Work to Learn

You’re hired.

Berea College is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges.

So at Berea College, we don’t just admit students. We hire them. Every student works a minimum of 10 hours per week at a campus job in one of nearly 140 departments. In working on campus, students support the operations and mission of the College and also gain important workplace experience even before graduation. Every student is paid an income for this work, and the earnings provide them with money for clothing, toiletries, and other incidentals.

In addition, more than 60 percent of students participate in the Berea Patrons program, in which they contribute a portion of their earnings—on average, about $3 every paycheck—to the College to support its mission to provide every student a no-tuition promise. At Berea, we believe philanthropy is about generosity, not wealth. And Berea Patrons prove it.

Academics and Work Experience


of Berea College Students graduate with an academic transcript and a labor transcript


of students credited skills they learned in their labor position as supporting academic development


hours per week students are required to work to earn money and gain work experience

Work Well Done

We believe all work, mental and manual, has dignity as well as utility, and that good work should be celebrated. It doesn’t matter if you work in the dining hall or the president’s office, your work is essential to the successful operation of this College.

Berea College student photographers

Hands-on Experience

Photography. Web design. Art curating. You name it, you can probably do it here through the Labor Program and enter the workforce with the advantage of hands-on experience and a transcript that details your workplace experience.

Practical Application

Apply what you learn in the classroom in real-world settings. Agriculture and natural science majors can put their newly gained knowledge to work at the College Farm. Computer science majors develop software applications for use on campus and business majors help run our retail outlets. Whatever you’re studying, there’s likely a job on campus that goes with it.

Professional Mentorship

In addition to College faculty, our professional staff is also here to teach, mentor, and support. Our labor supervisors teach everything from professional landscaping to bookkeeping and accounting. They also instill the soft skills that employers everywhere are looking for in graduates.

Labor Positions

Our labor positions are meant to give real work experience. Every student receives a labor transcript that details their attainment of work/soft skills that employers value. When you enter the workforce, the experience you have gained in the labor program gives you an advantage over graduates from other schools.