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Work Study - Jobs


College of the Desert On-Campus Work Study/Jobs

Based on the research, and we know from our own experience, student completion and graduation rates are impacted by a number of complicating factors. Many students are working full or part time while attending classes at COD. Some cannot balance the competing pressures. Others are forced to leave school due to financial challenges, sometimes due to the lack of flexible work schedule which limits the class choices they may have.

According to The Working Poor Families Project Policy Brief Spring 2014, working over 16 hours per week is common among students, many of whom are among low-income adults, whether they are enrolled in college full- or part-time. Their “work first, academics second” circumstances echo the habits of the broader population of adult college students. Forty percent of employed college students age 24 and over combine full-time work with part-time school attendance. Meanwhile, just 20 percent attend school full-time and work part time. The combination of work, school, and family commitments poses significant barriers to academic success.

On Campus Work Provides Flexible, Relevant Work Experience

Evidence suggests that part-time employment, ideally on campus and in a position related to one’s academic interests, positively affects persistence and degree completion (Scott-Clayton, Judith, “The Causal Effect of Federal Work-Study Participation.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Vol. 33 No. 4 pages 506-527, 2011.) Moreover, unlike other forms of school year employment, holding a part-time work-study job may not hurt the academic performance of students.

We know that higher levels of student engagement with their college on campus translates to higher probability for success – in simplest terms, when students are involved on campus, have positive relationships with faculty and staff, are able to work on campus where they can be exposed to professionals in their intended area of study, outcomes improve across the board.

Many students would not be able to afford to stay in school without the earnings they make through work-study. Low-income adults are far more likely to need employment to support their families and finance their education. On average, low-income adult students log more hours per week on the job than younger students, according to an analysis of National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey.

Work Study at COD is currently comprised of both the Federal Work Study (FWS) and Alumni Work Study (AWS) programs. These programs provide part-time employment in order to earn money to help pay for educational costs for those students with (FWS) or without (WS) financial need. The amount of a Work-Study award depends on the student's financial need (FWS) and the availability of funds. Pay rates may vary, but will not be less than the current minimum wage and student generally work 15 hours per week or less (but not more than 20).


During the fall 2014 semester, COD offered 150 student worker positions. The COD Foundation is seeking support to increase the number and type of on campus work opportunities available for students in all career related areas.

Your donation to COD Foundation will help support COD's Student Success Initiatives that expand financial support to aid students, increase counselors and advisors to guide students, and nurture mentorship and internship opportunities to engage and improve chances of student success.




If you would like to discuss opportunities to support work study at COD, contact the COD Foundation today at 760-773-2561 or
Read about how on campus work experience helped Paulina find her life and future career at COD.