Students Earn College Credit While Working For You

About PSC Co-op Ed Partnerships

Since 1984 PSC Co-op Ed has served as an important link joining the business world with the college. It is our mission to create mutually beneficial work-scenarios for student trainees and local businesses. Co-op Ed partnerships are important influences for shaping tomorrow’s workforce, providing feedback essential for the development of new curriculum and programs.

Co-op Ed partnerships give businesses valuable opportunities to discover, train and procure emerging talent. Co-op Ed places pre-screened student trainees in positions related to their academic major. Similarly to internships, Co-op Ed provides companies short-term help with special projects without long-term obligations. However, Co-op Ed is not limited to one semester thus providing companies the option to screen students for possible permanent positions.

The differences between Cooperative Education, College Work Study and Internships:

Cooperative Education is an academic program which provides credit for work experience that relates to the students’ educational studies. College Work Study is a financial aid program that provides job placements with wages that are subsidized by the federal government. A student employed in a Work Study job related to his/her educational goals may be eligible to receive Co-op credit. The Co-op Program differs from internships in that Co-op work assignments are paid or unpaid work experiences. The assignments can include more work hours and can last longer than one semester. The Co-op experience is designed to be used in conjunction with the student’s academic coursework. The program matches the student’s academic background to real-life situations on the job site.

Co-Op work schedules

There are two types of Co-op schedules, Alternating and Parallel:

  • Parallel- The Parallel schedule involves the student working part-time while attending classes half-time every semester. This is an open schedule which allows the student to be hired at any point during the year.Example: Student works part-time and attends classes full-time year round. Morning Classes-Afternoon Work Afternoon Classes-Morning Work*Note: A semester is fifteen (15) weeks in length. Our Co-op Program does not recognize the two short summer terms. The Co-op Program’s summer term is 12 weeks in length.
  • Alternating- The Alternating schedule involves the student working full time every other semester. This assignment is usually shared by a pair of students on an alternating pair-while one student is working on the job, the other student is attending classes. At the end of a specified period of time (one semester), the students change places. This permits the co-op assignment to be covered year round by a pair of students.Example: Student alternates terms of full-time work with full-time study. Fall Term Study-Spring Term Work Spring Term Study-Summer Term Work Summer Term Study- Fall Term Work

Co-Op Ed Employer Responsibilities

  1. Coordinate with Co-op staff to interview and hire qualified Co-op students.
  2. Sign the Co-op Agreement Form.
  3. Assist the Co-op student with their learning objectives and sign all required paperwork.
  4. Assume joint responsibility with the college in preparing men and women for employment.
  5. Allow the CDA/Co-op Coordinator to visit the student on the work site during their Co-op work assignment.
  6. Complete an employer evaluation form at the end of each Co-op work period.

Documentation

When a Co-op student reports to you for work, he/she will present you with three different forms to be completed during each semester of work:

  1. Work Agreement Form-the agreement consists of general information concerning salary, supervisor’s name, employer’s address and other workrelated information. This form needs to be completed within the first week of employment.
  2. The Learning Objectives Contract-It is the student’s responsibility to complete this form but, it will require your signature. This contract is equivalent to a job description and provides support for the grade that will be given at the end of the work assignment. The student will list four work objectives which he/she will accomplish each semester. These objectives should be related to the student’s academic major.
  3. Employer Evaluation-the evaluation is separated by sections with a “check the appropriate box” format. Once this is completed at the end of the Co-op student’s work assignment, it should be discussed with the student and placed in the students file.

The student is provided with a calendar and checklist outlining due dates for each required document. The Student Job Services Department can provide a copy of this calendar, as needed.

Pensacola State College is honored to be a part of the Cooperative Education program. We feel that these students will offer you an economical method of employing “top quality” employees and we hope by following the guidelines of this manual, that you will become familiar and also chose to be a part of the Cooperative Education program.

Establishing A Co-Op Ed Program

Being a part of Cooperative Education allows an integration of classroom and community involvement. Cooperative education is a structured program that enhances student learning while providing skilled individuals to businesses. Below are some general guidelines:

  • Funding-some larger companies establish a separate budget for wages paid to Coop students.
  • Supervision-a representative for the company that understands and is in agreement with the objectives of Cooperative Education, can be chosen to supervise. It is important that this representative be familiar with the handbooks and policies presented.
  • Training-the learning objectives for each Co-op student will provide support in areas identified.

Individual work plans should be prepared for each Co-op student prior to each employment assignment. The student will need a list of the Learning Objectives which should outline specific goals for the student to achieve. During their work experience, some goals may involve:

  • Identifying key personnel.
  • Provide well written job descriptions and standard operating procedures.
  • Provide real work situations and feedback.
  • Match assignments with student education goals.
  • Have a work site orientation addressing time sheets, supervisors, procedures for calling in, emergency procedures, etc.
  • Provide guidance just as you would for a new employee.
  • Assist the Co-op student to stay focused and task oriented at all times.