The Professional Co-op Program awards academic credit not for the work experience, but for the academically integrated co-op courses a student takes both before and after the co-op work experience. Courses meet in person, are graded and span an entire semester.
Professional Development Seminar (Required before first co-op experience), 1-credit, Letter Graded
The Professional Development Seminar is a required preparatory co-op course designed to provide students with the necessary structure, resources, and support to successfully secure and engage in their first cooperative education experience. Through a variety of interactive teaching methodologies and assignments, students will participate in a sequence of learning activities including self-assessment, industry research, and the development of co-op learning objectives.
Students will prepare to engage in the job search process through resume writing, strategic interviewing, professional networking and learning professional behavior and presentation skills. The goal of the course is to assist each student in developing a sound plan of action to successfully participate in the cooperative education experience.
Co-op Assessment I (Required directly after the first co-op experience), 1 or 2 credits, S/U
At the conclusion of the first co-op, students enroll in Co-op Assessment I to further promote reflection on their engaged learning experience and to prepare for additional professional opportunities. Begun during the actual co-op experience, students review their overall co-op performance and present their technical and professional skills through written work and public presentations to multiple audiences. This participatory, hybrid course include lectures from our employer partners and faculty as well as several group classes to develop the "What? So What? Now What?" regarding their experience and how to prepare for the next steps--academically or professionally. This one-credit courses is taught and administered by Career & Co-op Center professional staff members.
Co-op Assessment II (Required directly after the second co-op experience), 1 or 2 credits, s/u
Taken directly after their second co-op Assessment II is a 5-6 week, interactive seminar designed to assist upper-level students in the continued assessment of their cooperative education experience while supporting their transition from student to full-time employee or graduate student. Begun during the actual co-op experience, students review their overall co-op performance and present their technical and professional skills through written work and public presentations to multiple audiences. Students interact with and have the opportunity to assist students currently in the PDS course to mentor them and pay it forward. Students also have the opportunity to further explore skill development, ethical issues, reflect on their future career/academic goals, enhance their professional networks, and develop an action plan to support their aspirations.
For the latest course information please visit the UMass Lowell academic catalog.