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Student FAQ

Who is eligible to become a Co-op Student?

Can I earn credits for work completed as a Co-op Student?

How much does it pay?

Can I work as a volunteer?

What kinds of work qualify?

Can I work for more than one employer?

How do I get started?

What is the Co-op Seminar?

How is my work experience graded?



Who is eligible to become a Co-op Student?
To become a Co-op student you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered as a full-time or part-time student at Olympic College.
  • Have 15 credits of college course work completed.
  • GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Once enrolled, all Co-op students must complete the requirements of the Cooperative Work Experience and the Co-op Seminar (see Cooperative Education Courses link at left).


Can I earn credits for work completed as a Co-op Student?
Yes, you can! Students can earn 3 to 13 credits, based upon the total number of hours worked and assessed. Thirty (30) hours of work experience equals one (1) credit. In most cases Cooperative Education credits will transfer as electives to another college.

 

How much does it pay?
Pay is negotiated with the employer and is based on the skills of the student and the needs and expectations of the work-site, but students should generally expect to receive the same pay for work performed as employers pay other employees.

 

Can I work as a volunteer?
Yes. Employers are expected to pay students at the same rate as they would pay other employees performing the same work, but volunteer and un-paid internships can also qualify for work experience credit. For volunteer experiences in community service organizations a student should check with his or her faculty advisor to make sure learning objectives align with educational goals. For service learning experiences that fall outside a student's technical area of study credit may be earned through the Community Volunteer Service course (see Cooperative Education Courses link at left).

 

What kinds of work qualify? 
Learning objectives should align with the student's educational goals or major area of study. For students in Professional-Technical programs this includes having an opportunity to apply and refine technical skills learned in the classroom, such as computer, accounting, or diagnostic skills. For all students, including those pursuing transfer degrees, the work should include relevant practice in employability skills such as interpersonal skills and professional communication, information and resource management, and critical thinking. Contact your faculty advisor for more information.


Can I work for more than one employer? 
Yes and no. If enrolling in work experience over multiple terms, students may choose to repeat Cooperative Education training at one site, or may train with more than one employer. During any one term, however, a single work-site supervisor must be identified as a point of contact for the purposes of orientation, assessment, and feedback. Contact the Cooperative Education Office for more information.

 

How do I get started? 
The process generally begins when the student identifies a work-site and meets with a faculty advisor to develop a work-based learning plan. Refer to the Co-op Guide for more information (see link at left).

 

What is the Co-op Seminar? 
The seminar is a class of students in the first term of their Cooperative Education work experience. The seminar meets once face-to-face and then is conducted online. The class is designed to assist (and push) work experience students to explore and use the resources of their specific employers to expand their understanding of the workplace and the profession they are experiencing, and to provide additional resources and peer assessment and support as questions and problems arise. For more information, check out the seminar course description and sample syllabus (see Cooperative Education Courses link at left).

 

How is my work experience graded?

The faculty advisor assigns a grade based on the student's satisfactory completion of required assignments and paperwork. Progress toward learning objectives and assessment of transferable skills is documented through work site supervisor evaluations, student self-evaluations, and evaluations by the faculty advisor, but these assessments provide feedback only and do not determine a student's grade. For more information check out the work experience course description and sample syllabus (see Cooperative Education Courses link at left).

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