Cooperative Education is a unique component of education that benefits students, employers and the university. It provides opportunities for students to supplement classroom learning with work experience so that they will be better prepared for meaningful careers. The combination of academics and career-related work strengthens the students collegiate experience and enhance their values as permanent employers upon graduation.
History of Cooperative Education
Cooperative Education was founded in 1906 at the University of Cincinnati by engineering faculty member Herman Schneider. It was called "Cooperative Plan of Education" because it reacquainted the cooperation of both educators and employers. Dr. Schneider made two basic observations about education from which co-op evolved:
Classroom education can never hope to teach all the elements of knowledge required for a successful career in any profession. Since the high cost of education is a problem in the country, most students must work part time while attending classes in order to earn a portion of the cost of their education. So why shouldn't these part-time work experiences be quality experience? Due to combined efforts of the National Commission of Cooperative Education and the pressures of society co-op programs have boomed. One reason for this dramatic increase was congressional legislation enacted in 1968 to support the development of Cooperation Education program.
Schedules and Work Plans
Savannah State University operates on a semester system and offers three work periods during the year:
- Fall - late August through mid-December
- Spring - early January through late April
- Summer - mid-May through mid-August
Cooperative Education Work Plans
Alternate Plan allows a student to rotate full-time work with full-time academic semesters.
Parallel Plan allows a student to attend classes part of the day and work the remainder of the day. A minimum of 20 hours is allowed and the student must be enrolled at SSU. These jobs are within the Savannah/Chatham County region.
Prerequisites for Cooperative Education Participation
Must be enrolled full-time at SSU.
Must have completed 30 semester hours.
Must declare a major and have an overall GPA of 2.5.
Must be willing to co-op at least two work semester rotations.
Some employers require a higher GPA and up to four work semesters.
Enrollment in Cooperative Education
Complete an application for the Cooperative Education Program.
Schedule an appointment with the Coordinator.
Prepare a resume to place on file with Cooperation Education.
How Cooperative Education Differs From Internships Most Intern positions, as opposed to Cooperative Education positions, provide a one time (usually one semester) opportunity for students to utilize their academic training in a work setting.
- Salaried, volunteer, or stipend-paid
- Academic credit or non-credit
- Located anywhere - business, industry, state or federal government non-profit institutions, etc.
- Co-op positions generally require 2 or more work semesters and are always salaried.
How To Start A Cooperative Education Program
Contact the Cooperative Education office at Savannah State University to receive credentials (resume and transcripts) on qualified students in the majors you wish to consider.
The work of the Cooperative Education student should be career related and expose the students to practical experience in the areas related to their major and or field of interest.