Work Program – Mission Statement

The mission of the Work Program is to provide students with productive work that creates opportunities for the Warren Wilson College community to acknowledge, examine, and celebrate the ethics and value of work in the educational process. The Work Program fulfills its mission by

  1. providing a work force that operates the College in a way that benefits students both educationally and financially while serving the community,
  2. fostering a positive work ethic, respect for the dignity of labor, and the importance of serving others,
  3. strengthening the students’ sense of community through common endeavor and giving students the opportunity to participate in all aspects of operating the College,
  4. offering experiential learning that helps to fulfill and enhance the educational mission of the College,
  5. providing students with an evaluation of their work, opportunities for reflection on the meaning of their work, and career guidance that encourages all students to make informed choices in planning their lives and work, and
  6. providing opportunities and resources that enhance supervisors’ roles as mentors and teachers. – Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of participation in the Work Program, students will develop the following:

  1. Dependability
    1. Timeliness
    2. Successful time management
    3. Reliability
    4. Accountability
  2. Integrity
    1. Trustworthiness
    2. Respect for honesty and transparency
  3. Initiative
    1. Ability to recognize and evaluate a situation
    2. Self-control and motivation to carry out responsibilities and challenges
  4. Analytical Thinking
    1. Ability to recognize and evaluate a situation
    2. Knowledge of resources available to creatively address issues and solve problems
  5. Communication
    1. Convey information effectively
    2. Build community with people they come into contact with
  6. Collaboration
    1. Ability to communicate and collaborate with those with whom they work
  7. Appreciation of the Value of All Work
    1. Understand their place in the working world
    2. Respect for the dignity of all work and the value of the work experience – Work Learning Experience

Every crew assignment is important to the continued operation of the College. Students’ work may be repetitive or hidden from common view; it may be intellectually demanding; it may be physically exhausting. Whatever the role in the Work Program may be, students learn how to collaborate, communicate, and think analytically to accomplish the tasks to which they are assigned.

Students’ fellow workers, student crew leaders, and crew supervisors are their mentors and teachers.

Each work crew in the Work Program has identified crew-specific goals for learning and production. The Learning and Performance Goals (LPGs) are a learning contract between supervisors and students. They outline not only skills and abilities supervisors teach but also learning opportunities afforded during the semester.

Students at Warren Wilson do not simply “work.” Students provide the essential work force to operate the College. Students must consider early in their educational careers the most productive ways to combine their academic, work, and service experiences. A list of work crews, number of students assigned, and each crew’s LPGs are available on the Work Program’s website.

Students participate in and receive regular evaluations of their learning and performance based on their crew’s LPGs. These evaluations help students understand their learning within the Work Program and identify ways to improve performance. Scores from these evaluations are used to calculate each student’s Work Grade Point Average (Work GPA). Any notes made by the supervisor are included in a student’s official Work Transcript.

Work crew supervisors are educators. Students are given the opportunity to evaluate their supervisors at the end of each semester. These evaluations provide the supervisor with feedback concerning their teaching and mentoring, as well as the overall work crew experience.

The history of a student’s performance is noted on their Work Program transcript. Learning and Performance grades earned, Work GPA, honors received, and conduct actions become part of the transcript that is available from the Work Program Office upon request.

Students experience the seven Common Learning Outcomes (CLOs) by engaging with the Work Program in a meaningful way. Through semesters of working alongside supervisors and fellow students and through guided critical reflection, students come to understand how these seven learning outcomes add to the College’s distinctive educational experience. – Work Requirement for Graduation

All students must work in the College’s Work Program to graduate. Please refer to the chart below.

Residential Students
All residential students, regardless of class standing, are required to work 240 hours per semester (480 hours per academic year).

Day Students
All day students must work or have worked a minimum of 480 hours in Warren Wilson College’s Work Program in order to graduate. Day students who have already completed the work requirement must work as outlined below. Day students need to apply for and be awarded a Day Student Work Contract in order to work in the Work Program.

Incoming Student Standing: Minimum Hours to Graduate
Entering as Freshman or Sophomore (less than 59 credit hours): 480 hours
Entering as Junior or Senior (60+ credit hours): 240 hours – Student Recognition

Commitment to total learning, including recognition of outstanding work performance, is part of the Warren Wilson tradition. Each year outstanding students receive awards for their performance in the Work Program. Students are nominated by faculty, staff, volunteers, and fellow students to receive awards at the end of the academic year. Awards are given for First Year Students (2), General Work (8), and Senior Work (1).