In this innovative approach to career learning, students learn career skills in fields in which jobs are available locally. Although similar to cooperative education and internship programs, COCAL requires that students learn basic career skills at job sites without pay. Students learn from practicing professionals who follow competency guidelines prescribed by the College and based on O*NET online specifications, national competency catalogs, and employer input. Students combine collaborative career learning with 12‑18 credits of related college course work to earn a one‑year certificate in Individual Studies.
Students include dislocated workers, displaced homemakers, high school graduates interested in “hands‑on” learning and immediate employment, as well as students who are interested in career exploration prior to committing themselves to four years of college. The primary goal of COCAL is employment upon graduation. Enrollment is competitive. Students should contact the COCAL office for full details.
Program Learning Outcomes
1. Acquire and demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain employment in a designated occupational title. (e.g., medical assistant, phlebotomist, dental assistant, drafter, etc.).
2. Acquire and demonstrate the oral and written communication skills necessary to obtain employment in a designated occupational title. (e.g., electrician’s assistant, carpentry, veterinary assistant, plumber’s assistant, accounting clerk).
3. Acquire and demonstrate the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to obtain entry-level employment in a designated occupational title. (e.g., patient care associate, floral designer, retail salesperson, surveyor’s assistant.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of attitude and professional ethics on the job.
5. Acquire and demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary for the career development process.