Work-based Learning

Work-Based Learning (WBL) is designed to give students enrolled in selected programs at ECC an opportunity to elect to work on a job relevant to their major while earning credit toward their degree. This combination of classroom instruction with practical, related work experience provides numerous benefits to participating students.

Some WBL students may work as many as four semesters in part-time or full-time jobs with employers selected and/or approved by the college. Academic credit is given for the learning gained during the WBL work period. Students are contacted or visited periodically by their WBL instructor or coordinator and receive on-the-job supervision by their employer.


All students enrolled in programs that offer the elective option of Work-Based Learning for academic credit and who have completed a minimum of 9 credit hours within the appropriate program of study may be eligible to enter the Work-Based Learning program. The student must meet the following conditions:

  1. A minimum academic standing of 2.0 GPA
  2. Approval of WBL coordinator and faculty advisor

Curriculum Program Restrictions

A student must be enrolled in a curriculum program to participate in a cooperative work experience activity. A curriculum student cannot be “tuition exempted.”

Students in the following academic codes may not participate in WBL:

  • Career & College Promise
  • Concurrent Enrollment Student (T90980)
  • Special Credit Student (T90990)
  • Programs in Correctional Settings (23 NCAC 02E.0403 c)
  • Gifted and Mature Student (under 16 years of age)

Application Procedure

Interested students are required to complete an application (see link below), have their faculty advisor approve the application, and send it to the WBL office (see address below). If the student is accepted, the WBL coordinator and/or faculty advisors will be responsible for locating and/or approving an appropriate WBL assignment.

The student may wish to locate appropriate employment. If the student is successful, the WBL coordinator will meet with the employer and approve the employment as appropriate. In some cases, the student may already be employed appropriately and the student may bring this to the attention of the faculty advisor and/or the WBL coordinator.

Students interested in Work-Based Learning are invited to contact the WBL office, especially during the time of early registration. Information also is available through faculty advisors and/or students services.

Academic Credit

One credit hour will be awarded for the satisfactory completion of 160 hours or 10 hours worked per week during a 16-week period. Two credit hours will be awarded for the satisfactory completion of 320 contact hours or 20 hours worked per week during a 16-week period. A student may receive a maximum of two credit hours during any one semester. Depending upon the curriculum, WBL students may earn up to 8 semester hours of Work-Based Learning credit toward their diploma or degree requirements.

The major portion of the final grade will be based on the employer’s evaluation of the student’s work performance and the degree to which measurable learning objectives are accomplished each WBL period, as well as the student’s ability to meet deadlines in a timely manner. Each approved curriculum offering Work-Based Learning as an elective will designate the total credit hours that can be applied toward graduation.


Students must have an approved Work-Based Learning application form signed by the faculty advisor and the WBL coordinator before being eligible to participate and interview with employers. Students who are approved and have obtained appropriate employment must register before going on their work assignment. Students who are approved for WBL but have not located suitable employment are not eligible to register.

For the most current information about Work-Based Learning, contact Coordinator Michael Starling at (252) 618-6612 or

Mail Completed Application to:

Michael Starling, WBL Coordinator
Edgecombe Community College
2009 W. Wilson Street
Tarboro, NC 27886

Work-Based Learning Application