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Work Experience Education

At CNM, gaining work experience while you earn your degree or certificate is important to your success. Applying what you learn in the classroom in a real world setting has been a priority since CNM opened in 1965. Today, Work Experience Education courses are still invaluable and continue to grow. Currently, nearly 70 percent of CNM's Degree and Certificate programs offer opportunities to gain work experience. Learn more about Work Experience Education at CNM.

Work Experience Education Options

CNM's Work Experience Education opportunities offer practical experience in a real-world setting.

This Girl is on Fire!  A Culinary Arts Internship Leads to Position 

Get Started

To find ongoing Work Experience Opportunities visit Job Connection Services and search for internships.

Best Practices for Employers 

To ensure that a work experience course (internship) is educational and considered a legitimate internship by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the following criteria must apply. In addition, the Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division has issued Fact Sheet #71 to serve as guidelines for Unpaid Internships.

If you are an employer seeking to host an intern, review some internship basics provided by the NM Department of Workforce Solutions.

Work Experience Education at CNM

Internship/Co-op Education
Externship/Job Shadow
Clinical
Practicum
Field Experience
Apprenticeship
Work-Study
Work Embedded Learning (WEL)

Integrated Service Learning
Service Learning

Internship / Co-op Education

A student-learning-focused, hands-on work experience course with an industry partner that is directly related to the student's discipline. This is a credit-bearing course that is performed at an industry location and meets pre-determined learning objectives with a focus on providing practical work experience, while developing professional skills such as communication, problem-solving, and/or team oriented work. Internships are generally unpaid while Co-ops are generally paid and although they vary in required credit hours they are generally completed within a semester. The application process may vary between schools. Contact your academic school for application information (Elective or required) Schools: BIT, AT, CHSS, HWPS, MSE 

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Externship/ Job Shadow

Externships and job-shadow experiences involve observation rather than hands-on experiences as part of a credit bearing course. Students are exposed to the realistic context and work flows typical of careers related to their academic discipline. The duration of an externship or job-shadow varies by course. Contact your specific academic school for more information on courses that include observations in workplace settings. (Elective) Schools: HWPS 

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Clinical

A work experience course that is generally required in healthcare or related areas of study. Students are placed in affiliated external agencies or clinical labs under direct supervision from faculty or CNM staff and a qualified clinical professional with a focus on gaining a broad clinical experience to practice skills learned in the college classroom.  Contact your specific academic school on the application process. (Required) HWPS  

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Practicum

A work experience course focused on student learning that incorporates previous or concurrent academic instruction. The practicum allows students to apply theoretical concepts to practical situations within an occupational field. The application process may vary between schools. Contact your specific academic school for application information.
(Elective or Required) Schools: CHSS, HWPS

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Field Experience

A field experience gives students the opportunity to apply cumulative knowledge gained during the complete program of study in a workplace  setting. The application process may vary between schools. Contact your specific academic school for more information. 
(Elective or Required) Schools: CHSS, HWPS

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Apprenticeship

A teaching method that combines on-the-job training at a work site or union facility, with classroom instruction, traditionally in the building trades, but now available for IT professions as well. The experience is paid and is administered by a third party. At CNM, apprenticeships require an external application process. Contact your specific academic school for more information. (Elective) Schools: AT, CNM Ingenuity-New Mexico Information Technology Apprenticeship Program.  

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Work Study (Student employment)

Non-credit bearing college employment for students who are financial aid eligible and enrolled in at least six financial aid eligible credit hours at CNM. Students may work in departments at all CNM campuses. Although employment may not be related to the student’s field of study, the duties promote professional, career-ready skills through participation in a Job Connection Services workshop on workplace professionalism. Learn more about CNM work study opportunities. Schools: College-wide  

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Work Embedded Learning (WEL)

A WEL is one type of Work Experience Education course at CNM that differs from a traditional internship, Co-op Ed., Practicum, Clinical or Integrated Service Learning experience. A WEL component is integrated into credit-bearing courses that offers students the opportunity to create a project or perform a service or activity with real-world context in collaboration with an external partner.  The project or activity is relevant to actual workforce practices and mutually benefits both students and industry. The experience advances professional skills such as communications, critical thinking and collaboration.  Students are challenged to learn, apply and reflect upon the connections between classroom learning and the workplace. 

The Catalog Course Description reflects language that the course provides a Work Embedded Learning experience (WEL). Contact your specific academic school for more information. (Elective or Required) Schools: College-wide. 

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Integrated Service Learning (ISL)

A teaching method that combines a service learning experience with an existing CNM course. This faculty-driven work experience engages students in community service, critical and reflective thinking as well as personal and social responsibility. Types of ISL include: direct service, indirect service, research-based, or advocacy service learning. Students complete a minimum of 20 hours of service learning in approved settings and additional credit is earned for the ISL component. Contact your academic school for more information. (Elective or Required) Schools: College-wide  

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Service Learning

A teaching methodology that allows faculty to augment classroom instruction with a minimum 15 hours of student service in approved settings. CNM's Service Learning has four components: academic coursework; service to the community; civic engagement, and social responsibility. Additionally, a critical reflection component fosters the integration of course objectives with experiential learning. No separate credit is earned for the service learning component other than what is earned as part of the course. Contact your specific academic school for more information. (Elective) Schools: College-wide  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Since opening its doors in 1965, CNM and its community partners have offered courses that give students work experience in a real-world setting. Today, work experience education remains a vital part of a CNM education. Nearly 80 percent of CNM's Career Technical Education programs offer an opportunity to gain a work experience, and that percentage continues to grow.
What is Considered a Work Experience?

Work experience varies greatly but is described as a paid or non-paid experience that requires the use of specific knowledge and/or skills in order to solve problems, communicate, think critically and achieve goals in situations that entail accountability to, or responsibility for, an organization, individual, or group. Examples include: military service, volunteer service, an internship, or any type of paid job.

What are Work Experience Education Courses?

Work Experience Education courses at CNM are designed to give students a hands-on experience, primarily related to their chosen program, in a real-world environment. They vary by program or discipline and include: Internships, Co-op Education, Practicums, Clinicals, Apprenticeships, Work Embedded Learning and more.  See the definitions list of Work-Experience Education options at CNM.

Why Take Work Experience Courses?

A work-experience course allows you to gain valuable professional skills and build key relationships that may lead to employment in your chosen field. Often, an employer will hire a student intern upon graduation if the intern proved him- or herself during the internship. The experience helps hone professionalism and other work skills in a real-world setting. Since the work experience occurs in a for-credit course, it is certified on your transcript. 

How Do I Find Work Experience Courses?

Work experience courses aren't hard to find with nearly 70% of CNM degree and certificates offering them. Many are listed as "program approved electives" or specific requirements within certificate or degree programs. You may start by identifying your career cluster to find a work experience course in your field of study.  For detailed information, contact your school advisor or faculty member.

 What are the qualifications for an Internship or Work Experience Course?

For-credit internships require a fundamental knowledge in a CNM field of study, usually one or two semesters of successfully completed coursework. Most programs require a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.5 and the student must be in good-standing and has the professionalism to represent CNM in the workplace. Check with your school or faculty advisors.

 How Long Do Work Experience Courses Last?

Their length depends on the type of work experience course and whether the discipline requires a specific number of hours be spent in the field. Generally, work-experience education courses are completed within a 15-week term and range between 20 to 135 hours or more. Apprenticeships can last a year or more. 

Are Work Experience courses required?

Work Experience may vary by program. Many programs at CNM require a relevant work experience course to fulfill the requirements of a degree or certificate (for example, Healthcare fields and Teacher Education programs). If it is required, the Work Experience course will be listed within the final terms of your program. Other programs at CNM offer a Work Experience course as an elective option. 

Do I Get Paid for a Work Experience Course?

It is possible to receive payment as an intern, but it largely depends on the employer that is hosting the work experience. Most experiences such as clinicals, practicums, field experiences, internships and integrated service learning are not usually paid; however, Co-op Ed and Apprenticeships are paid experiences. Check with your individual school or faculty member to see whether the WEE course offered within your degree or certificate program is a paid or non-paid experience.

How Do I Enroll in a Work Experience Education Course?

Enroll in WEE courses during the registration process just like you would any other CNM course. However, since most work experience courses require faculty permission, pre-requisites or other special arrangements, you should consult with your faculty or school adviser before registering.

How do I find an employer that will offer a temporary Work Experience?

You can start by checking the Job Connection Services "Hire a Suncat" and search for internships or visit with your faculty advisor in your school. You may choose to find your own opportunity but you must have the employer approved by your school first. If you are currently working and would like to do an internship at your current job, first consult with your faculty or school adviser to ensure that your experience is a "new" experience and allows you to fulfill the required learning objectives.

Will an internship that I've completed at CNM transfer to another school?

If you plan to transfer from CNM to another institution, always check with your CNM and transfer school advisor to determine if your internship will receive equivalent transfer credit at your transfer institution.

 Can I earn credit for an internship not taken at CNM or a work experience abroad ?

Contact your Academic School advisor to determine if an internship you participated in at another institution will receive equivalent credit at CNM.



Forty percent of U.S. Associate degree graduates who had a good job waiting at graduation had a relevant internship.                                 

Source: Gallup-Strada 

Work Embedded Learning (WEL) at CNM

Work-Embedded Learning (WEL) courses gives students a chance to gain real-life work experience in collaboration with a business or industry partner.

What is a Work Embedded Learning (WEL) course?

A WEL is just one type of Work Experience Education course at CNM and differs from more traditional types such as: Internship, Co-op Ed, Practicum, Clinical or Integrated Service Learning. A WEL is part of a course that offers students the opportunity to create a project or perform a service or activity with real-world context in collaboration with a partner.  The activity is relevant to actual workforce practices and mutually benefits both students and industry. The experience advances professional skills such as communications, critical thinking and collaboration.  The briefcase icon next to a course in the catalog identifies all Work Experience Education type courses. 

WEL_Icon
When you see this icon in the catalog next to a course, it symbolizes the course includes a Work Experience giving students a hands-on experience with real-world context, related to the course topic. Work Experience courses vary by program and include: Internships, Co-op Education, Practicums, Clinicals, Apprenticeships, Work Embedded Learning and more.  Learn more about  Work-Experience Education options at CNM.

Here are some samples of Work Embedded Learning (WEL) Courses at CNM:

Applied Technologies: 

Program: Welding, AAS 
WELD 1580 Advanced Project Fabrication – Students weld various structures such as gates, podiums, protective shelters, for partners in the community.

Program: Film, AA; Film Production, AAS; Film Crew Technician, Certificate
FILM 1230 Production – students use production skills (scout, shoot and edit) short format films.

Business and Information Technologies:

Program: Culinary Arts, AAS 
CULN 2216  Advanced Food and Beverage Service allows students to manage front of the house restaurant operations in a student run bistro serving actual customers.

CULN 2292  Retail Baking Operations - The course allows students to manage a student-run retail baking operation.

Program: Business Administration, AAS,  Certificate of Completion
BA 2222  Principles of Marketing - Students write marketing plans for approved businesses demonstrating knowledge of consumer and market competition.

School of Communication, Humanities, Social Science

Program: Bench Jewelry, Certificate of Achievement Fine Arts (AA), Art Studio Concentration
ARTS 2228  Jewelry Bench Techniques-students prepare artwork for a public show and collaborate with a local art gallery.

Program: Early Childhood Multicultural Education, AA
EDUC 2250  Foundations of Education-Students participate in a 25-hour school-based practicum as part of the class.

School of Health, Wellness and Public Safety

Program: Cosmetology, AAS
COS 1092 – Hair Service Lab II; COS 1193  Skin/Nails Service; COS 2093  Hair Service III; COS 2492  Facials/Manicuring/Pedicuring Lab III  Students perform various cosmetology services for the general public.

Program: Physical Therapist Assistant, AAS
PTA 1520 – Therapeutic Exercise  Students apply the fundamentals of physical therapy exercises on patients in a lab setting. 

Find Your Work Experience Course

First, identify your program of study within the appropriate Career Cluster.
Intern. Learn. Earn.

Want to earn credit for working in your field of study? Not sure whether to do an Internship? A practicum? A clinical? A co-op education course? Select your area of study from the Career Clusters below, then find the CNM corresponding course within your field of study.

Architecture and Construction

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.

Business, Management

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.

Education & Training

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.

Finance

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.

Government & Public Administration

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.

Health Science

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.

Hospitality & Tourism

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description.

Human Services

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.

Information Technology

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.

Manufacturing

Find your CNM program. Select the desired work experience course listed below the program to see its catalog description and any eligibility requirements.