Study Abroad, Co-op, and Experiential Learning
Cooperative Education, or "Co-op," is a distinctive 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:
Students are required to complete a one credit Professional Development course for Cooperative Education taught by their Cooperative Education Faculty Coordinator to be eligible for Co-op. 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 Faculty 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 to identify activities and experiences in which they have participated and to reflect 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 Communication Studies 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.
Examples of recent Co-op employers include:
U.S. Department of State
Cetrulo & Capone
Massachusetts Governor's Office
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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