WHAT IS COOPERATIVE EDUCATION?
Cooperative Education, or Co-op, is a program integrating classroom study with career-related work experiences. Co-op work experiences are paid, full-time, six-month positions related to your academic and career interests. Co-op is optional and, in most cases, a non-credit program.
As a Co-op student, you will be assigned a Cooperative Education Coordinator who will guide your career development at Central and who will develop Co-op jobs that meet your needs. You will also receive instruction in skills that make the difference in today’s job market: resume writing, interviewing techniques and job seeking strategies.
In the Co-op program, you can graduate with up to two years of solid experience in your field, and possibly end up with a job offer. Many of Central’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, promoted faster than other employees and report greater satisfaction with their employment.
WHEN MAY I PARTICIPATE IN CO-OP?
Co-op work blocks run from January through June (Group A) and from July through December (Group B).
You may participate in as many as four Co-op work blocks, usually after you have completed your first two years of academic preparation.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
The first step toward becoming a Co-op student is to visit CACE in Willard Hall, Suite 103, and meet with your Co-op Coordinator to obtain current information and enrollment forms. Once you complete the enrollment forms and return them to the CACE Office you will be formally enrolled in the program. After you have been enrolled, you will need to sign up for a Career Development Workshop series.
WHAT IS THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP SERIES?
The semester before you go out to work, you will complete a Career Development Workship series taught by one of the Co-op coordinators. Students who have completed the workshop series say it is one of the most valuable experiences they have had while enrolled at Central. This series of four workshops is designed to teach you life long career skills. You will learn to write your resume, interview effectively, inventory your relevant skills, explore occupations and discover where the jobs are in your field.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE IN CO-OP?
You are required to pay a $200.00 administrative fee for each placement semester.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR ENROLLMENT?
You must be a matriculated full- or part-time student in good academic standing and have completed your freshman and sophomore years to enroll in Co-op. Co-op participants can be undergraduate or graduate students.
WHEN DO I ENROLL IN THE CO-OP PROGRAM?
You may enroll in Co-op anytime after completing your sophomore year and may build as many as four work blocks into your academic program before you graduate. Actually, you may enroll anytime before graduation as long as you apply one full semester before the semester in which you plan to work. Students planning to work in January should apply by September. Students who plan to work in July should apply by January.
DO I HAVE TO LIVE AT THE UNIVERSITY DURING MY CO-OP WORK BLOCK?
You may choose to live on campus or at home during your Co-op workblock.
DO I RECEIVE ACADEMIC CREDIT FOR PARTICIPATION IN CO-OP?
Credit is not awarded for participation. However, in some cases, for example Technology and Computer Science, internship credit is available based upon your Co-op work experience and approval of the department of your major.
WHAT TYPES OF JOBS ARE AVAILABLE?
Co-op jobs are challenging and provide you with a high degree of responsibility. They involve “real” work, the type of work the employer would have to hire someone to do if the Co-op student was not there.
WHERE ARE CO-OP JOBS LOCATED?
Almost all Co-op jobs are located in Connecticut and over half are located within 30 miles of CCSU. However, a few of out of state placements may be available.
WHAT DO CO-OP JOBS PAY?
Pay ranges from approximately $8.25 to $23.00 an hour. The average rate paid for all jobs is approximately $16.00 per hour. Salaries reflect typical entry level salaries for individual majors. Co-op positions require you to work full-time hours.
MAY I TAKE CLASSES WHILE ON CO-OP?
Yes. You may take up to six credits concurrently with your Co-op experience. You must schedule those classes around your Co-op job.
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF BEING PLACED?
Excellent! However, we cannot guarantee placement. Each semester a small percentage of our students do not get placed, usually due to circumstances unique to a particular student.
WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
Please contact either Cathy Sylvester at (860)832-1634 or Joe Zeoli at (860)832-1643.