Employers look to higher education to produce graduates equipped to function in a changing world. As an employer, you know that you need employees who can communicate, reason, solve problems and continue to learn in response to evolving economic, social and political circumstances. Employers also expect graduates to understand the workplace environment and to be capable of working in teams as well as independently.
Benefits to you
- When you hire a co-op student you will take an active role in creating the kind of workforce you want.
- Before making a commitment for permanent employment, you will have the opportunity to observe and train prospective full-time employees through a cooperative education internship.
- Some employers view co-op as a resource for personnel needed to meet special project needs, peak season or part-time staffing requirements.
- Cooperative Education provides access to students who show initiative and motivation, who can contribute new ideas and knowledge of technologies from the classroom.
- Co-op interns are more likely to possess greater problem solving abilities, technical knowledge and an understanding of business needs, as a result of their work experience(s).
- Your image in the community will be enhanced via your affiliation with the University.
Benefits to our students
- From the University’s perspective, experiential education adds an important dimension to formal learning. A co-op internship combines both experiential and formal learning since students work on the job and complete academic projects based on their experiences. The fact that students enroll in a course and earn college credit underscores the academic relevance.
- Co-ops provide an opportunity for students to test their career choices, develop an understanding of the workplace and perhaps identify new areas of career interest that will affect the studies they pursue when they return to campus.
How does the program work?
- Once hired, a student works as your organization’s employee. Students receive a salary and work experience from you, their employer, and academic credit from the University. When the agreed time period ends, the student returns to school and another student may fill the same position.
- Students are eligible for a co-op after completing 30 credits; however, some academic departments may have additional requirements.
- Career Services advisors prepare students to enter the workplace through counseling and workshops. Students are screened, resumes are forwarded and the employer arranges interviews with selected students.
- Each student is assigned to a Co-op Faculty Advisor who is responsible for the academic aspect of the co-op course as well as for making visits to the worksite. While there, they meet with the student and talk to the work supervisor to learn how the student is performing on the job.
- The Co-op Faculty Advisor is responsible for grading the student at the close of the work experience based on site observations, the quality of academic projects completed and the work supervisor’s written evaluations and verbal comments.
Cooperative Education helps employers, students and the University attain separate and shared goals and each makes an important investment in the process.