Workplace Learning Program (Cooperative Education)

Workplace Learning, also known as WKPL, extends education beyond the traditional classroom experience by taking "theory-to-practice" in the workplace. WKPL offers an opportunity for students to gain experience and develop new knowledge and skill in their chosen discipline, while earning upper-level college credit. Students may, therefore, accelerate achievement of their career goals while earning upper-level college credit to complete their bachelor's degree. To be eligible for WKPL, students must:

  • Be an undergraduate degree-seeking student at UMUC
  • Have completed 30 credits, 6 of which must have been completed at UMUC
  • Have completed 9 credits of coursework in the discipline of the position. For example, if you plan to earn credit in human resources, you should have at least 9 credits in business management, preferably in human resource-related courses.
  • Have a cumulative grade-point  average of 2.5 or better at UMUC
  • Have checked with an academic advisor and have a completed official evaluation on file
  • Be working in a job or internship that provides an opportunity to apply classroom theory to practical projects incorporating significant analysis and problem solving directly related to the student's academic discipline. (The work experience may be paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time.)

After you have met the eligibility requirements and secured a work opportunity, you can apply by logging into MyUMUC and completing the Workplace Learning Application. 

Students interested in pursuing a Workplace Learning experience must develop a learning proposal that identifies several project tasks representing the new learning to be acquired as a result of the work experience; a faculty member in the appropriate discipline must then approve the learning proposal to ensure that it constitutes upper-level college learning. Once the learning proposal is approved, the student is given permission to register for WKPL. The learning proposal is then developed into a three-way learning contract among the employer, the student, and the faculty mentor.

Throughout the WKPL experience, students work under the supervision of the employer on completion of several of the identified project tasks and the faculty mentor on the completion of academic assignments required to earn college credit for their work experience. The project tasks for the employer constitute the course content, which is augmented by the reflective academic assignments for review by the faculty mentor. Students are required to communicate regularly with their faculty mentor throughout the WKPL term, which typically lasts 15 weeks.

Students may earn either 3 or 6 credits during the WKPL term. To earn 3 credits, students must devote at least 
12 hours per week to tasks providing new learning (for a total of 120 hours during the WKPL term) and complete a minimum of four project tasks identified in the learning contract. To earn 6 credits, students must devote at least 20 hours per week to project tasks (for a total of 300 hours during the WKPL term) and complete five to eight project tasks identified in the learning contract.

WKPL projects may be developed in all undergraduate disciplines. Courses are listed with the designator of the discipline and numbered 486A (for 3 credits) or 486B (for 6 credits). For example, a 3-credit WKPL in business and management would be listed as BMGT 486A, a 6-credit as BMGT 486B. Tuition for the WKPL course is charged at the current rate per credit, and an administrative fee is charged each time the student enrolls.

WKPL courses may not be used to satisfy general education requirements or required academic coursework in the major. However, WKPL credits may be applied to electives as well as to upper-level supplemental courses in the major or minor. A standard letter grade is awarded for successful completion of WKPL courses. It is strongly recommended that students consult with a UMUC advisor to determine how WKPL credits may help them fulfill degree requirements.

For more information, students should review the information, policies, and procedures detailed online at http://www.umuc.edu/undergrad/creditoptions/coop/index.cfm and/or contact studentservices-europe@umuc.edu.