Career Planning and Development

UNA CO-OP Program Employers Information

The UNA CO-OP Program has adapted to meet the needs of students and employers by offering Alternating CO-OP, Parallel CO-OP and a Professional Practice Program.

Alternating CO-OP: a 3 semester rotation with the student working full-time (no class attendance) one semester, going to school full-time the next semester and rotating until the student has worked a total of 52 weeks, or one year, with the same employer. Work responsibilities are based on the students’ academic major. Each work assignment has increasing responsibilities and contains an employer evaluation component.

Parallel CO-OP: for students who are not working full-time and desire to take courses along with working. Student works an average of 20 hours per week. Student works a total of 52 weeks, or one year, with the same employer. Work responsibilities are based on the students’ academic major. Each work assignment has increasing responsibilities and contains an employer evaluation component.

Professional Practice Program: available to students who have received a job opportunity requiring them to work full-time for one semester. This is a single work experience or some other unique experience not met by an established departmental internship program. The program allows students to satisfy the employer request that a student be recommended as CO-OP eligible when there is no guarantee of an additional work rotation requirement. Examples include the Disney Internship Program (where the student is ineligible for internship credit) and requests from Redstone Arsenal. The Professional Practice Program does not have an employer evaluation component.

**Overall CO-OP Program has no allowance for consecutive work-only semesters**

Hiring CO-OP students can benefit employers by:

  1. Evaluating potential new hires prior to full-time job offers as the CO-OP becomes an extended interview.
  2. Having less down time training the new employee as the students is already familiar with processes procedures, company policies and culture.
  3. Providing an opportunity to participate in and influence the educational process as well as maintains positive contact with the University
  4. Communicating the needs of business and industry to the University.
  5. Having a qualified pool of candidates to hire from at the end of the co-op rotation. Employers tell us this is where they get many of their new hires.

How to Hire a UNA CO-OP Student

Career Planning and Development offers services to assist in developing and promoting your CO-OP opportunity. Call the Employer Development Specialist at (256)765-5019 to discuss your cooperative education opportunity and we can help you:

1. Develop the CO-OP position job description. The description needs to include the duties and responsibilities relating to student's academic/major program of study as well as any employer requirements.

2. Advertise the internship opportunity by posting it on LionJobs.

3. Coordinate on-campus interviews for the candidates you wish to interview.

In general, employers are asked to:

1. Develop a job description and work with the CO-OP student to develop their learning objectives by providing projects and activities.

2. Determine whether Letters of Recommendation or student transcripts are needed.

3. View LionJobs Employer instructions and post the position on LionJobs.

4. Request any employer required forms/information from Career Planning & Development.

5. Provide regular supervision and learning opportunities to the CO-OP student.

6. Have expertise in the area in which the CO-OP is working.

7. Complete Employer Evaluation (request from CPD at the end of the term) of the CO-OP’s work which will be submitted to Career Planning and Development. Not required for Professional Practice.

8. Work with the student to complete the required paperwork.

 Compensation

Compensation for a co-op is usually higher than that of an internship and close to market wages for the industry.

NACE Calculator and Compensation Data Center

Academic Credit

There is no academic credit for CO-OP

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