Gain Real World Experience

What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education is a University-wide, credit-bearing, experience-based learning program that provides students with preparation, counseling, academic projects and the opportunity to reflect on what is learned.  It’s a great resume builder and a way to test out a career.

Full- and part-time, paid and unpaid co-op positions are available to students. These positions meet co-op work-learning criteria and are arranged for a minimum of one semester. Screening criteria are determined by the employer working with the Center; those students meeting these criteria are referred for interviews using PlacePro, a web-based interface giving students and employers 24/7 access. Hiring decisions are made solely by the employer. Interested students must apply at least one semester prior to enrollment in an academic course especially designed to foster reflective thinking and learning from experience.

Cooperative Education vs. Internship Experience

Internships exist in a variety of forms: some are paid, some are not; some give college credit and some do not. The difference between an internship and other forms of employment is that all internships--no matter what kind--provide career-beginners with a temporary, "test-it-out" career-related experience. 

The Center and the Career Directors in our colleges offer all kinds of internships to meet your needs whether you just want some related experience to test a career interest or you want a structured, credit-bearing, departmentally supervised experience through Cooperative Education.

  • Cooperative Education (Co-op): A credit-bearing, faculty and counselor supervised work experience which allows students to see the connection between their studies and the world of work.
  • Internship: A paid, short term work experience providing the employer with skilled workers and giving students a taste of a potential career direction.
  • Volunteer Experience: Generated by employers for neither pay nor credit; volunteer opportunities offer a chance to explore careers.