In addition to the rigors of classroom training, students are encouraged to gain valuable, hands-on experience to enhance their understanding of how course concepts translate to real world situations. Since 2011, students majoring in computer science or applied math have had the opportunity to participate in the academically integrated Professional Co-op Program. If you are a Kennedy College of Sciences student with a different major, we invite you to explore the Career & Co-op Center's ProPath program to assist with your internship and/or job search.
The Professional Co-op Program allows computer science and applied math students to obtain full-time, paid work experience in their respective field.
Benefits of Co-op
Through co-op, a student can develop:
- Extensive work experience
- An informed idea of the work environment he/she prefers
- A better understanding of one's strengths and weaknesses
- A stronger, more competitive resume
- A network of contacts in the professional world
The Professional Co-op Program is optional and students can elect to participate in either 6-month co-op cycle (Jan-June, July-Dec) or a three-month summer-only, co-op work experiences. Most students opt to complete two work experiences during their undergraduate career and this can be any combination of six or three-month experiences.
Students pay tuition while they are in classes (8 semesters), but not while they are out on an official co-op experience. However, students do maintain their full-time student status at the university. Maintaining student status allows students to continue to pay room and board to live in a residence hall while on co-op, participate in student organizations, and continue to have access to all campus resources.
Maintaining student status also allows students to keep their student loans and healthcare. Students are advised to discuss the status of scholarships with the financial aid office. Students do not pay academic tuition to participate in co-op however there is a modest fee to participate in the co-op work experience.
Role of the Co-op Coordinator
Students in the professional co-op program are supported by a co-op coordinator; He/she provides education, coaching, and ongoing guidance on careers and skills necessary for success in the professional world. The co-op coordinator assists students in preparing for co-op and identifying opportunities that match their goals and interests. Students are required to complete a one-credit course before beginning their first co-op experience. The course, Professional Development Seminar, is taught by a Career & Co-op Center professional and covers areas including resume and interview preparation, career decision-making and professional protocols.
Co-op coordinators work closely with students, not only in the classroom, but in one-on-one counseling throughout all aspects of the job-search process. The co-op coordinator also works closely with employer partners in developing, enhancing and maintaining co-op positions that align with the educational goals of the college.
- College of Sciences: Computer Science, Applied Math, Catherine McLean, Assistant Director of Co-op