Fenn Cooperative Education Program

Co-op Frequently Asked Questions

What is Co-Op and how do I get involved?
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 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 Fenn College of Engineering is an opportunity that provides the link between the classroom  and the workplace. It is an opportunity for students to learn about her/his area of academic interest through practical experience.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.
  • Apply to the Cooperative Education Program by meeting with the Engineering Co-op Manager..
  • 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 CSC 121 (Career Orientation)
  • Receive approval from Co-op Manager.
  • Prepare a resume and have it reviewed and approved by the Engineering Cooperative Education Coordinator.
  • 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.

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.  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. 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.

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  

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) in Stilwell Hall 130B (Student Services Center).

What are the possible Co-op companies and locations?

Co-op opportunities exist at employers such as Rockwell Automation, Parker Hannifin, Sherwin Williams, Proctor and Gamble, NASA, First Energy, Honda, as well as many small businesses.

Students register on CSU's internet-based job search system, CSUCareerline, 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 Manager 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. Student registered on www.CSUcareerline.com receive notices regarding potential Co-op opportunities.

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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 Manager, 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 Manager to obtain resume samples. Students then draft a resume for review and approval.

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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 the Engineering Co-op office within a week of accepting an offer. This is important in preventing the student's resume from being sent to other employers.

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 the Co-op Manager 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 Fenn College of Engineering in a professional manner; therefore, students entering a co-op assignment are expected to review the CSU Fenn 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 your Engineering Co-op Manager. Discuss your concerns with your Engineering Co-op Manager and together you will determine an appropriate course of action to resolve any problems you may be experiencing.

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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 Fenn 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 Manager to learn from the situation in an effort to prevent future problems.

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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.

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