What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a structured method program that offers students the opportunity to alternate periods of academic study with periods of work closely related to their major field of study. The combination of academic study and work produces an overall learning experience that gives greater meaning to students’ studies and more direction to career development.

This program is non-compulsory; however, the University urges students to gain work experiences either through internships or cooperative education assignments prior to graduation. The program is centralized and operates out of the Office of Career Services (OCS).

Types of Co-op

There are two types of co-op assignments, alternating and parallel. Alternating co-op assignment is the most common type of co-op assignment. This allows the student to travel to another city, state or county and work full-time as a cooperative education student, enrolling only in the cooperative education course. Parallel co-op assignment allows the student go to school and work at the same time.

How long is a co-op assignment?

Typically, a co-op assignment lasts a full fall or spring semester (12-16 weeks).  Usually, an employer will require at least 2-3 sessions, which can include one summer session.