Work Experience students performing different jobs

Employer Information

Greetings Community Partners,

Thank you for thinking of College of the Desert students!

Work Experience is a joint venture between employers, College of the Desert, and students/employees/interns/volunteers. The primary goal of the program is to provide the student adequate tools to become a better employee and to challenge them to enhance his/her level of knowledge, skills, and abilities in the world of work by introducing three new measurable learning objectives. A Work Experience instructor will meet with the employer and student at the job site twice during the semester: At the beginning to establish three S.M.A.R.T. goals/learning objectives and sign an agreement form and toward the end of the semester to complete an evaluation of the student’s achievements and 21st Century employability soft skills within their work environment. The student will receive college credit upon successfully completing the course.

Internships are an important component within the Work Experience program. Benefits to agencies in offering internship opportunities to student include:

  • Students can bring new ideas and perspectives to the workplace.
  • The program can aid in vetting students before the hiring process begins, which essentially reduces recruitment cost to the institution's bottom line.
  • The creation of short-term internships planned ahead of time can be helpful to businesses during peak season.
  • It allows employers to evaluate a potential long-term employee before committing to making a permanent employment offer.
  • Employers have the opportunity to help train and develop students who will be leading the workforce for generations to come.

If the student is a volunteer or participating in an unpaid position, he/she will be covered by College of the Desert workman's compensation insurance. If the student is participating in an unpaid internship, the internship must follow the college’s semester class dates and be enrolled in a Work Experience class (see below for upcoming session dates). For-profit agencies offering unpaid internships will also be required to provide the Work Experience Office with a written description of what the student will be learning throughout the internship. If the position is paid, the student must be covered by the employer’s insurance just like any other employee (review the Fair Labor Standard Act fact sheet and ensure the internship position meets the test criteria).

Ready to begin offering internship opportunities
to College of the Desert students?

Follow the steps below:

  1. Identify your agency needs and internship supervisor who will supervise the intern(s)

  2. Plan ahead for upcoming internship dates (based on COD's semester dates)

    Summer 2022

    8-week June 13 - August 4, 2022

    Fall 2022

    16-week August 26 - December 16, 2022
    12-week September 26 - December 16, 2022

    Spring 2023

    16-week January 30- May 26, 2023
    12-week February 28 - May 26, 2023
  3. Complete an Employer Intern Request Form​

  4. Create a free employer Handshake account (or update your existing profile) and begin uploading jobs and internship announcements

  5. Interview and select candidates by the internship dates above

  6. Contact the Work Experience Office with your candidate selection (a staff member will then contact the student with instructions on how to enroll in a Work Experience class to earn academic credit)

  7. At the beginning of semester:

    • Meet with student​ intern to discuss expectations, responsibilities, and assist with the creation of three S.M.A.R.T learning objectives

    • Attend a Firs​t Job Site Visit meeting with the intern and Faculty Advisor to sign the First Job Site Agreement Form

  8. During the semester:

    • Supervise student intern, verify/sign monthly timesheets, and provide feedback on progress and application of the ten 21st Century Employability Skills

  9. At the end of the semester:

    • Meet with student intern and Faculty Advisor to evaluate student intern on completion of the three S.M.A.R.T. goals/objectives and application of the ten 21st Century Employability Skills, and sign the Final Job Site Evaluation Form

  10. Provide feedback via email to the Work Experience Office and begin planning for the next semester!


Should you have any questions or concerns about the course please contact us at 760-862-1344, preferably between the hours of 8:00am – 1:00pm Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your support and partnership.​​​​​