Work Colleges Consortium

Federal legislation defines a Work College as a special type of degree-granting institution where a “comprehensive work-learning-service program” is “an integral and stated part of the institution’s educational philosophy and program”, a “valuable educational approach” and an “integral part of the institution’s educational program and part of a financial aid plan that decreases reliance on grants and loans and encourages students to participate in community service activities”. Work Colleges are defined through federal legislation as having residential campuses where all resident students are expected to work in campus-supervised and evaluated work-learning-service positions in every semester of the educational experience (exceptions are made for students engaged in alternate experiential learning opportunities such as internships, study abroad, and student teaching). More importantly, every Work College operates a comprehensive work-learning-service program that is an integral component of the educational experience and provides opportunities for reduced debt, practical work experience, integration of work and academics, expanded opportunities to engage in service to both the College and the broader community, and a guided and evaluated experience designed to maximize learning. Work Colleges receive additional federal funding to support these comprehensive programs.

There are nine federally recognized Work Colleges in the USA.  Currently, only seven of those institutions are members of the Work College Consortium.   Consortium members work together to promote the common interests of the member institutions. Consortium Members include: 

Alice Lloyd College, Pippa Passes, KY

Berea College, Berea, KY

Blackburn College, Carlinville, IL

College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, MO

Paul Quinn College, Dallas, TX

Sterling College, Craftsbury Commons, VT

Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC.

For more information on Work Colleges Consortium visit:

Labor Program Administration

Under the leadership of the Dean of Labor, elements of the Labor Program are centrally administered by the professional staff of The Labor Program  and Student Payments Offices.  All administrative offices are located in the Hafer-Gibson building. The Labor Team also includes a representative from the Office of Student Financial Aid Services who oversees the integration of labor and financial aid and ensures compliance with federal funding requirements.

Sylvia Asante, PhD, Dean of Labor 

Rosanna Napoleon, Training and Learning Assessment Specialist

Johauna Gosney, Student Payments Manager and Program Accountant

Stella Welsh, Student Labor Relations Specialist

Brittany Ash, Labor Program Coordinator

Armando Buenrostro, Systems Administrator

Theresa Lowder, Director of Student Financial Aid Services

Labor Departments


Students work in over 120 labor departments, each of which is supervised by at least one faculty member or professional staff person selected by the department head. Additionally, most departments have labor mentors, individuals who are not directly charged with supervisory responsibilities, but who actively participate in student training and development. Many departments will also have students serving in supervisory/leadership roles.

The Dean of Labor provides general oversight for all work areas to ensure consistency of administration and regulation enforcement as well as training and assessment.   Labor Departments will vary widely in the nature of work performed, internal structures, methods of supervision, degrees of autonomy, etc. 

Students are encouraged to experience a variety of work environments to maximize their learning opportunities and expose themselves to different work styles.

Distribution of Labor

While labor allocations vary slightly from year to year, student work is generally distributed as follows*:

Academic Support 9%
Alumni/Development 3%
Auxiliary 14%
Community Service (on and off campus) 8%
Education and General 31%
Plant Operations (Facilities) 9%
General Administration 8%
Industries 1%
Services/Student Led Organizations 1%
Student Services 16%

*These percentages reflect the labor allocation distribution of a typical  Academic Year per primary positions

A complete list of labor departments, including supervisor name and contact information, department location, nature of work, learning opportunities, and desired qualifications, can be found online on Berea's S.O.A.R. website. S.O.A.R. can be accessed through the myBerea portal in the Labor Program portlet.

The Labor Program Council

The Labor Program Council advises and assists the Dean of Labor in interpreting and applying the vision for the Student Labor Program. It has comprehensive responsibility for major programmatic changes that affect experiential, non-credit learning in the Labor Program, with specific responsibility regarding labor evaluation, assessment of goals and outcomes, and recommendations for improvements to the program as a result of analyzing assessment data. The Council receives proposals from the President and administrative officers of the College, labor departments, planning committees, groups, and members of the Council. Proposals can also be developed through collaboration with the campus community to link the goals and policies of student labor with those of the Berea College workplace.

When student-initiated labor grievances—including those related to discrimination—cannot be resolved through administrative channels, the Labor Program Council will convene a grievance board as outlined in the Student Labor Grievance Procedure. When a student is suspended for labor reasons and chooses an appeal by committee, the Labor Program Council will serve as the appellate board. All student labor-related misconduct requiring a hearing (falsification of time, theft of equipment, etc.) will be adjudicated according to the Berea College Community Judicial Code. The Council can recommend administrative withdrawal of a student that is non-functioning in the labor program or is found to have falsified labor records.

The Labor Program Council membership shall include: a person from the Labor Program Office who is responsible for training and assessment; a person who is involved with the allocation of student labor positions; a person from Human Resources who is responsible for providing training and evaluation; three working supervisor/mentors from diverse work areas elected by the General Faculty Assembly, including one member of the College Faculty Assembly and two non-teaching members of the General Faculty—one exempt and one non-exempt; and two students appointed by the Student Government Association whose work experiences are diverse. The Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success* and the Dean of Labor will serve as ex-officio members. Elected members will serve three-year terms. The Labor Program Council will invite and include other voices as needed.

*For 2020-2021, the Interim Associate Provost will replace the Associate Vice President and Dean of Curriculum and Student Success on the Labor Program Council.