Cooperative Education

Students may leave the Job Expo with more than enough information and contacts to begin applying for jobs, but those looking to gain experience before starting their career may want to consider cooperative education.

Northern Kentucky University’s Career Development Center provides a co-op program in which students earn credit for gaining valuable work experience geared toward each student’s major and prospective career. Through co-op, students can earn money and 300-level credit hours simultaneously.

Students entering the job market with co-op experience have many advantages. By working in their field of interest, students have the opportunity to decide if they want to stick with their current major. Having work experience before graduation increases a potential employee’s marketability by gaining an understanding of the workplace environment. Co-op also allows students to “explore career goals and options, evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses and sharpen interpersonal skills,” according to the CDC co-op Web site. Also, students develop vaWhile some majors require some form of experimental learning (such as co-op or an internship), not all majors are eligible for co-op credit because of practicums. Business, liberal arts and science majors can participate in the CDC’s Cooperative Education Program. Alternative forms of co-op programs are available to students with majors in the Department of Technology by contacting the department.

According to the CDC co-op Web site, for a job to qualify for co-op credit, the minimum requirements are that a job is a paid position, related to the student’s major, at least 20 hours per week and meets learning objectives determined with the student’s Faculty Coordinator. After identifying a potential job, students must complete a job approval form to be accepted by the employer, Faculty Coordinators and the CDC. A student’s current job may qualify for co-op credit if the student can “indicate the new areas of learning that they will complete for that academic semester,” according to the Web site.

Students interested in the Cooperative Education Program should visit the CDC in UC 230 for a co-op information session. Appropriate applications will be distributed after a PowerPoint presentation. Students will also meet with a Co-op Coordinator, complete a job approval form and enroll in CEP 300.

For more information on co-op opportunities, visit the CDC in UC 203 or cal 572-5680.