Co-op Program for Engineers
What is Cooperative Education?
The purpose of the Cooperative Education Program is to offer engineering students the opportunity to integrate classroom work with practical industrial experience. Cooperative education is not a job, but actually part of a student’s academic program which links classroom learning to workplace experience in industry or government.
It provides a planned, structured experience with the expectation for supervision and mentoring, measurable learning outcomes and performance reviews, special training programs, contact with senior engineers and professionals of other disciplines, exposure to various functions within a corporate or government setting, and opportunities for professional development.
Benefits to Employers
Benefits to employers include: access to a pool of technically trained, high-achieving students; the opportunity to evaluate candidates for employment within the work environment; a means of cost-effective recruitment, training, and retention of potential employees; and flexible staffing opportunities.
Expectations of Co-op Supervisors
Supervision is a critical and essential factor of cooperative education which fosters the successful transition from the classroom to the work environment:
- A supervisor is a senior engineer who has the primary responsibility for a student and who provides mentoring and guidance.
- A supervisor has the knowledge, experience, and expertise to provide teaching and training that is appropriate to the student’s academic level and that challenges the student to develop greater skill development.
- A supervisor uses his/her skills to effectively provide leadership and guidance, clarity of expectations, training and development, teaching skills for employability, ongoing monitoring and feedback, and evaluation.
- A supervisor evaluates the student’s progress based on specific learning objectives and outcomes.
- A supervisor also evaluates a student in the areas of his/her ability to learn, computation/technical skills, problem solving and creative thinking skills, oral and written communication skills (including delivery of presentations and public speaking), interpersonal and teamwork skills, organizational effectiveness skills (how one fits in with the norms and expectations of the organization), professional and career development skills, and basic work habits (time management, attention to deadlines, etc.)
Important Registration Information
Students who have received an offer letter will need to enroll in the Co-op Program and begin the registration process with Enzie Lagattuta
. This process also involves the student obtaining authorization from the chair of his/her academic department and, if he/she is an international student with an F-1 Visa, obtaining authorization from the International Student Advisor at Santa Clara University.
If the co-op has been offered to a student with an F-1 Visa, then it will take five business days for the authorization process to be completed by the International Student Advisor. This means that it will take five business days from the time the student begins the co-op paperwork in the Career Center to the time he/she is able to begin working.
Employers must provide the following information in order to facilitate the co-op registration process in a timely manner:
a) An offer letter on official company letterhead, including:
- the title of the position (including a statement that the position is a co-op)
- the supervisor's name and contact information
- the name of the department in which the student will be working
- the hourly wage or salary (all co-ops must be paid)
- duration of the co-op assignment (10 weeks - 3 months or 20 weeks - 6 months)
- the start date and anticipated end date of your co-op assignment
b) A description of the duties and responsibilities of the co-op assignment
Full-time vs. Part-time
F-1 Visa Students
- Part-time is considered to be no less than 15 and no more than 20 hours per week.
- Full-time is considered to be 21 or more hours per week.
- Graduate students are allowed a maximum of 9 months in full-time co-ops.
Citizens and Permanent Residents
- Part-time is considered to be no less than 15 and no more than 29 hours per week.
- Full-time is considered to be 30 or more hours per week.
- One quarter (10 weeks) or three months of full-time participation.
- Two quarters (20 weeks) or six months of part-time participation.
- Two quarters (20 weeks) or six months of full-time participation.
Pass/No Pass Credit for these units is given upon satisfactory completion of a Final Report on the co-op assignment.
Units for co-ops do not count toward the completion of a master's degree for graduate students.