Students seeking employment opportunities at the career fair.

Below are some of the more common questions that are asked about the program. If you have specific questions that are not discussed here, please contact the Cooperative Education Program, 149 Ottensman Hall.

Are students guaranteed a co-op assignment?

The number and types of positions offered vary each semester depending on the needs of the companies involved in the co-op program. The Cooperative Education Office staff cannot guarantee that every student interested in co-op in a given semester will be placed in a position.

Will co-op participants extend their graduation dates?

Students enrolled in the program generally take five, and sometimes six years to complete a Bachelor of Science degree. For various reasons, a co-op experience won't be for all students, however for many it will enhance classroom learning. Usually the experience gained and the salary upon graduation outweigh the extension of undergraduate studies.

Will students receive a salary?

Wages are based on many factors including the engineering major, uear in school, academic skills of the student, market demand, and geographic area. Many employers provide some benefits or scholarships.

What do students say about the experience?

Co-op participants indicate that combining their classroom exercises with actual engineering situations are an excellent way to learn more about the real-world working environment. The co-op experience also assists with college finances and postgraduate employment prospects.

What do employers of co-op students have to say?

Employers indicate that the program has mutual benefits to the employer and the student. Employers are able to train prospective employees in the practicalities of engineering and expose students to the rules, procedures, reports, and ways of doing things that meet accepted industry standards. Company professionals profit from the knowledge of the student and often can keep up-to-date on what is being taught in the classroom.

What is the difference between an internship and a co-op?

Internships in the engineering programs are generally defined as summer positions with an employer in a student's area of interest. A co-op is multiple terms, i.e., spring/summer or summer/fall.  The student also gains in-depth knowledge of their future careeer choice. Contact the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science Student Services Office at 608.342.1686 for more information.

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