Students are supported by their Co-op Coordinator throughout the co-op process. Coordinators are assigned by discipline. View the list of faculty here. Students first meet their Co-op Coordinator in the Co-op Preparation Course, a course offered, depending on major, either in freshman or sophomore year. A student’s progression to the next step of the co-op job search is contingent on the student’s final passing grade for the course. The course focuses on learning about careers and researching companies, developing professional resumes, and preparing for interviews. Students are eligible to begin their first co-op in the spring semester of their sophomore year. Transfer students are eligible to start co-op after completing at least one academic semester at NU.
In addition, Co-op Coordinators meet with each student individually prior to the co-op job search. This meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the student’s interests and goals, improve and finalize the resume, and address job-search strategies. Coordinators also will share information about important dates for workshops, orientations, and resume deadlines.
A co-op rotation is considered six months of employment. In some circumstances, the placement may be four months of employment. Students will work full time and receive compensation for their contribution. Students are considered employees of the hiring institution and adhere to all organizational policies. Employers are free to choose the students they want to interview and to hire the most suitable candidate for the position. While on co-op, students are considered active full time students and continue to receive University benefits.
There are several types of co-ops available including:
- Student-developed positions: students who find their own jobs must submit documentation and contact information to their co-op faculty coordinator for approval.
- Unpaid part-time employment: often the best way for students to gain experience and develop contacts and mentors in fields such as the arts and entertainment industry. And,
- Experiential projects: proposals for experiential projects are considered individually and are must be approved and assessed by the faculty coordinator.
Reflection and Evaluation
To complete your co-op experience, you and your employer must complete evaluations that are provided electronically by Northeastern. Upon returning to campus, students must also participate in reflection activities with their Co-op Coordinator and peers. The reflection process maximizes your co-op experience by integrating the experience back into the classroom. Reflection activities are determined by your Coordinator, however, past activities have included: Co-op Expo, Poster Presentation, Reflection Paper, Coolest Co-op Video Competition, Reflection Meeting (Individual or Group).
Students who fully and successfully participate in co-op receive eighteen semester-hours of Experiential Learning Credit (ELC) for each six-month co-op experience. Awarding this credit indicates the value of the co-op learning experience and enhances your future career opportunities.