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Preparing Students

Preparing Students

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What's in it for you?

The Cooperative Work Experience/Internship program (Co-op) offers you a unique opportunity to evaluate your capacity to perform in the career you have chosen. You have an opportunity to learn about other career paths, as well as apply technical skills you have learned in the classroom. You will also develop self confidence, maturity, responsibility and human relation skills.

  • Co-op allows you to interact with professionals in your field, to make contacts for future employment opportunities and to add career-related work experience to your resume.
  • Co-op offers an added dimension to your college education. In addition to earning college credits, it gives you the experience you need to get the job you want.

Program Requirements:
Students pursuing a degree or certificate at South Puget Sound Community College are eligible. You must be a student in good standing in your second quarter of program study (100 level and above), with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

 As a student participating in the Cooperative Work Experience program, you may register for one to 12 Co-op credits per quarter. A maximum of 15 credits may be earned as part of a certificate or degree program. For students pursuing an Associate of Technical Arts or an Associate of Arts in General Studies, program requirements should be reviewed to determine the number of Co-op credits required or accepted for that program. If you are planning to transfer to a four-year college or university, you may apply a maximum of 15 Co-op credits towards the elective requirement of an Associate of Arts degree. Please check with the college you plan to attend regarding the acceptance of Co-op credits. Students receiving Veterans Education Benefits must contact the Veteran's office on campus for approval.

Please see the Database Page to access the database
Please contact the Cooperative Work Experience Office to learn more and activate your student account.
Please remember: You must be a student in good standing, in the second quarter of your program of study (100 level and above), with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

Jobs/Internships - Cooperative Work Experience:

Paid or Volunteer position related to student's program of study or future career goal.

Wage: The employer is responsible for 100% of the wage paid to students. The Cooperative Work Experience program does not subsidize the wage.

* Co-op Jobs/Internships

We post positions for employers and refer students to those positions based on employer qualification requirements.

 Where are the positions posted?

  • Job Board in Building 25 (next to the Job Center, Room 130)
  • Internship Board in Building 22 (next to Co-op office, Room 204/205)
  • Co-op Jobs On-Line http://www.myinterfase.com/spscc/student/
  • Logging on: contact the Co-op office to activate your student account
  • User ID: Your student identification number
  • Password: Your birthdate (mm/dd/yy)
  • Jobs are also e-mailed to appropriate faculty to announce to their classes
  • New positions are e-mailed directly to students in specific majors, Contact the Co-op office to get on a listserv

What do you do if you see a job that you are interested in?
Come to the Co-op office. We are located on the first floor of Building 25 in Room 130. You will be asked to fill out a student information form and make an appointment to meet with a Co-op staff member. The purpose of the appointment is to screen students for eligibility and explain program details. We also take drop-ins, time permitting.

The Co-op office staff can assist you with all aspects of the job search. We help students with resume writing and job applications.

Your Resume:
A resume sells YOU! It is a personal summary of your experiences and qualifications for the position you are seeking. Often the first contact you have with employers is your resume. It informs them of your accomplishments, educational and personal background, work experience and interests.

What if you get the job?
Contact the Cooperative Work Experience office. You are required to enroll in the Co-op program within three days of placement.

What if you have a job that is related to your program of study?
You are not limited to jobs developed through the Cooperative Work Experience program. If you are currently working in a job that relates to your program of study you may be eligible to earn Co-op credit. Contact the Cooperative Work Experience office.

What if you know of or want to develop your own internship?
Again, you are not limited. You can develop your own job/internship. Contact the Cooperative Work Experience office for assistance and details.

  • Don't depend on someone "to find you a job." You need to look into all opportunities to make your chances of obtaining meaningful employment much greater.

Registration:
Contact the Cooperative Work Experience office. You will be given an enrollment packet and an item number. You cannot enroll through the internet or by phone.

Financial Aid Students:
Financial Aid checks are calculated one week prior to the start of the quarter. Students wanting to enroll in the Cooperative Work Experience program are subject to this timeline. Please notify the Co-op staff if you are a financial aid recipient needing to register before the deadline. Failure to follow these steps could significantly affect your allotment.

Earning Credit:
Students can earn from one to twelve credits per quarter for their work experience.

  • First Quarter of Co-op: One credit is equal to three hours of work per week and seminar assignments.
  • Second Quarter of Co-op: One credit is equal to five hours of work per week.
Learning Agreement Form:
The Learning Agreement form is a contract between the student, work-site supervisor, faculty coordinator and the Cooperative Work Experience program. All parties involved must sign the agreement. The student signature indicates that you agree to accomplish the agreed upon objectives. The learning objectives need to be typed and attached to the Learning Agreement form. All parties will be sent a copy of the contract and learning objectives. The original is kept on file in the Co-op office.

Learning Objectives:
Students develop a set of measurable learning objectives for the quarter. Your work site supervisor and faculty coordinator are asked to provide input in determining meaningful objectives. Students are asked to identify areas in which they would like to increase their skill or knowledge. These areas include; applying what students have already learned in the classroom to the job, improving their skills or knowledge about their present position, learning new skills, learning more about the work environment or enhancing knowledge about future career goals. The number of learning objectives a student establishes is determined by the number of Co-op credits the student is enrolled in.

Writing Your Objectives:
Make sure the objectives you set can be achieved within the current quarter. Be specific about what you plan to learn and the activities you will pursue to accomplish your learning objectives.

The number of objectives you establish is based on the number of Co-op credits you are enrolled in.

Objectives Format - For each objective address the following three questions:

  1. What am I going to learn?
  2. How will I accomplish it?
  3. How will I accomplish my achievement?

Seminar Assignments:
To enhance the work experience, students are given a series of seminar assignments. These assignments focus on enhancing job search skills. Assignments include developing a resume, developing interviewing skills, informational interviewing, identifying communication styles and summarizing learning objectives. These assignments are done outside of the classroom.

Faculty Coordinator:
Your faculty coordinator is assigned to you by the Cooperative Work Experience office. The faculty coordinator approves learning objectives, conducts the site visit and submits your Co-op grade.

Site Visit:
Your faculty coordinator will conduct a site visit during the quarter. The site visit provides the opportunity for the faculty coordinator and work supervisor to meet in person to discuss your progress during the quarter. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the site visit takes place. You do not need to be present for the site visit.

Evaluation Forms:

Employer Evaluation (35% of your grade):

The Co-op office sends the employer evaluation form to your supervisor (typically the 8th or 9th week of the quarter).

Student Evaluation (No points awarded):

While no points are awarded to the student evaluation, this evaluation is used to assist in monitoring and improving work sites and the Cooperative Work Experience program. The Co-op office sends the student evaluation form to the student for completion.

Grading Formula:

Work and Seminar Assignments:
Work Site Supervisor 35%
Faculty Coordinator 40%
Seminar Assignments 25%
Work (not doing assignments):
Work Site Supervisor 35%
Faculty Coordinator 25%

The following terms of registration in the Cooperative Work Experience program will be in force.

  • I am pursuing a degree or certificate at South Puget Sound Community College
  • I have completed at least one quarter in my major (above 100 level) and have an established grade point average of 2.0 or above.
  • I understand there is a per credit fee (the same as any other course).
  • I will register for Co-op within three working days of my hire date of hire.

First Quarter Co-op Students - (Coop 190)

  • I will work three hours per week for each credit earned and Seminar (3:1).

After First Quarter - (Coop 290)

  • I will work for five hours per week for each credit earned (5:1)
  •  I will be working in a position related to my educational career or professional goals.
  •  I understand that Co-op is a graded course. Failure to meet the requirements could result in a failing grade and have a negative impact on my grade point average.
  •  I understand that Co-op is a quarter-by-quarter commitment and continued employment in a Co-op position is contingent on continued learning and new learning objectives approved by my supervisor and faculty coordinator.
  •  Veteran's Benefit - I understand there may be restrictions on Co-op enrollment if I am receiving benefits through the Veteran's Administration. I will check with the campus veteran's coordinator for an explanation of benefits.
  •  I understand that if I have a disability and wish accommodation to complete the requirements of the Cooperative Work Experience, I will contact Disability Support Services department in Student Support Services at (360) 596-5394.

Do yourself a favor, get a jump start on your future - - beat the graduation rush.

Get work experience before you graduate!

For more information about the program contact the Cooperative Work Experience Office today!

Contact

Cooperative Work Experience/Internship Program
Building 25, Room 129A
Fax: (360) 596-5713

Sally Murrow
Program Coordinator
Building 25, Room 129A
(360) 596-5359