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Frequently Asked Questions

What is cooperative education?

Cooperative Education is a program that allows students to obtain real-world work experience, while earning upper division credits in any area that relates to their academic interest.

What kind of work experiences?

Co-op can be represented by any paid or unpaid work experiences that are career-related and that draw upon the knowledge and skills learned at the University. "All experiences must be approved by a faculty advisor and by the department chair."

Where are these career-related work experiences found?

Small businesses, national and international corporations, local and regional firms, government offices, non-profit agencies, and high-tech companies have all provided students with meaningful, career-related work assignments. Thousands of employers nationwide hire a total of 200,000 co-op students every year. Students are able to enroll for a co-op during the fall or spring semester or even while at home on the summer break.


Employers have found that co-op students are motivated, productive, and educated in current theories and technologies. Students have found that their co-ops have helped them to become more prepared, confident, and competitive in today''s job market. "An ounce of experience is better than a ton of theory simply because it is only in experience that any theory has vital and verifiable significance." - John Dewey

Can anyone participate in co-op?

Any second year student with a 2.5 GPA who has completed at least six credit hours of course work towards their major or minor can participate. Each academic department can create higher or lower participation requirements, so it's a good idea for students to consult their advisors, department chair and/or co-op staff.

What's in it for me?

Co-op is a great way to explore career interests and get hands-on experience for your résumé. It allows you to relate your academic training to real world problems, to earn credit toward your degree, and to enhance your transcript with a permanent record of your co-op experience. You can also earn money toward your college expenses and make professional contacts in your field.


Cooperative Education | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, West Virginia | 25443-5000 | 304-876-5477 | 800-344-5231