by Grace Hatton, social media/staff writer
The Work Program Advisory Committee has been conducting focus groups to zone in on every aspect of the Work Program and how it affects students.
The committee consists of two students, staff, and faculty and has been asking questions about expectations of incoming students, perceptions of crews, characteristics of work, what students learn on a crew, and more.
Recently, the question was raised whether 15 hours is too large of a commitment for students.
The committee has especially been focusing on identifying issues within crews with high turnover rates such as dining, public safety, and heavy duty.
The intention is to figure out what kind of changes would make a student stay on those crews for extended periods of time.
The six other work colleges in the country have very similar time commitments as Wilson, requiring students to work in the 12 to 20 hours per week range.
Many students feel the hour commitment is very reasonable.
“Working 15 hours a week is a realistic number of hours. It teaches us as students how to manage our time, and it teaches us how to persevere and to work hard as we will after we graduate,” says freshman Lauren Mack.
The hour commitment is only one aspect of the focus groups, however.
“We are not solely focusing on hours. We are focusing on how the work program can best serve students and the institution overall,” says Dean of Work Ian Robertson.
The focus groups are also looking into how the work program affects Wilson’s retention rate.
“As the school is looking at what things can have an impact on retention they will look at the work program and what it does and how it can have a positive effect on the retention of our students,” says Robertson.
The Work Program is an integral part of the Warren Wilson experience, and the Work Program Advisory Committee is striving to improve issues within the program and make the Work Program the most valuable and educational program it can be.
Wilson is one of seven work colleges in the country. The Work Program Advisory Committee meets every two weeks.