What is Co-op?
Cooperative Education (Co-op) provides practical work experience in an occupation or profession. The co-op work experience is typically full-time and lasts for 6 months. During a co-op, students may take the semester off from school completely, take a class or two while working, or maintain a full course load (however, the latter is not recommended). You may do one or more co-ops for the same or different employer each time. This flexibility allows you to sample different career paths and employers of different sizes, locations, and industries. For co-op, it is best to have completed some courses within your major area of study. Junior or senior year would be the best time for the most rewarding experience, especially if only taking one co-op rotation.
Co-op experience helps you...
- Gain valuable career-related experience.
- Expand knowledge of career options in your field.
- Develop a clearer picture of your personal career direction.
- Increase confidence in your skills and abilities.
- Make classroom learning more interesting.
- Strengthen your resume.
- Cultivate important professional contacts for the future.
Although co-ops are not required, it is strongly recommended for all students to gain valuable work experience prior to completing their education. This can be done through a co-op or an internship experience. Internships are typically shorter in duration; either full-time in the summer or part-time during the semester. See the section on internships for further information.
Co-ops may also be used to fulfill the internship or field practicum requirements that are required by certain majors for graduation. You would need to discuss this possibility with your advisor so the proper arrangements can be made to receive credit.
There are many opportunities locally as well as out-of-state. Please contact the SE&T Academic Services Center to inquire about jobs in any location.