Northeastern University

Employer Faqs

What is Cooperative Education (Co-op)?
Why do students participate in a Co-op program?
What are my organization's responsibilities to Co-op students?
Is there an employer fee associated with your co-op program?
How many hours a week would Co-op students work for us?
How long would Co-op students work for us?
What if there are problems?
How much do students get paid and what benefits must I provide?
Who interviews students before they are hired?
Can we hire a student when he or she graduates?
How can my organization participate in co-op?


What is Cooperative Education (Co-op)?

Cooperative education, also known as co-op, is an educational model that allows students to alternate periods of full-time academic study with periods of full-time work in their areas of interest. Northeastern University co-op students work in a variety of settings including business, human services, government, and health care.

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Why do students participate in a Co-op Program?

Northeastern students participate in Co-op to gain valuable work experience, try out new fields of interest, learn about their chosen careers, acquire and strengthen skills, and develop a network of professionals. Co-op salaries may also help defray educational expenses.

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What are my organization's responsibilities to Co-op students?

Your organization is responsible for all hiring decisions and providing the student with adequate training to perform the job. The employer is asked to complete an evaluation form at the end of the work period with the student. The evaluation is a valuable instrument for honest communication, guidance as well as suggestions for further professional development.

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Is there an employer fee associated with your co-op program?

No, employers do not have to pay a fee in order to be involved in the co-op program. Employers pay for the co-op position salary out of their operational budget.

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How many hours a week would Co-op students work for us?

Co-op positions are full-time opportunities. A student must work no less than 32 hours a week in order to maintain their full-time student status.

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How long would Co-op students work for us?

Students work for a six-month period. It is possible for you to obtain year-round coverage by alternating students at your work site. Therefore, the co-op program can be used for both short or long-term hiring needs. Students work during the Spring and Summer one semesters (January through June), or during the Summer two and Fall semesters (July through December).

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What if there are problems?

Northeastern's co-op program enjoys a high success rate with its employers. Should a problem arise, contact me as soon as possible. Remember that a co-op student is an employee of your organization and should expect to be treated as a member of your permanent staff.

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How much do Co-op students get paid and what benefits must I provide?

The salary is determined by you, and is reflective of your particular industry. The typical salary range for students employed in Anthropology, Human Services, and Sociology positions is $12.00 - $15.00 per hour, based on skill level and experience. Co-op students are eligible for overtime pay as required by law.

FYI - Co-op students cannot be paid as independent contractors - per the IRS...see this link for more information

(see page 11) Northeastern University Co-op Employer Handbook. p>

(Some employers that cannot afford an hourly rate will offer students a stipended amount - such as $6000 for the six months. The employers and students must still pay taxes when utilizing stipends for pay.)

Benefits such as sick time, holidays and vacation are allotted at your discretion. The students' health insurance- provided by the school (or their parents) remains in effect while they are on the job.

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Who interviews students before they are hired?

Your organization selects the students it wants to interview and hire from the resumes you receive. Students are referred to you that match your specified job qualifications. I would be happy to review the referral process with you.

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Can we hire a Co-op student when he or she graduates?

Although you are not making permanent hiring commitments when you employ co-op students, it has proven to be an effective recruitment tool. Co-op provides a trial period during which you can assess a student's long-term potential. Many students return to their previous co-op jobs for permanent employment.

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How can my organization participate in co-op?

To participate you should submit a job description - Job Request Form. Feel free to contact me, Lisa Worsh, if you have additional questions. By participating in our program your organization will join the thousands of companies and institutions, nationally and internationally, who have become our partners in education. Thank you!

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If these FAQs do not answer your question, please refer to the Co-op Employer Brochure for more information.

To see some "Quick Facts" on Co-op on our website. Feel free to refer to this link.
Thank you!

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