Co-op Education: Inside and Out - Make the transition from school work to workforce and get a head start on your career (Abstract)
Author(s): Stephen Zepezauer
The author begins by stating that the main goal of cooperative education is to make the transition from the classroom to the workplace smoother.
Cooperative Education Defined
Co-op education began in 1906 at the University of Cincinnati. This educational program was initially designed for engineering students because of the wide range of areas in which they have to be involved. The co-op program allowed the students to obtain access to the new technologies. At present statistics from the National Commission for Cooperative Education show that co-op education has greatly expanded. It is available in one form or another at approximately 1,000 colleges and universities.
The co-op program integrates classroom studies with actual professional experience through close relationships between schools and employers. Schools appoint co-op coordinators who support and coordinate student participation. The co-op coordinator contacts and commits employers to participate in the programs. They also keep track of the employer, work assignment and location. At the end of the co-op assignment the coordinator meets with the student to assess the co-op experience.
How the Collaborative Effort Works
The co-op benefits the student, the employers, and the institution. Students:
- obtain academic credit
- explore options in their particular field of interest, and
- benefit from full-time job offers.
- obtain increased productivity
- are able to observe a student develop over a period of time as opposed to a one hour interview, and
- have substantial savings in recruitment costs.
- are able to build strong relationships with the business community, and
- can maintain an engineering curriculum that is current with new technologies.
The author concludes with a statement by an employee who benefited from the co-op program, ".....as the United States moves ahead more students need more experience in college to be more productive in the workforce." The author believed that this summarized the need to create even more cooperative education programs.
Cite this page:
"Co-op Education: Inside and Out - Make the transition from school work to workforce and get a head start on your career (Abstract)"
Online Ethics Center for Engineering
National Academy of Engineering
Accessed: Friday, May 24, 2013