More Info for Colleges

Apprenticeship programs meet all industry standards for training employees with regards to safety, education and licensing requirements.  For many healthcare occupations, the standard includes formal education in the form of a certificate or degree.  The Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) recognizes the value of our Montana campuses and anticipates partnering with local colleges to provide the educational component of apprenticeship programs.  

Apprenticeships work best with flexible, distance education programs that accommodate the scheduling needs of healthcare providers.  Many campuses already have programs that fit this model with little or no modification.

Apprenticeship Benefits for Campuses

The apprenticeship strategy makes higher education accessible to more students. Employer driven training facilitates career advancement for a wider range of potential students.

  • Retention: In high demand occupations, such as medical coding and health informatics, students are often hired part way through their programs. With the apprenticeship model, they can start working with their employer and finish their degree programs.
  • Boost Enrollment: Flexible training models that accommodate apprenticeships expand the potential student base to all working students, particularly adult learners.
  • Distance Education: Creative solutions for distance education allow students to train for their careers while remaining in their home communities. Employer sponsors are able to provide the on-the-job experience that complements educational programs. Students who are unable to relocate can now pursue education with the support structure to facilitate program completion.
  • Recognition: By providing the related technical instruction for apprenticeship programs, campus programs are automatically promoted to potential students and employers by DLI representatives. Programs receive recognition on the state level for their dedication to meeting workforce needs.
  • Collaboration: Campuses whose certificate and degree programs are not currently structured to accommodate the apprenticeship model can still participate in the process through participating in course sharing, and hosting temporary or short term programs.
  • Steps to Success: Apprenticeships encourage students to continue with their education through additional programs. In a case study sponsored by the US Department of Labor and administered by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, 60% of CNA apprentices expressed interest in pursuing the LPN credential and 30% to RN.


On-the-job training is already a major part of many degree and technical programs. It takes many different forms. However, the type of on the job training often occurs on a spectrum with different roles and responsibilities for students, employers, and faculty members. The following side-by-side comparison aims to differentiate by types of on-the-job training programs.


  • Paid
  • Related to coursework
  • Employer-specific competencies
  • Employer evaluates competencies
  • Employer investment in the individual
  • Trains permanent employees
  • Employment anticipated with training facility upon graduation


  • Typically unpaid
  • Coursework varies
  • Competencies varied by employer
  • Employer evaluates competencies
  • Employer investment varies
  • Provides work experience
  • Anticipated employment varies

      Clinical Rotations:

      • Unpaid
      • Related to coursework
      • No employer-specific competencies
      • Faculty evaluate competencies
      • Less employer investment in the individual
      • Provides familiarity with work environment
      • Employment not anticipated for all students with facility upon graduation

      How do campuses participate in apprenticeship?

      • Share your expertise! For many programs, the best way to be involved is to discuss your existing programs with DLI representatives.
      • No change needed! Campuses are not expected to modify or change course requirements.
      • Student identification! Some programs have an “apprenticeship track” to identify and support a cohort of related students undergoing the same training schedule, while others do not.
      • Prepare your students! By receiving valuable program evaluations from employers, you can prepare your students for specific industry needs upon graduation.
      • Promote your programs! DLI representatives promote programs and engage employers once they have identified related instructional programs that correspond to the apprenticeship model.
      • Connect! Apprenticeship occupations can have multiple educational partners for each apprenticeship occupation.

      Many two year schools throughout the state partner with the Department of Labor & Industry to provide the educational component of apprenticeship programs. Affiliated educational programs include those in the electrical and building trades, as well as certified nursing aide, pharmacy technician, computed tomography technologist and more!

      For More Information:
      Visit our websites: and

      Contact the Montana Department of Labor and Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program:
      Valerie Piet - - 406.490.8788
      Madeline Boehm - - 406.686.2945
      Brittney Keller - - 406.686.2939
      Bo Bruinsma - - 605.751.9037