Cooperative Education Program

Co-Op Program

The Co-op Program allows students to obtain professional employment experience and earn a paycheck at the same time as they are earning an undergraduate degree in engineering or computer science. Cooperative Education enables students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to career-related employment by alternating periods of full-time study with paid full-time employment.

Any student attending a college or university in West Virginia who is pursuing a degree in engineering or computer science is eligible to apply. A wide range of companies offer co-ops to our students. Students work three or four work periods throughout a five-year period. Co-ops gives students the unique opportunity to integrate classroom learning with practical professional experience.

The Cooperative Education Program is available to any student at WVU majoring in engineering or computer science. Students attending other state colleges or universities who are planning to ultimately pursue a degree in engineering or computer science are also eligible.

The Cooperative Education program in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources is nationally accredited. The program is a statewide initiative designed to help students obtain meaningful employment while pursuing an undergraduate degree in engineering or computer science.

Cooperative Education provides an opportunity for a student to apply what was learned in the classroom to career-related employment by alternating periods of full-time study and paid full-time employment.

Students

The Co-op program is a voluntary plan for students who have completed at least two full-time semesters. Participants must have a total of 30 credit hours and at least a 2.5 college grade point average.

Students accepted into the Co-op program alternate periods of study with three to five periods of work as shown in the sample work schedules below. Although the Co-op participant is considered a full-time student during the work period, students only pay a modest co-op fee during the assigned work periods.

Your Resume

To write a great resume, you do not necessarily need to follow certain "rules" you may have heard. Your resume does not have to be one page. It does not have to follow a specific format. How you set your resume up should depend on how you can best present yourself.

The main purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. A resume is essentially an advertisement for you. An excellent resume doesn't just tell people who you have done in your life; it tells employers how you can put your skills and experience to work to help them accomplish their goals. It is a great idea, whenever possible, to tailor your resume to each position for which you are applying or each company which you are approaching.

There are many resources online for resume writing, so do some research, put some time into developing yours. Also, if spelling, grammar, and usage are not your strong points, be sure to have someone who is an expert in this area review your resume.

See the sample resumes attached here for more ideas.

Typical Schedule

Example Schedule

The statewide program is a five-year professional development experience designed to combine practical on-the-job experience with the classroom education of a four-year college curriculum. Our Co-op Program gives participating students a unique opportunity to integrate classroom learning and practical professional experience, evaluate career choices, and to become more marketable graduates, while at the same time increasing their earning potential during their college experience. Students accepted into the Co-op program alternate periods of study with three to five periods of work as shown in the sample work schedules below. Although the Co-op participant is considered a full-time student during the work period, students only pay a modest Co-op fee during the assigned work periods.

Evaluations

After each work period, students most complete the Student Report and Assessment form and the Student Performance Assessment form.

Student Performance Assessment

Student Report and Assessment

FAQs

Who can participate in the co-op program?

You can! If you are an engineering or computer science student in West Virginia, you have the opportunity to put your educational skills to work, develop new skills, get paid, and gain valuable experience to give you a competitive edge for career success.

What type of work will I do?

Co-op employment provides students with the opportunity to compliment their academic program of study with meaningful work experiences related to their discipline. As the Co-op students progress through subsequent work periods, they will perform more complex tasks. By the final work session, students' responsibilities are comparable to those expected after graduation.

When will I work?

Typically,Co-op students begin their working on mid-year of their sophomore year and complete all required work sessions with the same employer. Juniors and seniors should check with the Co-op Office for eligibility.

Where will I work?

Many Co-op students will work in West Virginia and the surrounding states. However, Co-op opportunities are available anywhere in the United States.

Why should I want to Co-op?

This program enable students to explore career opportunities. Co-op students also earn a significant portion of their college expenses that greatly enhancing their marketability.

How do I get involved?

To learn more about this exciting program, please contact the Co-op Coordinator, Lloyd Ford.

Employers

The Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) is a statewide initiative aimed at providing you with high quality students interested in career-related employment who are pursuing an accredited degree.

The program allows students to apply what they learn in the classroom to career-related employment by alternating periods of full-time study with paid full-time employment. All of the departments within the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources are active participants in the Co-op Program.

Before an employer can hire students as part of the college's Cooperative Education program, the Cooperative Education Agreement must be completed.

Why Hire Our Students for Co-Ops?

We provide enthusiastic students

Our students receive a quality education, built on an outstanding tradition of academic excellence. West Virginia University ranks among the top ten public universities in the United States for the number of students receiving the prestigious Rhodes and Truman Scholarships. The University's twenty-fifth Rhodes scholar is a graduate of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

We prepare students

A full range of services are provided to ensure that the students are well prepared for their Co-op employment. Students can obtain assistance in resume writing and improving their interviewing skills. Individual advising on professionalism and career objectives is available.

We select quality students

In addition to academic criteria, every applicant is evaluated to determine the attitude and level of commitment before they are accepted into the Co-op Program.

We monitor student performance

On-site visits and written reviews are used to evaluate the students' experience and performance. Questionnaires are sent periodically to employers to obtain valuable feedback about our students.

We provide excellent service

Our top priority is to deliver fast, responsive service to employers.

Providing a Positive Work Experience

Identify your employment needs

When you express an interest in our Co-op program, we can often customize a student\'s schedule to fit your specific needs. Because WVU operates on a semester schedule, students can work one semester or combine a summer work period and spend as much as six months period on the job.

Interview prospective students

Once you become a participant in our program, we will send you the resumes of qualified students who have expressed interest in your openings. You may conduct interviews on campus, by telephone, or at your location. You can contact students directly, or we can arrange the entire interview process for you.

Provide salaries

Co-op employment is a paid work experience. Salaries usually increase as the student progresses, and some employers offer the students other benefits in addition to salary. We can provide salary guidelines based on previous experience.

Offer students practical work experience

Co-op employment must be challenging and provide professional growth for the student by increasing the student's responsibility in each subsequent work period.

Internships

Internships allow students to observe and participate in their field in an actual professional setting. Internships are available in a wide variety of settings, from close to home to around the world.