: Evaluate the student’s work performance, growth of skills, completion of projects, and approve Work Experience hours. Provide written and verbal feedback on the student’s performance. 
  • Workplace Coverage: Students in unpaid (volunteer) internships receive Workers Compensation Coverage through SDCCD. Paid interns are required to be covered by the internship site's Workers Compensation insurance. 

View the Work Experience Internship Labor & Employment FAQs

Want to Hire a Mesa Work Experience Student?
  • Contact Shawn Fawcett - Work Experience Coordinator at for details & next steps
  • Review the Mesa Impactship Program (MIP) for ways employers can receive funding to cover all or some of student wages for workforce training positions. 

Work Experience Forms

Work experience online forms change every semester. Make sure you are completing the correct forms for the semester you are enrolled in.

View Spring 2024 Work Experience Online Checklist for form links. 

Summer 2024

Before Enrollment:

After Enrollment in Work Experience Course:

Optional - Highly Encouraged!


Gender, Equity, Sexual Harassment & Violence Prevention Training

All WE students must complete this training prior to submitting a Cumulative Work Record, but you are encouraged to complete the training prior to logging your Work Experience Hours. This training includes an introduction to educational and workplace regulations and guidance regarding sexual harassment including how to recognize, report, and prevent sexual assault and harassment. 

  1. Self-Enroll in Canvas in the Gender Equity, Sexual Harassment and Violence Prevention Training Course
  2. Complete the training. Organized into 3 modules: Key Concepts, Reporting and Response, Awareness and Prevention, you will find a series of short videos and supplemental handouts for review. Hit the "next" button at the bottom right to move through the course content.
  3. Submit documentation of completion. Print your grades to PDF. Save file to your computer. Upload file into the Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Proof of Completion Form.

WE Employer Database

Check out the list of employers below that have supervised Mesa College Work Experience students for jobs, internships, or volunteer positions in previous semesters. 

Need Help?

Contact Shawn Fawcett for if you have questions or concerns.

Shawn Fawcett, Ed.D.
Work-Based Learning Coordinator
Work Experience Coordinator