Undergraduate Catalog 2009-2011

Cooperative Education Program

Cooperative Education is an academic program that integrates classroom study with career-related work experiences. Co-op work experiences are paid, full-time, six-month positions related to academic and career interests. Co-op is an optional and, in most cases, non-credit program. The program is coordinated through the Center for Academic and Career Exploration (CACE).

CCSU's program, the largest in Connecticut and one of the largest in New England, consists of professional preparation one semester before going out to work, with six months of paid co-op employment. Thus, students apply textbook learning to on-the-job training. The money earned often helps students finance their University education.

Co-op students are assigned to a CACE Advisor/Cooperative Education coordinator who guides their career development and develops appropriate co-op placements. Students receive instruction in skills that make the difference in today's job market: résumé writing, interviewing techniques, career planning, and job-seeking strategies. 

Through participation in the co-op program, students can graduate with up to two years of career-related work experience and, possibly, with a job offer. A sizeable number of CCSU's co-op students are offered permanent positions with their co-op employers upon graduation. Nationwide, graduates of co-op programs are hired at higher salaries and promoted faster than other employees. For students unsure of a career, co-op is a no-risk way to test job options. For those set in their goals, co-op provides a direct route from campus to career.

How Co-op Works

  • Co-op work blocks run from January through June (Group A) and from July to December (Group B);
  • Students may participate in one to four co-op work blocks;
  • Students may enroll in the co-op program after they have completed 45 credits; and
  • Students must enroll in the program one full semester prior to the first work experience.

Enrolling in the Co-op Program
Once enrolled at CCSU, the first step in becoming a co-op student is to attend a Co-op Information Session. These are offered at the start of each new academic semester. The session provides details about how the program works, how to enroll, and the benefits the student can expect as a co-op student at CCSU. It gives students an opportunity to ask questions and receive current literature about the program.

After the information session, students meet with a coordinator to formally enroll in the program. Students should plan to enroll in the program at least one semester prior to the first planned work block. Group A students must apply no later than the third week of the fall semester; Group B students must apply no later than the third week of the spring semester. Applying a semester in advance of the work block ensures a place in the program, sufficient time for the co-op staff to develop appropriate co-op positions, and sufficient time for students to complete required workshop preparation (résumé writing, effective interviewing, career exploration, and decision-making) prior to their work experience.

Cost and Eligibility
The co-op program is available to all full- and part-time students in good academic standing, who have completed 45 credits. Students are billed $200 per semester of enrollment in the program.

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