Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a structured program that students may participate in to gain work experience in jobs related to their academic backgrounds while matriculating. Co-op is a program that emphasizes the total development of students by enhancing academic performance, by strengthening analytical and communication skills and promoting professional growth and development of social skills. Co-op places students in a realistic environment where they are encouraged to take charge and to be responsible.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CO-OP, see also » Visit the CEACS Coop Website
NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE! Download the Cooperative Education Agreement (fillable pdf).
- To merge students into entry level jobs upon completion of their program and graduating from the University.
- To enhance academic performance by providing opportunities for students to apply practical experience to theories learned in class and vice versa.
- To develop professional and social skills and promote personal growth.
Cooperative Education provides both benefits to the students and the employers.
Benefits to Students
- Improves their opportunities to obtain permanent employment
- Encourages their independence during the work period
- Helps them bridge the relationship between theory and practice
- Provides opportunities for them to work with professional engineers
- Provides them to exposure of the latest technology for the development and outcome of specific projects
- Provides them with earnings that can be used to pay school expenses
- Promotes opportunities for them to test their chosen careers early in their matriculation
Benefits to Employers
- Enhances their relationship with students, faculty, staff, and university administrators
- Increases their on-campus visibility
- Develops a permanent pool of top quality students to fill entry-level positions
- Establishes an opportunity to participate in the total educational development of students
- Decreases allocations of money and time spent on new hire recruiting and training.
Employer Responsibilities - The employer is charged with maximizing the student's productivity and ensuring that they become an integral part of the work unit. The employer is also expected to:
- Establish a productive dialogue with the co-op student to assess needs, interests and capabilities.
- Review the job description and the learning contract objectives at the beginning of each work phase.
- Provide continuing assessment of co-op student's progress while on work assignment.
- Assign work that best uses the talents of the student and helps the student in accomplishing the objectives of the learning contract.
- Provide training and counseling for co-op students.
- Conduct formal evaluations of the co-op student upon completion of a work phase.
- Share evaluations and reporting processes with students
- Communicate with the Program Coordinator regarding the co-op student's job performance.
Program Coordinator Responsibilities - It is the Program Coordinator's responsibility to:
- Inform prospective students about Co-op job opportunities
- Screen and select students to participate in the Co-op Program
- Ensure that student's work experiences are consistent with their academic and personal interests
- Serve as a liaison between University and the employer
- Monitor relationships between students and employers
- Review reports and evaluations from students, employers, and faculty
- Forward copies of reports and evaluations to student's departments for review
- Award Co-op grades and send a duplicate of the grade report to the student's department
- Forward to the employers pertinent and appropriate information about candidates which the college is authorized to release
- Notify employers of changes in students' major field of study, enrollment status and academic status
- Schedule site visits during evaluation periods
Participation & Eligibility
Students who wish to participate must meet eligibility requirements and complete the application process. Participation will not substitute for any classes that are needed to meet degree requirements.
In order to participate in the program students must have:
- A minimum GPA of 2.5
- Full-Time Status, the Semester prior to Enrolling in program
- Completed first semester of Sophomore year
- Transfer students must have completed One semester of full-time Course Work at Howard
- International Students must receive Clearance from Office of International Student Services
Students should submit their completed application forms to either the Program Coordinator of Career Development or Experiential Programs. The applications are reviewed to determine the applicants' eligibility. After the applications have been processed, the applicants are scheduled for counseling with the program coordinator. If it has been determined that an applicant is eligible to participate in the Co-op Program, the applicant will be referred to the designated faculty advisor for further counseling.
Orientation is mandatory for those students who have been accepted to participate in the Cooperative Education program. Orientation will be conducted each semester preceding employment. Some of the important points will be discussed including the concept of cooperative education, acceptable behavior at the worksite, evaluations, and the co-op registration process.
Students are required to complete one year of work experience that may be accomplished by alternating regular periods of academic study with on the job training. The following are examples of employment schedules:
a. Two semesters and one summer
b. One semester and three summers
c. Two six month periods
Employment schedules are flexible and may be modified to accommodate the students' academic schedules. Students may start their co-op jobs at the beginning of the Fall, Spring, or Summer semester. The Sophomore and junior years are recommended for completing Co-op employment obligations.
For more information, contact:
Dr. LaWanda Peace, Assistant Dean
Phone: (202) 806-6638
2300 Sixth Street, NW
L.K. Downing Hall, Suite, #1114
Washington, DC 20059