The Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program is a supervised educational program for students that integrates periods of academic study with periods of paid, professional work. The work assignments are closely related to the student's academic program and provide an opportunity for students to enhance their classroom learning by integrating academic theory and real-world work experiences. The co-op experience prepares students for professional work in business, industry, and government agencies upon graduation.
There are two types of co-op schedules to accommodate both the student's needs and the employer's needs. One type of schedule allows you to alternate periods of work and school. The second schedule, referred to as parallel, allows you to work part-time and attend classes part-time. The employer will determine the type of schedule desired. Most co-op opportunities follow the alternating schedule.
What are the advantages of participating in Cooperative Education?
- Enables you to retain full-time student status for academic purposes
- Enhances classroom learning and adds meaning to your academic studies by integrating academic theory and real-world work experience
- Have your Financial Aid (including TOPS) and/or Scholarships deferred until returning to campus
- Confirms or redirects career decision-making by allowing you to "try out" a career
- Provides contact with potential future employers and builds your professional reference list
- Helps you develop job-related skills
- Exposes you to the professional world of work
- Teaches valuable job search skills, such as job searching techniques, resume writing, and interviewing;
- Often leads to permanent job offers and higher starting salaries.
Qualifications for the Cooperative Education Program
To qualify, you must have completed thirty (30) hours of credit applicable toward your degree and have maintained a minimum 2.5 GPA. Individual academic colleges may establish higher credit hours and/or GPA requirements. Students must receive approval from their college BEFORE you accept a position.
How do I apply for the Cooperative Education Program?
Once you have been offered a co-op opportunity, you must make an appointment with Career Services, by calling 337.482.1444 or by emailing Megan Sistrunk at firstname.lastname@example.org. At that time, you will receive all necessary information needed to be enrolled into the Cooperative Education Program.