About Our Labor Program
The Fourth Great Commitment of Berea College:
“To provide for all students through the Labor Program experiences for learning and serving in the community and demonstrate that labor, mental and manual, has dignity as well as utility.”
To achieve this commitment, the Student Labor Program at Berea is based on an understanding and expectation of labor as student- and learning-centered; as service to the College and broader community, and as providing necessary work (i.e. work that needs to be done) being done well. Students, faculty, and staff at Berea are engaged in a continuous learning environment that encourages all workers to be active learners, workers, and servers, in a place where the Christian values of human compassion, dignity, and equality are expressed and lived. Therefore Berea expects each worker to:
- Exhibit Enthusiasm for Learning
- Act with Integrity and Caring
- Value all People
- Work as a Team
- Serve Others
- Encourage Plain and Sustainable Living
- Celebrate Work Well done
These Workplace Expectations, coupled with the institution’s mission to educate the whole person, complements academic learning, builds community through shared work, and prepares the student for entry into a life of work after graduation.
All students participate in an evaluation process. Evaluation promotes student learning and professional development in the workplace, establishes standards consistent with the Workplace Expectations and Labor Learning Goals, creates a documented work performance history for each student, and fulfills Berea College and federal compliance guidelines.
Students are an essential and integral part of the overall work force at Berea. All full-time students (approximately 1500 annually) work in the Labor Program during the academic year. During an academic term, students are required to work a minimum of 10 hours per week. Students may work up to 15 hours and, with special permission, from 20-25 hours. The overall average is 13.3 hours. All students annually receive a full tuition scholarship of up to $24,500 including a $4,000 Labor Grant applied to the Cost of Education. In addition, students are paid an hourly rate ranging from $3.80 to $6.25.
Students also have opportunities to work full-time during the summer term at the rate of $7.00 per hour. The Labor Program places approximately 500 students into work-study positions or internships each summer. These placements normally include around 100 off-campus positions, most of which are in non-profit community service organizations.
During the academic year students work in over 100 labor departments in the following areas: 24% Instructional, 22% Student Services, 12% General Administration, 12% Facilities, 9% Academic Support, 8% Crafts, 5% Industries, and 1% Student Organizations. Seven percent of the student labor budget was applied to positions that met federal community service requirements (both on and off-campus) during the 2007–08 academic year.