Cooperative education is an academic strategy that integrates classroom study with related work experience. Eligible students have the opportunity to gain solid work experience in their career fields while earning credits toward their degrees. Cooperative education is optional for all programs except the GM ASEP Program and Restaurant Management. Faculty monitors each placement to ensure that it meets academic requirements and that the work experience is relevant to the students area of study.
Cooperative education allows a student to:
- Apply classroom knowledge to an employment situation
- Gain confidence for future employment
- Earn money to defray college expenses
- Earn credit for graduation
- Add solid experience to his/her resume
While the college makes every effort to place each eligible student, THERE IS NO GUARANTEE that placement will occur. Students who cannot obtain placement for any reason, including ineligibility due to a low grade point average or who decline to participate, are required to register for an alternative co-op experience or an elective. Students should see their faculty advisor for specific details. The college charges tuition and fees for co-op, alternative co-op experience or elective credits on a per-credit basis.
The students co-op faculty advisor assists students in preparation for their co-op experience. During this process, usually two to four weeks prior to the co-op session, employers submit position descriptions to the co-op office. Students who meet individual department co-op requirements should review the position descriptions, consult with the department and faculty, and apply for those positions for which they are qualified and interested. The company will screen the resumes and interview candidates. The employer and the successful candidate negotiate final decisions concerning placement. Although the college will assist in finding suitable co-op placements for students, there is no guarantee of placement or choice of locations. Students are expected to assist in placement inquiries as required. The faculty reviews the academic standing of each student prior to placement. If at any time the student's grade point average is below the necessary requirement of 2.0, the student may be ineligible for a cooperative education experience. Credit for the co-op experience may be awarded on a pass/no pass basis, which will not be calculated into the student's grade point average, or it may be awarded on an A-F basis, which will be calculated into the students GPA. Students must complete co-op credits prior to graduation through the co-op placement, alternative co-op education or electives, depending on the program. Successful completion of the course includes preparation and submission of a journal and report. In the event of a no-pass or no-credit grade, the student may appeal through the appropriate channels.
The college retains its right to remove a student from a co-op position if the situation warrants doing so. Obviously, as with most work situations, the employer can terminate the relationship resulting in loss of credit, if the employer has just cause and has documented the situation. Each departments criteria pertaining to cooperative education may differ. The student should consult with his/her advisor for additional information.