Just the (Co-op) Facts
The University of Cincinnati drives the Cadillac of co-op programs and rightly crows about its role as the first to found the educational practice. Below are some background facts about co-op and the laurel wreaths of "firsts" we wear.
Date: 8/10/2005 12:00:00 AM
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: D. Stover, provided by College of Applied Science
In 1906, the practice of Co-operative Education
– proposed by Dean of Engineering Herman Schneider
– has its worldwide founding at the University of Cincinnati. On Sept. 14, 1906
, 27 engineering students begin alternating school and work as a means to a better education.
In 1909, Northeastern University in Boston is the first to follow UC in adopting what becomes known as the “Cincinnati Plan.” In the following years, New York City’s high schools, New York University, Harvard University and many others follow suit until today, co-op is practiced by more than 1,500 universities in 43 countries. About 500 of all colleges and universities in the U.S. now have co-op.
Firsts, bests and boasts
Here’s the low down on how highly co-op at UC is ranked: When U.S. News & World Report’s celebrated campus rankings last listed the nation’s best co-op programs, UC made the grade among America’s top-ten elite.
You might say that we pull rank. After all, UC’s undergraduate interior design and architecture
are respectively ranked as the nation’s number one and number two programs by employers in the field. Why? The employers – as well as College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning
faculty and students themselves – credit co-op as the pivotal booster in those rankings, allowing Midwest UC to beat out privileged eastern rivals like Cornell, the Rhode Island School of Design and Carnegie Mellon as well as private university powerhouses like Notre Dame.
In fact, UC houses
- The nation’s largest mandatory co-op program, and the largest co-op program at any public institution in the U.S.
- The globe’s third-largest co-op program.
- The largest combined design, architecture and art co-op program in the world
Other co-op firsts
- 1906 – Co-op has its worldwide founding at UC.
- 1915 – UC is the first to experiment with the placement of nursing students on co-ops, but a formal, ongoing plan for nurses has to wait till the next century.
- 1919 – UC founds the first co-op program in business.
- 1920 – UC is the first to admit women into co-op.
- 1920 – Cincinnati’s Ohio Mechanics Institute (led by a former UC engineering faculty) establishes the first two-year program in co-op, power laundry. The OMI later becomes part of UC.
- 2003 – UC’s founds the first formal co-op program at a College of Nursing in the state.
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