Q: What is cooperative education (co-op)?
A: Co-op is an educational program in which students alternate periods of academic study in the classroom with periods of full-time co-op employment in positions related to their academic and/or career interests. This combination provides an integrated learning experience that enhances both the academic experience and career development.
Q: What are the eligibility requirements for students that are interested in a co-op?
- The student must have completed at least 36 credits in their engineering program and maintain a GPA of 2.5 at the time they apply for the co-op program.
- The student must complete at least 9 additional semester credits after the first co-op period and maintain a GPA of 2.5 to continue with the second co-op period.
- The student must contact the co-op advisor to verify eligibility and approval to participate in the co-op program.
Q: When do students start co-op?
A: Students can start their first co-op the second semester of their sophomore year or the first semester of their junior year.
Q: What is the difference between an academic advisor and a co-op coordinator?
A: An academic advisor works with the student to develop his or her academic schedule and ensure that graduation requirements are met. The co-op coordinator works with the student to prepare him or her for co-op and the interviewing process. They help the student identify co-op jobs that best fit with his or her academic, professional and personal goals. Coordinators and advisors collaborate together to ensure that the student integrates their classroom and co-op experiences.
Q: What does NJIT do to prepare students for co-op?
A: For starters, students are required to take a mandatory co-op preparation course, ENGR 210 (Career Planning Seminar for Engineers), that covers topics such as career exploration, resume writing, interviewing skills, and professional etiquette in the workplace. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of NJIT’s Career Development Services, which provides workshops, mock interviewing sessions, daily walk-in hours and individual one-hour counseling to graduating seniors, alumni, and students preparing for co-op as well as a variety of other topics (e.g. choosing a major, career/life planning, and interviewing techniques.
Q: How do students get a co-op job?
A: There will be two ways to arrange for the co-op:
- Through the official NJIT Career Development Services (CDS) - Companies will be recruited by CDS which would provide an on-line "Wanted Ads" booklet of available positions with descriptions and salary ranges, and CDS will organize on-campus interviews.
- By direct contact between student and company (which requires final approval from CDS and department co-op advisor.
Q: Do students work full time and take classes at the same time?
A: Most co-op positions require full-time work. It is possible to take a class (on-campus or on-line) during co-op. The co-op coordinator will assist the student in determining whether it is possible to balance coursework with specific co-op positions. It’s not possible to take a full load of classes and also do a six-month co-op.
Q: What happens if a student doesn’t get a co-op?
A: NJIT has a large number of co-op jobs available to students and the co-op coordinator will work closely with the student to help them secure a suitable position. However, in rare cases, due to market conditions, economic circumstances or other factors, a student may not get a co-op job in a given semester. In that case and depending on their field of study and program, they may return to classes and begin the process of applying for co-op jobs for the next semester. Again, the student needs to speak with their co-op coordinator to ensure they are fulfilling their co-op requirements.