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, nonprofit 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 coursework toward 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.