Mohave Community College provides students with opportunities to develop workplace skills while earning their degree
After high school graduation, many students decide to keep pursuing their educations. Now that it comes at a price, it can prove hard to pay for tuition, books, and other necessities.
One option college students have is getting a job. Colleges and universities across the country offer jobs solely for students, the option of work study.
Heather Pattenaude, Mohave Community College financial aid director, said work study is a way for students to earn money while they take classes in an environment in which they can set their own schedule. It also provides the opportunity to work with supervisors to determine the hours the student is available for work.
She said the program has been designed for students to be evaluated on general employment skills that are desirable by any employer and those are based on the ACT WorkKeys: applied math, graphic literacy, workplace documents, applied technology, workplace observation, business writing, fit and talent.
“Not all jobs use the same skills or develop the same skills, but one of the skills is business writing. Students will learn a different style of writing … that particular skill focuses on setting, structure, punctuation, grammar, etc.,” she said.
Business writing isn’t the only skill that work study students can learn at MCC. Pattenaude also mentioned students learn how to read for information, which is picking out what’s important from the passages they need to interpret.
Some students see it as more than a job, they see it as a way to gain job-related experience that can benefit them in the long run after earning their degree.
Aaron Adamian, a former work study at the MCC library, would help students and community patrons with technology issues, check out materials like books or CDs, and data entry.
Adamian has dabbled in many fields while attending MCC. He learned the sciences, history and is currently getting his associate’s degree in business administration. He is also working on getting a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.
Since working at the library he has gained a full-time job at MCC in the registrar’s office as an office technician, and he says his time spent in the library has helped him in his current position.
“You gain a bunch of experience that you don’t get elsewhere,” Adamian said.
He mentioned that when getting into the workforce it is sometimes hard because of a lack of experience, but when getting an education and gaining different skills it can be beneficial because employers can see some experience.
“If you have the education but you’re also gathering experience as a work study, you can say that ‘I have these marketable skills.’ It’s not so much that you have skills in the library as you have customer service skills, data entry skills,” Adamian said. “It’s those soft skills that are the most important and it’s work study that gives you that option without having as much difficulty getting in.”
If students don’t know whether to apply for a work study job, Adamian said it depends on the career choice and he personally feels that as a work study people can gain various skills, such as in technology.
Work study is a federal program that provides part-time jobs for students with financial need. Not everyone qualifies for work study. MCC plans to grow its numbers in work study positions in the future.
For students who know they have received work study for the fall semester, they can visit www.Mohave.edu for open positions.