What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education is education based upon a cooperative arrangement by the university and employers to provide practical and academically relevant work experience for students. Cooperative education combines classroom study with related employment and is based on the principle that learning works best when academic achievement is combined with practical experience.

Elon University’s co-op program is an academic program taught by the CAS Director of Internships, Nancy Carpenter. The program is designed for students who want to explore career options, as well as for students who may have already experienced an internship in their majors/minors, yet want more work opportunities where they can learn and earn academic free elective credit. Employers have said that students who have more than one internship experience are more marketable for graduate schools and future employment. Co-op can provide students with the experiences employers seek.

How does the Co-op Program Work?

The Co-op program is a credit bearing experience that prepares students to connect their academic work with the professional world of work. Students collaborate with their co-op site supervisor to develop strong goals and objectives to be achieved during the work period.

Prior to the work experience, the CAS Director of Internships, who will teach the course, prepares students for their professional experiences and discusses academic assignments which will facilitate the learning. Students are awarded academic credit once they have completed the academic assignments as stated in the syllabus. The co-op program is noted on the academic transcript and the Elon Experiences Transcript. A co-op experience does NOT earn ELR units (credits).

Tuition/fees: A co-op/internship is a regular course for credit with a letter grade. Regular tuition charges apply.

Who is eligible for the Co-op Program?

Students who have Sophomore, Junior or Senior status with 2.0 minimum GPA, and completion of departmental prerequisites are eligible. NOTE: Retroactive work experiences do not qualify for co-op.

Approval of the CAS Director of Internships, Nancy Carpenter is required.
For an appointment call: 336-278-6538. Office location: SPDC: Career Services, Moseley, 140.

Credit Hours Awarded

Students must work a minimum of 40 hours for every credit received during the term. Students may co-op more than once. Students will receive elective credits only (not in their majors/minors). Students who find an experience that relates to their major/minor are first referred to faculty members in the respective departments to approve the experience as an internship. If approval is not granted, co-op is an option for students. Most students utilize a co-op as a career exploration experience. Students may co-op during any semester and the co-op is included in students’ full-time tuition.

The Co-op Syllabus

Students complete academic assignments that help them deepen their learning at the work site.

  • Students first meet with the CAS Director of Internships to review program eligibility and requirements.
  • Students will establish strong learning goals and objectives with their work site supervisor for the co-op experience. Students will meet with their site supervisor for two formal feedback sessions, documented with provided evaluation forms.
  • During the co-op, students must journal their experiences and will receive feedback from the director. Students will meet with their site supervisors several times during the term to receive valuable and documented job performance feedback.
  • When possible, site visits may be done by the CAS Director of Internships.

How Students are Evaluated and Graded

Students are evaluated based on completion of assignments as well as site supervisor evaluation.

For more information contact Nancy Carpenter, CAS Director of Internships.