Work Learning

Warren Wilson is one of seven federally-recognized work colleges in the nation, and our students are essential to the daily operation of the campus.  All resident students log 15 hours a week with one of the more than 100 work crews.  Students perform essential functions for the college and are responsible for everything from installing plumbing and designing publications to harvesting timber, repairing campus bikes, raising grass-fed cattle or updating our global information systems.

Skills for Now, Skills for Later

With the Work Program, students earn $3,480 toward the cost of tuition each academic year.  Its payoff is much bigger than that.  They gain critical professional skills such as organization, time management and communication.  Students also assemble an impressive (and eclectic) set of practical, transferable skills by doing work with a real purpose–a distinct advantage when applying for jobs or graduate school.  It’s no wonder our graduates are regularly accepted into graduate programs, medical schools and organizations like Teach for America and the National Park Service.

Working Knowledge

These experiences are as fundamental to a student’s education as any they receive in the classroom.  Work crew supervisors are educators and mentors.  They identify specific learning and performance goals and outline the skills and abilities a student will develop throughout the semester.  In addition, a student’s work evaluation is used to to calculate a work GPA and is included in an official Work Transcript.

Coats on the Wall

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:

  • Providing a work force that operates the College in a way that benefits students both educationally and financially while serving the community.
  • Fostering a positive work ethic, respect for the dignity of labor, and the importance of serving others.
  • Strengthening the students’ sense of community through common endeavor and giving students the opportunity to participate in all aspects of operating the College.
  • Offering experiential learning that helps to fulfill and enhance the educational mission of the College.
  • 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 life and work.
  • Providing opportunities and resources that enhance supervisors’ roles as mentors and teachers.