Student FAQ's1. How do I apply for a co-op?
We suggest first meeting with your academic advisers to determine how a co-op might fit into your current plans. Decide when you’d like to participate in the program, for which department you’d like to earn academic credit, the amount of credit and your preference for a faculty coordinator. Then contact our office and we’ll help you get started. We’ll fully explain the program and all of its details.
You should apply for a Cooperative Education experience in advance of the term you wish you complete one, ensuring you have enough time to register and complete required paperwork.
2. What is expected of me as a co-op student?
You must agree to respond to employer inquiries and offers in a professional and timely manner. Employers’ work and holiday schedules take precedence over school holidays and weekends. When conflict arises, it is your responsibility to negotiate a satisfactory solution. We also ask that you inform the program staff of any contacts made by prospective employers, interviews arranged, positions accepted or declined, or changes in application status. This enables us to keep your file up-to-date and be of best service to you.
You are also encouraged to contact the Cooperative Education Office if you suspect you have experienced or observed any illegal or inappropriate behavior (such as sexual harassment) during interviews or while employed. Faculty are also encouraged to let our office know if a student appears to be at risk, even if the student fails to inform us.
3. Where can I do a co-op?
Almost anywhere in the world! The position (either paid or voluntary) should be in your major, minor or a career-related area, and be of a professional or paraprofessional nature. Ordinarily, routine jobs do not qualify for academic credit, nor can students earn credit for work in which they already have experience or for work already completed.
The Career Center will help with your search, by listing opportunities and referring you to potential employers. You are then required to apply and interview for positions of interest. The Career Center resource room in Academy 101 has a helpful selection of current internship guides, corporate information and career development literature for a wide range of career interests.
4. What are the eligibility requirements?
You must be in good academic standing with the college (not on academic probation) and have an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher. You must have completed the first semester of your sophomore year or have completed 56 or more credits. Exceptions may be made for students who have completed at least 48 courses and/or who have approval from the departments from which they are applying for the credit. Some employers have additional and/or higher requirements that must also be met by applicants.
Other requirements include: locating a work experience compatible with your abilities and interests and obtain approval from the Cooperative Education Office, the academic department and a faculty coordinator.
5. Are there additional eligibility requirements if I’m an international student?
As an international students, you may participate in an off-campus experience if you are registered for academic credit through Cooperative Education or another practicum course number. The Immigration and Naturalization Service considers Cooperative Education a form of curricular practical training. If you have held an F-1 visa for one academic year (nine months), you may participate in the Cooperative Education program after a position has been secured and a designated school official endorses your I-20 form. F-1 students are allowed to work full time during school holidays and breaks (including summer) and up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session.
6. What are the credit requirements?
You can elect to earn a minimum of one credit to a maximum number of 8 credits of co-op. The amount of credit allowed by departments for completing particular majors and minors does vary, though you may count four credits in Cooperative Education beyond the typical 40-course credit requirement for 8-course majors.
Students must submit an Appeal of Academic Regulation form for exceptions to credit allowances. Credit is earned during the semester in which the work is performed and prevailing tuition fees are charged. Credit is also determined by amount of time spent on the job, the nature of the work and the academic project.
Minimum hours of employment for credit in Cooperative Education are 45 hours for one credit, 90 hours for two credits, 180 hours for four credits, 270 hours for six credits and 360 hours for eight credits. Students may work hours beyond the stated minimum without having to increase credit levels. The course number for Cooperative Education in all departments is 390 and it is considered senior-level credit.