Cooperative Education Program at CU-Boulder

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Get to know more about fellow students' professional learning projects! Whether domestic or international, an engineering internship or co-op can open your personal and professional horizons while giving you the experience necessary to start your career on the right foot. Plus, an internship or co-op can be a lot of fun! Click the links to learn more about other CU engineers and how co-ops and internships made a difference in their lives.

What is Co-op?

The Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program is a professional development education program that allows undergraduate students to participate in a year-round schedule that alternates professionally related work experiences with classroom coursework.  The Co-op Program can provide as much as two years of direct professional development within a five-year bachelor's degree program.

Students who participate in co-ops are better prepared to enter the work force and frequently choose to continue their employment with their co-op employer after graduating.  Surveys of seniors who graduated in May 2009 or May 2010 found that 22 to 26 percent of those with jobs lined up at the time of graduation found their permanent position through an internship or co-op.

Co-op experiences are paid and result in academic credit, although this credit does not apply towards the student’s degree.  Co-op students receive an official entry on their transcript for each co-op experience, as well as a certificate of completion at graduation.

View the Co-op Handbook to learn more about the CU Engineering Co-op Program and how you can get involved in this exciting opportunity.

Information for Students

Curious about co-ops? Read the Co-op Student Brochure or look at the points below to see if an engineering co-op could be a good choice for your college career.

Why Co-op Could Be for You

  • Make money (up to $16K per work term)
  • Gain one year of real-world experience
  • Apply what you learn
  • Work on compelling projects
  • Build skills over time
  • Establish a professional network
  • Explore career options
  • Earn course credit/notation on your transcript
  • Receive a Co-Op Certificate of Completion from a college-endorsed program

Am I Eligible for Co-op?

  • Must be in good academic standing (minimum 2.75 GPA)
  • Second-semester sophomore or above

Where Can I Do My Co-op?

  • Choose from top companies right here in Colorado or others in major cities throughout the United States
  • International co-ops are also an option
  • Opportunities range from Fortune 500 to startup companies

How Do I Get Involved in Co-op?

  • Review the Co-op Student Handbook
  • Meet with the co-op director for your department (see list in the "Co-op Key Contacts" section below)
  • Submit an application for acceptance into co-op
  • Create a resume to be submitted to potential employers
  • Interview with potential employers
  • Notify your co-op or academic advisor when you accept a job offer
  • Attend required workshop prior to going on your co-op assignment
     

Information for Employers

The Cooperative Education Program is a professional development education program that allows students to participate in a year-round schedule that alternates professionally related work experiences with classroom coursework. Co-ops are made possible by industry partners willing to host co-op students for this valuable experience.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science offers an excellent undergraduate program with strong academic content and hands-on, service, and discovery learning opportunities. CU students are trained to have strong engineering and hands-on skills, developed team skills, and a strong work ethic. The college's many academic departments prepare a talented pool of students able fill a wide variety of co-op positions.

Students who participate in co-ops are better prepared to enter the workforce and frequently choose to continue their employment with their co-op employer after graduating. Surveys of seniors who graduated in the last 4 years found that 21 to 26 percent of those with jobs lined up at the time of graduation found their permanent position through an internship or co-op.

Co-op experiences are paid by the employer and result in academic credit (though not credit that will apply toward the student’s degree). Co-op students receive a certificate of participation or written acknowledgement as well as an entry on their transcript for each co-op experience.

To get started, please read the Co-Op Employer Brochure or contact the appropriate co-op representative from the department list under "Co-op Key Contacts" below.
    
How Does Co-op Benefit Employers?

  • Access to and retention of top talent
  • Opportunity to develop new positions
  • Opportunity to develop leaders from within
  • Low-risk opportunity to try out new employees
  • Pipeline for developing a diverse workforce

Employer Responsibilities

  • Provide a paid, professional work experience that allows the student to be part of a team
  • Arrange challenging work for the student
  • Assign work of real importance, not "make-work"
  • Incorporate a large spectrum of the company's activities
  • Ensure that assigned work is major-related
  • Commit to providing single and/or multiple work terms for the student
  • Increase technical involvement and level of responsibility as the student progresses
  • Evaluate student performance and provide feedback to the college

Recent Participating Employers

  • 3M
  • Amgen
  • Baxter
  • Bend Research
  • Chevron Phillips
  • Dow Chemical
  • Micron Corporation
  • NASA
  • Roche Colorado
  • Washington Group International

Employer Testimonials

"Having a co-op at Chevron enables the student to experience several different areas of the company while providing broad visibility for the student among the hiring managers.  The student can start to determine what type of work interests him/her which is invaluable when job offers are in front of them.  The company can also judge the student's performance and determine where his/her skills fit the best. It is a win-win situation for all involved."
Thad Sauvain, Manager, Designs and Engineering, Chevron

"The CU Co-op Program provides us with young aspiring engineers whose skills and efforts make daily contributions to the success of our organization. Many of our breakthrough developments would not have been possible without the contributions of our CU co-op students."
Rick Dauer, Group Leader, Process Engineering and Automation, Roche Colorado

Co-op Key Contacts

Aerospace Engineering
Joe Tanner
303-492-1486

Chemical and Biological Engineering
Wendy Young
303-492-8721
More info >

Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
Matt Morris
303-492-0468

Computer Science
Judy Stafford
303-492-1970

Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering
VACANT

Mechanical Engineering
Jeffrey Knutsen
303-492-2416

International Co-ops
Karey Sabol, Director of International Programs
303-492-7674

All Other Majors and Co-op Program Oversight
Dan Watson, Academic Programs Coordinator
ECAD 100B
303-492-4404

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