“Better fulfilling the learning and experience that it already is” according to WCC executive vice president Saul H. Ciwoknot, the Work-Study program at Wyoming Catholic College is set to become an official class. “It may seem a little odd, calling jobs classes, but since so much learning happens, with so many, as Dr. Zimmer would call them, opportunities for far transfer and experiential learning, work-study obviously fits within the overall ELP sequence.”
Each work-study position under the new program that will begin with this year’s fall semester will be a separate three credit elective course, credit that’s actually a little stingy as Work-Study positions are all supposed to average ten hours a week for each student. But that’s made up for by the number of options the school says: “Advanced baking skills three times a week with expert instructor Janelle Witzaney, maintenance with Ben McCullogh and Andrew Matthews, office and school administrative work, and more. Dozens of options, lots of learning, even if you repeat the course for multiple semesters,” Ciwoknot adds.
Since the program is part of the overall Experiential Leadership track at the school Dr. Zimmer will head up the program overall, but somewhat like the ELP/OLP at the school with weeklong Outdoor Week trips, instructors will primarily not be professors. “Supervisors for and within each department will directly oversee each student, as before, but with the additional role of student advisor/instructor added on.”
Grading will not be performed by supervisors as they will merely report completion of certain tasks and logs of hours to Dr. Zimmer. “Grading will be based mostly upon hours and general abilities learned,” says Ciwoknot. “We’re considering finals for a few of the specific courses, but most of the time, if you’re doing your job and trying to learn as you go, that’s all you’ll need to do for success.”
Class schedules will follow regular work schedules for each position, leading to sections that, for example, on a dinner or bake crew, “may combine people from different classes” according to Student Life Office official Mary Rensilret. “But that just makes it like Latin reading groups, no different from anything we’ve done here already.”
With the addition of Work-Study as a class, students will be able to earn up to 164 credits during their time at WCC, making the school officially one of the most intensive in the country, and the equivalent for most, of earning a double major. “And its just like that,” Mary adds. “Earn your primary major in our core liberal arts curriculum and then get credit for some practical experience on the side. That’s what WCC is and this latest announcement just makes us even more what we already are.”