Work to learn, learn to work
At Berea, we don’t just admit students: we hire every one of them. Every student at Berea works a minimum of 10 hours per week to contribute to College operations and also to gain valuable workplace experience. Berea is one of only nine federally recognized Work Colleges in the United States and the only one that provides its students with a paycheck to help cover personal and educational expenses. You’ll earn roughly $2,500 each year to help you with housing and meal costs, personal expenses like toiletries, and other costs, like a cell phone.
Supporting the whole student
The Work Program is a vital component of Berea educational experience. Our graduates enter the workforce or graduate/professional schools as well-rounded individuals ready to take on the world. You’ll graduate with four years of specific job-related experience and a valuable toolkit of soft skills employers eagerly look for in candidates. Additionally, each student is awarded a work transcript, in addition to an academic transcript, detailing their entire work experience upon graduation. This work transcript can effectively answer the question so many applicants face in an interview: “So what did you accomplish in college?” At Berea, you’ll be equipped and prepared to answer compellingly.
Our students graduate with a labor transcript that will impress future employers.
You'll earn a paycheck to cover expenses while you work toward your degree.
Whether it's the library, the chemistry lab or dining services—every job is essential.
Chart your own path
Just as you will do with academic courses, you will also start out in entry-level work assignments and move into positions requiring more responsibility, knowledge and skill. The program usually places first-year students in areas with the highest need: facilities management and dining services. The philosophy here is the long-held Berea conviction that there is dignity in all work, mental as well as manual. After this first year, you are free to pursue other jobs on campus wherever you wish.
Develop skills and pursue your passions
The Work Program is a gateway to endless career possibilities. You will have a special opportunity, for example, to align your work position with your chosen academic major, another way that a Berea education makes you especially prepared over graduates from other institutions.
So take advantage of the endless opportunities to explore passions you might not typically pursue. From herding cattle on the Berea College Farm to performing research in state-of-the-art chemistry labs, there’s meaningful work to be found for everyone.