Co-op

Co-op Frequently Asked Questions

What is Co-op and how do I get involved?
What is the difference between an internship and a co-op?
What are the benefits of participating in the CSU Co-op program?
What is a sample Co-op schedule?
Who should I contact for more information about Co-op/ Internship opportunities through CSU?
What are the possible Co-op companies and locations?
When do employers typically advertise and hire Co-ops?
When do I start searching for a Co-op position?
Can CSU guarantee a Co-op position for me?
What should my resume include when I am seeking a Co-op opportunity?
What steps do I take after being accepted for a Co-op/ Internship position?
What if I am not sure if this Co-op is a good opportunity?
What should I do before entering a Co-op?
What if I am unhappy in my Co-op position?
Can an employer fire me from my Co-op?
What happens when you complete a Co-op?
How will my Co-op participation affect my financial aid?


What is Co-op and how do I get involved?

The Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program at Cleveland State University’s Washkewicz College of Engineering is a structured academic program that integrates classroom studies with paid, productive, real-life work experiences. College students receive career training working with professionals in their major fields of study. Many employers use co-op as a recruiting tool and fill their new hire vacancies with graduates from their own co-op programs, whenever possible, since they already know the capabilities and work habits of the co-op interns they have trained. You may apply to the program by submitting an application to the Fenn Co-op Office with the Co-op Manager, Sandra English. Applications are available in the Fenn Co-op Office (FH 130B) or online at http://www.csuohio.edu/engineering/coop/fenn-co-op-forms.

To participate in the Cooperative Education Program at CSU students will:

  • Complete all courses through the Sophomore year, depending on major, to qualify for this professional studies program. To begin prior to completion of your second year coursework, consult with the Fenn Co-op Office regarding the waiver process.
  • Apply to the Cooperative Education Program by meeting with the Engineering Co-op Manager, Sandra English.
  • Be in good academic standing (not on probation) with a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or better for application and for continuing participation, maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.20 and not be on probation.
  • Complete ESC130 (Career Orientation).
  • Prepare a resume and have it reviewed and approved by the Engineering Cooperative Education Coordinator, Danielle Vath.
  • Register for ESC 300 (Co-op Field Experience) with 6 credits during each academic year before each work assignment, and register for ESC 400 with 1 credit during summer.
  • Complete all required reports and paperwork on time. A four-to-five page Cooperative Education Experience Summary Paper is due for each Co-op assignment.

Back to top

What is the difference between an internship and a co-op?

(Only undergraduates can choose to participate in the co-op program or do an internship. Graduate students cannot participate in the co-op program, but can obtain internships. Internships for graduate students are handled by the graduate students’ advisor in their major department.)

Internships

Co-ops

Full or part-time. Maybe summers only. May take classes.

Full-time only. Require special permission to take classes.

Utilize OptimalResume to find internship opportunities.

Utilize OptimalResume AND Co-op Office to find opportunities.

Not recognized by the U.S. government as part of the education of international students.

Recognized by the U.S. government as part of the education of international students.

International students cannot obtain internships.

International students can participate in the Co-op program.

Contact Sandra English, s.l.english@csuohio.edu, or Danielle Vath, d.vath@csuohio.edu, in the Co-op office when an Internship or Co-op is obtained.

What are the benefits of participating in the CSU Co-op program?

Participating in the CSU Co-op program is beneficial to students because it provides students opportunities to apply classroom education in a real-world, professional setting. Co-ops are positioned in the appropriate environment to explore career choices and be professionally exposed to diverse opportunities within a specific field of study before graduation. As a Co-op participant, you will be in the ideal setting to network with members of your field as well as with potential permanent employers. Many employers hire graduates from their co-op program. Co-op also helps you pay for education.

What is a Co-op sample schedule?

Students must be enrolled in and be an active participant of the Engineering Cooperative Education Program. Below is a sample schedule that follows the alternating work study periods listed. For more information about completing the program in less than five years, contact the Co-op office.

Sample Schedule 1

Year/Semester Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 Study Study Vacation/Study/Work
Year 2 Study Study Co-op
Year 3 Study Co-op Study
Year 4 Co-op Study Co-op
Year 5 Study Study  

 

Year/Semester Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 Study Study Vacation/Study/Work
Year 2 Study Study Co-op
Year 3 Co-op Study Study
Year 4 Co-op/Study Study Co-op/Study
Year 5 Study Study  

Back to top

Who should I contact for more information about Co-op/ Internship opportunities through CSU?

Contact the Engineering Co-op Manager, Sandra L. English (s.l.english@csuohio.edu) or Engineering Co-op Coordinator, Danielle Vath (d.vath@csuohio.edu) in Fenn Hall 130B (Student Services Center).

What are the possible Co-op companies and locations?

Students register on CSU's internet-based job search system, OptimalResume, for Co-op opportunities. If a student is interested in working for a particular company, he/she can research that company and involve the Engineering Co-op Staff to attempt to secure a Co-op at that company.

When do employers typically advertise and hire Co-ops?

Employers typically advertise and hire Co-ops approximately three months before the Co-op period for which they are hiring. For example, employers typically advertise and interview candidates in late September and the month of October for a January-start Co-op assignment. Students registered on OptimalResume receive notices regarding potential Co-op opportunities.

Back to top

When do I start searching for a Co-op position?

Students usually begin to identify possible co-op experiences once they complete their freshman year. They begin applying and interviewing at the beginning of their second semester of sophomore year in preparation for their first co-op assignment the following summer.

Can CSU guarantee a Co-op position for me?

Securing a co-op/internship position depends on a student's skills. Cleveland State University does not guarantee you a Cooperative Education position. The Dean's Office, together with the Engineering Co-op Staff, will identify meaningful work experiences for the student. However, the student interviews for and decides if and where she/he would like to co-op.

What should my resume include when I am seeking a Co-op opportunity?

Students first meet with the Engineering Co-op Staff, Sandra English or Danielle Vath, in Fenn Hall 130B to obtain resume samples. Students then draft a resume for review and approval.

Back to top

What steps do I take after being accepted for a Co-op position?

The College wants students to report all offers, and subsequent acceptance of Co-op to Sandra English, Co-op Manager, or Danielle Vath, Co-op Coordinator, in the Engineering Co-op office (FH 130B) within a week of accepting an offer. This is important in preventing the student's resume from being sent to other employers.

When you accept a co-op position with a company/organization:

  1. Register for either ESC 300 or ESC 400 for the semester of the co-op assignment.
  2. Notify the Fenn Co-Op office of your assignment by filling out the “Co-Op Placement Information Form” available at http://www.csuohio.edu/engineering/coop/fenn-co-op-forms
  3. Meet with your departmental co-op advisor and follow the assignments in the ESC 300/400 course syllabus to achieve a passing grade (S). Assignments include:
    1. Developing objectives, recording them in the “Co-Op Learning Objectives” form (http://www.csuohio.edu/engineering/coop/) and submitting them to your co-op advisor and to the Fenn Co-Op office.
    2. Writing a final report summarizing the experience; the report must first be reviewed and approved by your company supervisor; then, submit the report to your departmental co-op advisor for grading and to the Fenn Co-Op office.
    3. Completing the “Student Evaluation” (http://www.csuohio.edu/engineering/coop/) and requesting your supervisor to complete the “Employer’s Evaluation” (http://www.csuohio.edu/engineering/coop/); both forms should be submitted to the Fenn Co-Op office.
  4. Follow the instructions on submitting forms and be sure copies are sent to the Fenn Co-Op office.
  5. A Fenn Co-Op representative will visit you and your supervisor once during your co-op semester.

What if I am not sure if this Co-op is a good opportunity?

It is a good idea to review your job description with a member of the Engineering Co-op staff and/or Co-op Faculty Mentor to ensure that the position is a good fit.

What should I do before entering a Co-op?

The student is responsible for representing Washkewicz College of Engineering in a professional manner; therefore, students entering a co-op assignment are expected to review the CSU Washkewicz College of Engineering Cooperative Education guide to become acquainted with CSU's expectations of co-op students.

What if I am unhappy in my Co-op position?

If you are unhappy in your Co-op position, contact your Faculty mentor immediately and also discuss it with an Engineering Co-op staff member. Discuss your concerns with the Engineering Co-op staff and together you will determine an appropriate course of action to resolve any problems you may be experiencing.

Back to top

Can an employer fire me from my Co-op?

With "just cause" an employer can fire you from your co-op. The Cleveland State University Washkewicz College of Engineering Cooperative Education guide states:
"Any student who is terminated at the co-op site during the course of the semester and prior to completing the required hours, must have the situation evaluated by a panel of University representatives to determine the academic disposition and/or resolution of the case. This group can include the Dean of the Engineering, the Engineering Co-op Manager and the Faculty Mentor. The student will then work with her/his Faculty Mentor and the Engineering Co-op staff to learn from the situation in an effort to prevent future problems.

Back to top

What happens when you complete a Co-op?

Once you complete a co-op assignment, follow these steps to earn credit:

  • Write a paper summarizing your co-op experience. Paper guidelines will be provided upon acceptance of your co-op position.
  • First submit the report to your employer for review to be certain there is no confidential information. Submit your co-op Student Evaluation and report to the Engineering Co-op Manger.
  • Remind your co-op supervisor to submit his/her co-op Employer Evaluation to the Co-op Manager.
  • Review report evaluation and objectives results with Faculty Mentor.

How will my Co-op participation affect my financial aid?

Participation in a co-op will not affect your financial aid that requires a minimum of six credits if you register for ESC 300. A summer co-op generally does not result in any problems for financial aid.

Back to top