How do I become eligible for Co-op positions?
You are eligible to participate once you achieve sophomore status, have at least a 2.00 GPA, and are enrolled as a student at Western at least half-time. You may submit your resume and other pertinent information via JobCat as early as the second semester of the freshman year. However, positions usually require students to have some course background in their major. Therefore, placement may not occur until the late sophomore or early junior year.
What is JobCat?
JobCat is the software program Career Services uses for students to register for all services provided by our office, including Co-op. Pertinent information (name, current address, permanent address, etc.) is entered here as well as a resume. You can register in JobCat anywhere you have access to the Internet.
Am I guaranteed a Co-op position if I apply?
Not necessarily. All positions are competitive. You must make yourself as attractive to the employer as possible by making your best grades, getting involved in extra-curricular activities, and having some idea of the career field in which you are interested. We will help you with writing resumes and job interviewing. Preparing for the Co-op competition is very similar to the senior placement process and will be very helpful to you whether you obtain a Co-op position or not.
Is Co-op available to all majors?
Virtually all majors may now participate in Co-op. Academic programs with a student teaching, field experience, or internship requirement are less likely to participate although it is possible even in those areas. In the Colleges of Health & Human Sciences, Fine & Performing Arts, Arts & Sciences, Business and the Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology, many curricula offer Co-op opprotunities every semester. In the health sciences curricula, students typically participate in the summer semester.
How much academic credit do I get for Co-op?
There are two options. For full-time Co-op, you are registered for a three semester hour course. For part-time Co-op, you are registered for a one semester hour course. You are awarded the credit if the work term and academic requirements are successfully completed. You may earn up to 15 hours of Co-op (5 semesters) total credit. Co-op usually serves as upper-level elective credit, but you should check with the academic department to be sure.
What are the requirements for academic credit?
The student's major department or area in which he/she chooses to Co-op determines academic requirements. At a minimum, all students must prepare a term report and work log. The employer provides the institution with a written evaluation of the student at midterm and at the end of the term. The student's academic work and the employer evaluations are assessed by the Career Services Liaison (CSL) for credit on a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory basis.
Could you find a Co-op position for me in my hometown?
We will be glad to assist you in this effort. If we do locate a position for you that fulfills the Co-op requirements, you must register for Co-op credit.
What about housing at the job location?
You are on your own in regard to locating housing. It's part of the Co-op experience. Many employers provide housing lists. If the position is not too far from home or campus, it is worthwhile to make a trip earlier to set up housing.
How much does it cost?
Once a position is obtained, you must register for Co-op in your major or the discipline most closely related to the job. For full-time Co-op, you pay tuition for three semester hours of credit at the current rate. For part-time Co-op, you pay tuition for one hour of semester credit.
What about Financial Aid?
If you apply for Co-op positions and you are eligible for financial aid, you should definitely apply for the aid, in case you do not get a Co-op position. If you are given a financial aid award and then accept a Co-op position, you cannot accept the aid (during the Co-op term) if you are registered for less than half-time. Some students take courses while on Co-op and receive partial financial aid.
What is the difference between Co-op and Internships?
Both are considered types of experiential learning. Both may be paid or unpaid. Co-op
at Western is a centralized program and internships are usually obtained through the