Northeastern University

Employer Faqs

What is Co-operative Education (Co-op)?
What are my organization's responsibilities to Co-op students?
How long would co-op students work for us?
What if there are problems?
How much do students get paid?
Who interviews students before they are hired?
Why do students participate in a co-op program?
May we hire a student when he or she graduates?


What is Cooperative Education (Co-op)?

Cooperative Education, also known as Co-op, is an educational strategy allowing students to alternate periods of full-time academic study with periods of full-time work in their areas of interest.


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

Your organization is responsible for all hiring decisions and for providing the student with adequate training to perform the duties of the job. We ask employers to set goals and objectives for Co-op students and to complete a performance evaluation of the Co-op student. The evaluation process provides a means of honest communication, guidance and reflection.

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How long would Co-op students work for us?

Students work full-time or part-time (20 hours or more) for a six-month work period. Because of the design of the Co-op program, it may be possible for you to obtain year-round coverage by alternating students at your work site. Therefore, the Co-op program may be used for short or long-term hiring needs.


What if there are problems?

Northeastern's Co-op program has a high success rate with its employers. However, should there ever be a problem with a Co-op student, you would call your Faculty Coordinator as soon as possible to obtain assistance. Remember, a Co-op student is an employee of your organization and should be treated as you would any member of your permanent staff.


How much do Co-op students get paid?

Since health insurance coverage remains in effect while students are on Co-op, the only cost to employers is the hourly salary. The salary is determined by you, and is reflective of your particular industry. Generally, students are listed as temporary employees of the firm and taxes must be taken out of their checks (state, federal and FICA). For international students, requirements may differ. Benefits are allotted at your discretion and only the coverage required by law must be provided. Students may not be hired as independent contractors or consultants. Your Faculty Coordinator can provide assistance if you need it.

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Who interviews students before they are hired?

The employer selects students to be interviewed from the pool of students who applied for the position. The employer also makes the final decision about the student to whom the position is offered. Generally, your Faculty Co-op coordinator refers students to you and verifies that students meet your specified job qualifications. Before you begin your participation in the co-op program, your Co-op coordinator will review the referral process with you.


Why do students participate in 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.


May 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, Co-op has proven to be an effective recruitment tool. Co-op essentially provides a "trial period" during which you can assess an individual's long-term potential.

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