Work-Based Learning

Contact Information

Joanne Strebeck
Business Chairperson/Faculty
Phone: 800-456-8675, ext. 1219

Work-based learning can be in the form of internships or apprenticeships. They can help you make career decisions, network with potential employers, select courses of study, and develop job skills relevant to future employment.


Internships are required for most SMC degree programs. These are beneficial in that they allow the student to apply the knowledge they learned in the classroom to a real job and gain work experience. Internships can be paid or unpaid depending on the employer.

If you are in a program that does not require an internship but would like to do one, speak with your advisor to determine if you can earn credit for your program through an internship.

To begin an internship, students should meet with their program advisor to discuss roles that would be relevant to the student’s degree. Students will have to search and apply for internships themselves, though instructors and advisors are sometimes able to recommend openings.


Apprenticeships are initiated by an employer or employee when either feels that the employee needs more training than on-the-job training provides. They can enter into an agreement in which the employee agrees to attend classes while working to gain more skills and knowledge about the trade in which he is employed. This is called an apprenticeship or Related Technical Instruction (RTI).

SMC offers RTI through the Division of Workforce Education and Business Solutions (WEBS). Brent Brewer, SMC’s Community Outreach Coordinator, can assist the employer in developing or updating an apprenticeship program, selecting courses and aiding in the Office of Apprenticeship registration process.

After completing an apprenticeship, the apprentice will receive a completion certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor. In many cases, the apprentice will have completed enough credits to receive a certificate of training from SMC.

Once he has received the SMC certificate, the student is usually only a few classes away from an Associate in Applied Science degree. For such students, SMC offers a degree completion program in which those recognized by the Office of Apprenticeship as Skilled Trade Journeymen (possessing a certificate of completion from the Department of Labor) will receive 32 credits towards an Associate in Applied Science degree.