Skip to main content

Working in the Ceramics Apprentice Program gives me clay opportunities, creative freedoms, and experiences in studio life that I will take with me in my travels, studio-focused career path, and continued education in the arts.

Shaina, Class of  2021

Learn More


Berea College is one of eight federally recognized work colleges in the United States.  Berea College belongs to the Work Colleges Consortium which was formalized in 1996.  However, Berea College recognized the value of work in its earliest days and enabled students to contribute to the cost of their education by providing valuable skills to the campus while gaining valuable work experience.

Today, over 100 students work in Student Craft, learning skills in woodworking, weaving, ceramics, and broom-making. As music and art disappear from elementary, middle, and high school, generations of people are losing touch with the skills of the hand. By working in the craft department, students are given the opportunity to tap into their creative talents while learning, first-hand, the connection between the raw material and the finished product. Students gain a keen understanding of the degree to which all things and all people on the earth are connected. This work decreases the distance between us, and we learn that there are more similarities between those working beside us than there are differences.

The work program at Berea College provides many opportunities for students to connect what they learn in the classroom to real world experiences. Additionally, when our students graduate, they have four solid years of work experience and a robust resume. Many are fortunate to graduate with a job waiting for them, and we’ve heard time and time again from employers who are thrilled to get a Berea College graduate because they are “work ready”.