Internship and work-based learning take your education out of the classroom and into the workplace, giving you hands-on, real-world experience. Orange Coast College offers a variety of work-based learning opportunities:

These opportunities give you greater insight into your field of interest to decide whether it's a good fit, help build your resume and help you get your foot in the door.



Internships give you the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained in the classroom and "try out" a job or career field by working in a temporary position at a business or industry site. Internship experience is value-added on your resume or transfer application, and helps you build your network of contacts in the professional world. OCC students in all majors, including undecided, have several options to participate and benefit from an internship:


Directed practice is a work-based learning class embedded in a program. During directed practice, you will apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in a supervised workplace setting. OCC’s Culinary Arts, Food Service Management, Interior Design and Fashion programs include directed practice classes.


All OCC Allied Health programs require students to participate in a clinical rotation ranging from 250 to 2,000 hours. Clinical rotations are completed in hospitals, medical centers, dental offices, private medical offices, or school settings, to give students real-world experience and the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and laboratory.


Mentors offer insight, experience and information to help students who are exploring a job or career area, giving students valuable information about what it takes to succeed in a specific field. Mentoring is less structured than an internship and generally is on a volunteer, non-paid basis. Mentoring experiences vary from one-day workplace visits or job shadow experiences, to simple one-time interviews or ongoing short- or longer-term online communications with mentors. Students may obtain mentors through their career education program faculty or through the OCC Career Center.


Apprenticeship is an “earn and learn” training model that combines immediate employment in an entry-level position in a specific trade or profession with additional technical training provided by the community college. Work is supervised by an assigned mentor at the worksite. After completing a registered apprenticeship program, you can receive an industry-issued, nationally recognized credential that certifies occupational proficiency and is portable from job to job and state to state. In many cases, apprentices have the opportunity to simultaneously obtain secondary and postsecondary degrees from the college. Learn more about apprenticeship programs in California.