Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education is a program that enables students to earn college credit for work experience related to their career goals. It allows students to practice the skills they have learned in the classroom in real job settings. Cooperative Education (sometimes called Co-op Internship or Practicum) provides the opportunity for students to gain practical work experience, make informed career decisions, and achieve the advantage in a competitive job market.

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What is Cooperative Education

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Benefits of Cooperative Education

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Cooperative Education Programs

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Enrolling in Cooperative Education

  1. Check with your instructor or a Cooperative Education Specialist to see if you qualify. In some cases, prior course work or a certain GPA are required.
  2. You must have an approved worksite prior to registering. Your instructor or a Cooperative Education Specialist can grant approval of a site.
  3. A permission form is required for registration.
  4. A Training Agreement and Learning Objective form must be completed and returned to the Cooperative Education Office, usually by the third week of the term.
  5. Seminar sessions, for which credit is given, may be required.
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Identifying Eligible Worksites

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Cooperative Education Credits

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Insurance Coverage

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Work Study

Work Study is sometimes confused with Cooperative Education. Co-op is an instructional program. Work Study is a Financial Aid program in which eligible students are paid for working on campus or for a non-profit organization. If the Work Study job meets the guidelines for Co-op, the student may be able to earn academic credit. All Co-op requirements must be met. 
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Grading and Evaluation

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The Co-op Seminar

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Writing Learning Objectives

Purpose Content

Objectives may focus on various types of learning:

Duties or activities will be planned for each objective. The activities or duties will give the student an opportunity to accomplish each goal.

Objectives should be clear and specific. Consider how progress will be measured. At the end of the term the supervisor will be asked to evaluate whether the student met the objectives.
A Few Examples from Various Worksites
1 Objective: Practical, hands on experience with Windows set-up and tuning.
Duties: Set up PC software, including upgrading printer drivers, setting or adjusting swap files, File Manger proficiency, application installation or activation.
2 Objective: Improve my report writing by being more clear and brief.
Duties: Have my supervisor proofread and evaluate my writing.
3 Objective: Increase client contact in the corrections field.
Duties: Each week perform four interviews, and make a minimum of four telephone contacts.
4 Objective: Increase my knowledge of the prevention of child abuse.
Duties: Attend training sessions offered by my employer, read literature available in the office and do library research.
5 Objective: Learn about how the agency serves the public, and its daily operations
Duties: Attend staff meetings and inservices, interview supervisor, observe daily activties.
6 Objective: Gain speed and accuracy in servicing brakes.
Duties: Complete brake jobs under supervision of journeyman technician.
7 Objective: Use and expand knowledge and skills obtained from Plant Propagation class to choose plants in display for spring time plantings.
Duties: Identify shaded and full sun areas in display spot. Become familiar with company names and contact people to buy plantings. Use negotiating skills to see if better prices can be obtained from supplier.

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The following forms are utilized in the Cooperative Education program. You may print them to a local printer and fill them out in advance. Please note that some forms require more that one copy. The distribution is indicated at the bottom. Also note that the forms are in PDF format.

General Jobs
Co-op Education
Job Search Resources
Info for Employers
PCC Homepage

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Copyright 1996, Portland Community College
An Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Institution.

Last Modified: 2005.