At the University of Cincinnati, we know co-op. We ought to – we invented it in 1906, and we’ve been doing it well ever since.
Formal cooperative education (often shortened to “co-op”) is an educational model in which a student alternates traditional academic semesters with semesters spent working full-time in the field.
The work is paid, full-time (at least 35 hours per week) for 15 to 18 weeks at a time, related to the student’s major, supervised and evaluated.
As a student in a formal co-op program, you’ll complete three to five co-op terms, depending on your program requirements, prior to graduation. During each co-op term, you’ll complete an online course to help you focus on your academic and professional development. Your co-op employers also evaluate your performance.
Co-op is real-world work experience in a professional setting. Co-op students perform many of the same tasks as an entry-level professional at a level appropriate to their advancement in school. Co-op promotes your professional development and gives you a chance to apply what you learn in class. You graduate with substantial, major-related experience on your resume.
Although co-op employers are not required or expected to offer full-time jobs after graduation, sometimes the student’s performance and the employer’s hiring needs align, and every year a number of students receive full-time job offers from co-op employers as they approach graduation.