Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP)College of Engineering 

Why Cooperative Education & Internships?

Students participating in the Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP):

  1. gain practical experience in their chosen career fields;
  2. have the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to actual on-the-job experiences;
  3. earn money for school tuition and expenses;
  4. work on state-of-the-art equipment;
  5. learn how to work in teams and adapt to different employment situations;
  6. learn how to work with colleagues in a professional atmosphere by acknowledging the expertise of their mentors and supervisors in the workplace;
  7. develop technical skills specific to their major and the workplace "know-how" essential for successful employment in a high performance workplace - that which, cannot be taught in the classroom;
  8. establish contacts for letters of reference and begin networking for future employment;
  9. have the opportunity to form decisions about job compatibility;
  10. acquire significant work experience to list on their resumes and increase the value of their degrees;
  11. develop confidence and learn to interact professionally with workplace peers;
  12. learn job-seeking and job-holding skills such as: resume writing, professional letter writing, interviewing and career development preparation;
  13. test their interests and set educational, professional and personal goals for the future;
  14. improve their opportunities for post-graduation jobs;
  15. discover a variety of employment options within their academic discipline;
  16. often face ethical decisions in the workplace and are forced to develop moral integrity;
  17. step outside their college environment and experience the culture of organizations and real-life expectations in the workplace;
  18. invest in their education and, at the same time, increase their worth as a future employee;
  19. can reality-test careers and make choices based on relevant work experience in a chosen field;
  20. develop a positive attitude about future career options; have faith in their ability to be successful; and exhibit greater independence in their own judgments; and
  21. improve their understanding of the relationship between theory and practice, which results in greater academic and career success.

Students who graduate from the Cooperative Education and Internship Program (i.e, CEIP graduates):

  1. have a greater degree of confidence entering professional employment;
  2. begin at a higher level of responsibility and higher starting salary; and
  3. experience greater satisfaction and advance more quickly in their careers.

The Cooperative Education and Internship Program (CEIP):

  1. helps in career decision-making;
  2. offers students a meaningful educational experience and puts them on the "fast-track" to a successful career;
  3. provides students with the opportunity to work with many professionals -- supervisors, management, consultants, and customers -- thereby developing valuable interpersonal and communication skills;
  4. builds maturity, self-responsibility, motivation, leadership and self-esteem -- all of which are value-added traits desired by leading employers;
  5. tends to improve students' grades because they are better able to see the relevancy of course work to real-world situations;
  6. enables students to identify their strengths and weaknesses;
  7. helps students avoid academic burnout;
  8. helps students develop competencies in three categories:
    • Dealing with People - communicating and influencing, and customer orientation;
    • Dealing with Business - preventing and solving problems and achieving results;
    • Dealing with Self-Management - personal credibility and flexibility;
  9. sharpens students' analytical abilities;
  10. puts students in touch with the needs and trends of industry and the labor market;
  11. provides a means of financial assistance regardless of family income levels and does not leave students burdened with educational debts;
  12. fosters enthusiasm and respect for continuous, life-long learning;
  13. provides students with the opportunity to come to an understanding of the relationship between one's personal mission and values and organizational mission and values;
  14. adds another dimension of intellectual development that cannot be acquired in the classroom; and
  15. assists in the economic and workforce development needs of the region and beyond by better preparing students for the demands of the 21st century global and competitive workplace.

In summary:

  • Findings show that as a result of cooperative education and internships, students have a clearer and more specific sense of their career objectives than students in traditional college programs.
  • Over 60% of all students participating in cooperative education and internships are offered full-time jobs from their coop/internship companies before graduation.
  • The excitement and challenge of a cooperative/internship education experience leaves students with a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction as a result of the learning and goals achieved outside the classroom.
  • The work component and the contributions from cooperative/internship earnings are major factors in encouraging first generation college students to pursue a college degree.

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