Cooperative Education, or “co-op,” is a distinct form of experiential education in which students alternate periods of academic study with periods of work experience.
Students at Northeastern University may earn experiential education credit when they successfully complete the following components of the cooperative education learning model:
To be eligible for co-op, students are required to complete a one-credit Professional Development course for cooperative education taught by their cooperative education coordinator. In addition, students will work on an individual basis with their coordinator, who will help them with the development of career goals, job search skills, and the professional behavior essential to success.
Cooperative education faculty coordinators provide guidance and oversight to students during job searches. Acceptance of all work positions are approved by co-op coordinators and require that the student commit to the employer for the six-month work period. During their co-op experiences, students are employees of the co-op employer and benefit from the opportunity to learn new skills, to network with professionals in the field, and to make a contribution to the success of their co-op employer.
Reflection is a critical component of the co-op experience at Northeastern University. Cooperative education faculty coordinators guide students in identifying activities and experiences in which they have participated and in reflecting upon what they have accomplished, how accomplishments connect to undergraduate studies, and how the activities or experiences have added to their intellectual growth. Students in International Affairs are evaluated by their employers at the conclusion of the co-op work period, complete an online self-assessment, and meet individually with their coordinator to discuss what they’ve learned.
Many International Affairs majors choose to go out on International Co-op to fulfill their International Experience requirement. Click here to visit the International Affairs International Co-op website.
Examples of recent co-op employers include:
- U.S. Department of State
- Amnesty International
- Merrill Lynch
- Global Exchange
- EF Education
- Cetrulo & Capone
- Massachusetts Governor’s Office
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Deshpande Foundation
- Harvard Medical School
- Northeastern University Office of International Study Programs
- Youth for Understanding USA
- U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency
- International Institute of Boston
- International Rescue Committee
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Socializing for Justice
- Barakat Incorporated