Graduate Catalog 2010-12

Cooperative Education Program

Cooperative Education is a program offered through the Center for Advising & Career Exploration (CACE), located in Willard Hall. This program 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. 

CCSU's program combines five months of on-campus study 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 educations.

Co-op students are assigned to an Advising and Career Exploration Specialist who guides their career development and develops appropriate Co-op placements. In the Career Development Seminar 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 Central Connecticut State University'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, two, three, or four Co-op work blocks.
  • Students must enroll in a Co-op Career Development Seminar during the semester prior to the first work experience.

Enrolling in the Co-op Program

Once enrolled at Central Connecticut State University, the first step in becoming a Co-op student is to visit the Center for Advising & Career Exploration website at www.ccsu.edu/cace. Students should call 860-832-1615 to meet with a Specialist to formally enroll in the program. This gives students an opportunity to ask questions. 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: 1) a place in the program; 2) sufficient time for the CACE staff to develop appropriate Co-op positions; and 3) sufficient time for students to complete the Career Development Seminar prior to their work experiences.

The Career Development Seminar

The Career Development Seminar is designed to teach students life-long career skills. They learn to write a résumé, interview effectively, make career decisions, explore occupations and discover where the jobs are in their fields. This one-credit course is taught by the CACE staff.

Cost and Eligibility

The Co-op program is available to all full- and part-time students in good academic standing. Participating students are required to pay a $200 administrative fee each semester they are working in the field as a Co-op student.

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