Cooperative education is career-related activities in the studentís specialization offered through an individualized agreement between the college, the employer, and the student. Under supervision of the employer and the college, the student combines classroom learning with work experience.
When should you take the Co-op course?
You should take co-op during your last semester or your next-to-last semester. This will allow you to use all the skills and knowledge that you learned in school.
In order to take co-op, you will need a job in your field of study. In other words, if you are studying Human Resources, you will need a job in which you perform human resource duties. You will need to do your own job search. That is part of the learning process.
Career Services has seminars and help in resume writing, job search techniques, interview skills. You should begin to take those seminars one to two semester BEFORE you need the job.
You will need to have a job when the semester begins. That means you should begin your job search two to three months BEFORE the semester begins. You can always start your job early. You need a job, not an internship. We expect you to work as an employee.
How Do I Get Approved to Register?
You must be nearing the completion of your degree or certificate, with at least 15 credits in your program.
You must be able to work 320 hours during the semester (20 per week in fall, 27 per week in summer).
You must devote at least 5 hours per week to your learning objectives.
Your learning objectives must be related to your field of study. If you are already employed, these activities must be above and beyond what you have previously done in your job. The intent is to show how your education has enabled you to take on more complex and challenging tasks.
You must have a supervisor that is willing to meet with the co-op coordinator twice during the semester at your work site.
What is the Studentís Responsibility Under the Program
Students must locate a job related to their degree plan. He/she may seek assistance from Lone Star College-Kingwood BTCL division or Career Services Office.
Student must complete their work experience plus 16 hours of professional development via a LSC-Online portion of this co-op class.
Students must have approval of department chair or faculty member in the department of their field of study.
Students must complete 320 work hours during the semester.
What is Coop/Internship Education?
Cooperative Education offers the student college credits for practical work experience related to career goals. Each student is assigned to a coordinator who will work individually with him/her and offer assistance in job upgrading, career information, and program planning.
Students are available each semester. The fall semester is from August to December, the spring semester is from January to May and the summer semester is from May to August.
Can the student work more than one semester?
The student is to be treated as any other employee. If the employer is satisfied with the student as an employee and wishes to do so, they may offer the job to the student on a permanent basis, but there is no requirement to do so. Lone Star College-Kingwood does not expect employee performance to be a problem, but if it is, the employer can terminate the student's employment at any time, just as the employer would do with any other employee.
Employers have the opportunity to help a young person begin their career. Often this is the student's first "real" job and they are eager and willing to work hard at a job in their career field. The students at Lone Star College-Kingwood are part of our local community and giving them jobs helps the whole community. Employers are able to "test out" an employee before offering a full time position to them. The students are still in school and are supervised by an instructor.
Is this a paid postion?
The Coop course is generally paid employment. The finances of our students typically require them to work as they go to school. Most need an income to support themselves and their families. Students will need to work a total of 320 hours during the semester to complete their coop class. That should average about 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters or 26 hours per week during the summer. Students can work more than that per week and complete the requirement earlier in the semester.
What are the coop job expectations?
The student will be an employee. The job should be structured the same as other entry-level job. The student will need to perform to the same standards as any other employee -- go through an interview, be hired (at the employer's discretion), be on time, professional demeanor, complete any work assigned, etc.
What are the duties of the student?
Job duties can be anything in the student's field that the employer might be in need of help. The duties should be similar to an entry level position in the student's field.
Is there a teacher for this course?
Yes, there is an instructor for this course who communicates weekly with the student. The instructor for the course will verify that the student is successfully performing his/her job and will need to meet with the employer twice during the semester.