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Cooperative Education

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PDFs: Co-op Learning Plan | Co-op Position Description Form | On-Campus Job Description Form

College students nationwide are realizing the value of cooperative education work experience prior to graduation. Gaining this hands-on work experience complements what is learned in the classroom and makes the student a more attractive employment candidate.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is not classroom learning, but learning additional skills on the job. Faculty advisors are assigned to Co-op students to assist in planning the paid work experience and monitoring performance. College level Co-op is not credit for just "doing" a job; students are expected to be learning more about the job, company, career field, or business in general. A report is often required at the end of the semester documenting the student’s achievements toward the goals and projects set forth at the beginning. Students are expected to discuss their progress with the assigned Co-op faculty advisor at appropriate times during the semester.

At Lakeland Community College, Co-op is an elective credit and can be applied to certain degree programs requiring business technology electives (Accounting, Business Management, Information Systems, and Computer Science), or engineering technology electives (Civil, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Construction Management*, Electronic, Mechanical, Networking, and Digital Communications). Co-op credit is also available to students who are interested in work experiences in Performing Arts (Stage/Theater), or Media Technology (Animation and Cartoon Arts, Audio Production, Interactive Entertainment, Interactive Media, Radio Production and Broadcast, or Video Production and Broadcast).

Co-op experience must relate to the student’s educational goals. Employed students may use their current employment for engineering co-op experience only if approved as suitable prior to registration. Registration in Co-op is contingent on the availability of faculty advisors and will occur after an appropriate Co-op job has been confirmed and the college has accepted the student, the employer and the Co-op Learning Plan. Credit shall be awarded based on the number of hours worked per week for the academic semester. For example, working 36 hours per week for 15 weeks in a Co-op job will warrant 3 semester credit hours.

Students who have satisfied the following prerequisites may apply for cooperative education:

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA for business majors, arts and humanities;
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA for engineering technology majors;
  • Registration in at least one other credit course during the time (s)he is registered for cooperative work experience;
  • Business technology majors: completion of 12 semester credit hours at Lakeland; completion of BUSM 1300 (Introduction to Business);
  • Engineering technology majors: completion of ENGR 1000 (formerly MECT 1000) (Introduction to Technology), MATH 1001 (Technical Math); and,
  • Approval of the Co-op Learning Plan, and permission of the Experiential Education Coordinator.

Pay rates for cooperative work experience are determined by the company and vary based on the student's abilities, size and location of the company, and academic discipline. On average, Business majors earn a starting wage in Co-op of $9-11 per hour while Engineering Technology majors earn $10-15 per hour. Many students find that Co-op jobs lead to opportunities for full-time permanent employment upon graduation from Lakeland. The hiring rate of students who successfully complete their Co-op experiences is close to eighty percent!

For more information about Cooperative Education, please contact:

Nora Stickney
Experiential Education Coordinator
(440) 525-7272
Career Services Center, Building A - Room 1039
Lakeland Community College
7700 Clocktower Drive
Kirtland, OH 44094-5198

Updated 05/10/11

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