Cooperative Education (Co-op) is an academic program designed to give qualified students an opportunity to combine theory learned in the classroom with work experience. Co-op awards academic credit toward graduation for part-time or full-time work experience that is closely related to the student’s field of study.
This work is an integral part of a student’s educational program. Although earnings from cooperative employment are sometimes the means of helping students finance their education, they are a by-product of the central purpose of Cooperative Education: to promote the personal, educational, and career development of the student.
The program is largely dependent upon the cooperation of employers and educators working together to produce a superior educational experience for the student.
Who May Participate?
Eligibility is for any student enrolled in programs offering Co-op for academic credit and who has earned a minimum of nine hours. The nine hours of credit must be completed within the appropriate program of study (with a minimum of three Semester Hours Credit from the core within the major). To be eligible to participate, a student must meet the following criteria.
Approval of instructor/coordinator.
A minimum grade point average of 2.0.
Approval from program director, John Lattimore.
What are the Advantages of Co-op?
Cooperative Education allows you to gain on-the-job work experiences before you graduate. This program provides you the opportunity to:
Blend practice with theory to better understand your college courses.
Realistically test career objectives before graduation.
Gain a competitive edge in the job.
Substitute work experiences for required college courses.
Make an easier transition from college to work.
Increase the likelihood of higher starting salaries after graduation.
Earn salaries to reduce the burden of college expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I receive academic credit for my Co-op work?
Yes, elective credit will be awarded.
What effect will Co-op have on my graduation date?
Co-op students graduate in the same length of time it takes other students or, in some cases, earlier.
How much money will I earn?
Co-op may be paid or unpaid. Salaries are established by the individual employers. Starting salaries usually depend on the skills required on the job and the student’s academic training and previous work experience.
Can I drop out of the Co-op program at any time?
Students should not enter the program unless they will be able to finish all scheduled work periods. Dropping out will negatively affect grades.
Can I change my curriculum?
The Co-op program allows students to objectively evaluate their career choices and make changes. It also allows students to verify decisions about college majors and to confirm their career choices by giving them work experience related to their program of study.
When do I register for Co-op?
Students can register for Co-op during regular class registration periods.
Can I choose the job I want?
In every case, the Co-op employer has the right of final selections. However, the student makes the decision to accept or reject an offer from an employer.
Will I be required to remain with my Co-op employer after graduation?
The cooperative education agreement is only applicable while a student is enrolled in the program. Upon graduation, the student is under no obligation to the employer and the employer has no continued obligation to the student. However, continued relationships may actually be agreed upon long before graduation.
Do I pay for Co-op?
Yes, Since Co-op counts as academic credit toward one’s degree, it is paid for just as any other curriculum class would be.
SPECIAL NOTE: Students who are already employed in jobs related to their field of study should check with the Co-op Coordinator to see if they may be eligible to acquire Co-op credit with their current employer.
How Do I Get Started?
Stop by the office of Academic Programs, located on the second floor of the Jack Hunt Campus Center, to pick up a Co-op application.
CCC Programs of Study Offering Co-op
Broadcasting and Production Technology
Business Administration/Marketing/Banking and Finance
Computer Information Systems/Information Systems Security
Community Spanish Interpreter
Early Childhood Education/School Age Children
Electronics Engineering Technology
Fire Protection Technology
Industrial Management Technology
Mechanical Drafting Technology
Medical Office Administration/Office Administration/Office Administration Legal