Earn Units Working

If you work, volunteer, or are self-employed, you can earn up to 16 units of elective transfer credit, from 2 to 4 units per semester. 

Students working in a field of study related to their major and/or career goal should enroll in a cooperative work experience course in the discipline related to their field of study.  These courses still require an in-person registration.  Visit the Career Center to learn about our discipline-specific options.

General work experience is available for students whose positions, either volunteer or paid, do not align with their majors and/or career goals. WORK 40 is the General Work Experience course.  Click here for more information on WORK 40.

 About the Program:

Cooperative work experience education is a process of education that combines work experience with regular college instruction as an integral part of the community college curriculum.

A student may enroll in Cooperative Education for a maximum of four semesters, and no more than 16 units may be earned at Merced College. Seventy-five hours of work experience (or 60 hours volunteer work) equal one unit of college credit. Cooperative education units are offered in many disciplines. The number of units the student enrolls in is determined by the total number of hours the student will work during the semester:

  • 1 unit (Students working 75 paid hours or 60 volunteer hours during the semester)
  • 2 units (Students working 150 paid hours or 120 volunteer hours during the semester)
  • 3 units (Students working 225 paid hours or 180 volunteer hours during the semester)
  • 4 units (Students working 300 paid hours or 240 volunteer hours during the semester)

In order to participate in the Cooperative Education Program, a student must:

  1. have on-the-job experience in a paid or volunteer position;
  2. enroll in a Cooperative Education course (either a COOP or WORK prefix);
  3. have the cooperation of the employer in including new or expanded responsibilities or learning opportunities on the job for which the student is enrolled in Cooperative Education.
  4. enroll in no more than 16 total cooperative work experience units at Merced College.

Office Location and Contact Information

Merced Campus:

Kaveeta Rios, Student Support Coordinator

  • Career Center (3rd Floor, Lesher Building)
  • Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 9:30-5; Thursday 12-5

Students may also inquire on the Los Banos campus in the Student Services Office.

Myshel Pimentel, Ed.D.
Program Manager
(209) 384-6364,