Academic Resources

Cooperative Education

Student Information

Please click on any question below to go directly to that question's answer--or scroll down through the page to read the full series of questions and answers.

What is Cooperative Education?

How does Co-op Work?

What are the benefits of participating in Co-op?

What are the requirements to join Co-op?

What is the difference between a Co-op and an internship?

How and when can students join Co-op?

Are Co-op students guaranteed jobs?

What are some of the companies that post positions with the Co-op Program?

How does Co-op affect student status, tuition, financial aid and housing?

Where can I find more information?



What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education (Co-op) unites the classroom and the workplace, allowing students to engage in real-world applications of their academic pursuits. Through two full-time, paid experiences (creating one year of full-time work experience within the four-year degree), Co-op has proven to be an instrumental way for students to discover and live their professional passions. Co-op is available to full-time, day, undergraduate business students (with a 2.75 GPA or better) majoring in Accounting, Business Administration, Business Intelligence, Family Business & Entrepreneurship, Finance, Financial Planning, International Business, Leadership, Ethics & Organizational Sustainability, Managing Human Capital, Marketing, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing, Risk Management & Insurance, Sports Marketing.  The pay range for Co-op students is $10 to $20 an hour.

 The Food Marketing Department administers a separate Co-op Program for its students.

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How does Co-op work?

The Co-op Program includes two full-time work terms: 1) from September to December of the sophomore year and 2) from January to August of the junior year. For both terms, students’ resumes are sent to the University’s Co-op employers, and Co-op students subsequently interview for the posted positions. Because of changing job market conditions and variations in students’ skills and abilities as they relate to employers’ needs, the Co-op Program cannot guarantee jobs. However, the Director works diligently with students to help them engage in the most successful job search possible.

The first work term is a more general experience, introducing students to the fundamental demands of work and providing them with workplace tasks that meet their introductory-level skills and knowledge. The second work term is comparatively more in-depth, allowing students to participate in higher-level responsibilities. Students may work for the same employer for both work experiences or opt to work for different employers.

Co-op students enroll in two summer semesters (the summers following the freshman and sophomore years). The summer semesters, which run from mid-May to mid-July, replace the semesters that students work. Contrary to what one might expect, Co-op students commonly report enjoying the summer semesters, particularly the cohesiveness and collaboration among the students in the Program and the academic success that often results.

A Co-op student’s schedule proceeds like this:

CLASSFALLSPRINGSUMMER
Freshman Study Study Study
Sophomore Work Study Study
Junior Study Work Work
Senior Study Study/Graduate  

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What are the benefits of participating in Co-op?

Students who participate in Co-op can expect to:

  • Learn a host of job-search skills, from writing an effective resume to interviewing well.
  • Apply classroom knowledge to the workplace and workplace knowledge to the classroom.
  • Engage in relevant, challenging, paid work rotations (current pay range is $10 to $20 an hour).
  • Utilize their technical skills.
  • Discover how to earn trust in the workplace.
  • Experience the day-to-day rewards, successes and challenges of the workplace.
  • Build confidence and maturity.
  • Test a career choice while still in college.
  • Learn the value of teamwork, effective communication and presentation skills.
  • Gain ethical and professional insights.
  • Receive first-hand understanding of and knowledge in a given profession.
  • Participate in the usual University activities, such as student government, Greek life, study abroad, select sports, honor and professional societies and so forth.
  • Gain one year of full-time work experience in four years without extending the graduation date.
  • Be substantially more competitive job candidates upon graduation.

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What are the requirements to join Co-op?

  • Be a full-time, undergraduate, day student in the Haub School of Business.
  • Register for Co-op, ideally by November 1 of the freshman year.
  • Agree to the terms of the Co-op application (please visit the Co-op Office for a copy)
  • Have completed the first semester of the sophomore year before starting the first Co-op work term.
  • Have completed the junior year before starting the second Co-op work term.
  • Maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.75; a 3.0 or above is highly preferred, and may be necessary to remain in the program if student enrollment needs to be trimmed to match the number of Co-op job opportunities.  Of note:  Some Co-op employers require a 3.0 or above for interview consideration.

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What is the difference between a Co-op and an internship?

The terms Co-op and internship are frequently used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions in how these terms are defined at Saint Joseph's University:

Co-op

More lengthy work experience (one year)
No classes should be taken during work/students focus exclusively on work
Paid, non-credit
Always full-time

Internship

Less lengthy work experience (two to four months)
Classes can be taken during work/students typically balance work and school
May be paid or not paid. May be for one to three credits or for not credit
Generally part-time

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How and when can students join Co-op?

Students can join Co-op by completing a short application that is available at the Co-op Office in Mandeville 314 or at classroom/campus information sessions.

Students should register for Co-op during the first semester of the freshman year (usually by or near November 1). Students may enroll later; however, the advantage to enrolling early is wiser course selection: the Co-op Program guides students into specific courses for the spring semester to prevent scheduling conflicts with the courses that need to be taken during the summer semester. Additionally, Co-op students enjoy a host of special programming (resume writing and interviewing workshops; social gatherings; networking nights; site visits to companies, etc.). Only registered students will know about and be eligible to participate in these events.

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Are Co-op students guaranteed jobs?

Because of changing job market conditions and variations in students’ skills, abilities and academic success as they relate to employers’ needs, the Co-op Program cannot guarantee jobs. However, the Director works diligently with students to help them engage in the most successful job search possible.  During those times when student enrollment exceeds the number of potential Co-op job opportunities, the Director will typically counsel students whose grades are between 2.75 and 3.0 to delay enrolling in Co-op, improve their grades, and seek enrollment in Co-op for the second work term.

For each work rotation, the Co-op Program submits student resumes to dozens of companies that post Co-op positions with the Co-op Program. Companies then select students for interviews, which may take place on campus or at the employers' location. Companies then make independent hiring decisions and notify students accordingly.

All students in the Co-op Program are provided with instruction on resume writing and with direction on interviewing effectively.

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What are some of the companies that post positions with the Co-op Program?


AIG

Aon

AmerisourceBergen Corporation

Bank of New York-Mellon

Catholic Leadership Institute

CBIZ

CIGNA

Citigroup

DuPont

Estee Lauder

F X Duffy

Kencrest Services

Kildare Capital

Morgan, Lewis & Bokius

McNeil Consumer Group/Johnson & Johnson

Penn Mutual Management

Phelan, Hallinan and Schmieg

Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Porter and Curtis Insurance

SAP

Smart and Associates

Sunoco

Susquehanna International Group

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Unites States Liability Insurance

Vanguard

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How does Co-op affect student status, tuition, financial aid and housing?

While on work assignments, Co-op students are classified as full-time. Full tuition must be paid for the two summer semesters (which replace the fall semester of the sophomore year and the spring semester of the junior year). There are no tuition charges for the two work terms.

Students who are contemplating Co-op must meet with their financial aid counselor to investigate how, if at all, Co-op will affect their financial aid package. Typically federal loans and grants are affected by the first Co-op work experience; the Financial Aid Office can provide good alternatives to students who find themselves in this situation.

On-campus housing is available to Co-op students during the summer semesters and during the work experiences for students who are eligible for it.

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Where can I find more information?

Todd Krug, Ph.D.
Director
Cooperative Education Program
Mandeville 314
(610) 660-1103
Krug@sju.edu
www.sju.edu/hsb/coop

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