Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - Student Information

  1. How does a student qualify for a cooperative education learning experience?
  2. How do I add a cooperative education class?
  3. What is the difference between cooperative education and college work study?
  4. Am I required to take other credit classes while I'm enrolled in a co-op class?
  5. How many co-op credits should I take?
  6. How many placements can a student have per school year?
  7. Are all co-op jobs paid?
  8. What kinds of co-op placements are available?
  9. Will my current job qualify as a Cooperative Education position?
  10. Must I be currently employed to enroll in Cooperative Education?
  11. Is cooperative education a graded course?
  12. Am I required to pay for cooperative education credits?
  13. Will cooperative education credits transfer to other colleges?
  14. Do VA benefits apply?

1. How does a student qualify for a cooperative education learning experience?

Each program and area of study has its own qualification guidelines. Students should meet with the cooperative education coordinator in their area of study to learn the specific course or GPA requirements necessary for field placement. You do not have to be enrolled as a full-time student to participate in cooperative education.

2. How do I add a cooperative education class?

Cooperative education classes are listed in the class schedule like any other class. All cooperative education courses are identified by "280" in the course number with the words "Co-op Ed" in the course name (for example CH280 Co-op Ed: Chemistry).

Cooperative education is open entry in most areas. You may register for co-op until the eighth week of the term with the permission of the your program's co-op coordinator.

3. What is the difference between cooperative education and college work study?

Cooperative education (co-op) is an academic class that offers college credit for learning that takes place in a business or organization and is related to your educational or career goal. College Work Study (CWS) is a financial aid program that provides job placements, primarily on campus, with wages that are subsidized by federal funding.

If your CWS job requires skills relevant to your academic/career goals, you may be eligible to also receive Co-op credit for your CWS job. To find out if your CWS job qualifies for Co-op, meet with the co-op coordinator assigned to your academic department.

4. Am I required to take other credit classes while I'm enrolled in a co-op class?

You are not required to take other classes while enrolled in co-op however, most students find that a co-op class can fit into their schedules. Consult with your academic advisor and the co-op coordinator in your program or area of study to set up a class schedule that fits your needs.

5. How many co-op credits should I take?

For most programs, one co-op credit is awarded for each 36 hours you work. The number of credits you earn each term is determined by the number of documented hours at an approved internship site. A minimum of three co-op credits is usually required each term. Many professional/technical programs require a specific number of credits. Students can use co-op credit to fulfill elective credit requirements in their degree or certificate programs. A maximum of 18 credits may be applied toward your degree or program certificate.

6. How many placements can a student have per school year?

Co-op is available every term, including summer. In some situations you may be encouraged to work two terms with the same co-op employer before considering a new placement and in other situations you may be encouraged to change sites each term. Placement changes must be discussed with your co-op coordinator to establish that the placement meets educational and program guidelines.

7. Are all co-op jobs paid?

Your coordinator continuously works with employers to provide students with co-op positions. Securing a paid placement is dependent upon availability.

If you are currently employed or seeking employment, you may be able to receive co-op credit for new knowledge and skills, providing that it is related to your career or major. Some College Work Study (CWS) positions also qualify for Co-op credit. Discuss your job with your coordinator to see if it qualifies.

8. What kinds of co-op placements are available?

Cooperative Education classes are offered in almost all LCC academic and professional technical programs. More than 800 employers/organizations in Lane County hire co-op students. Co-op placements also extend beyond our local community. Statewide, national and international placements are available.

9. Will my current job qualify as a Cooperative Education position?

Under specific circumstances a current job may qualify as a cooperative education position. Your job must relate to your field of study and be flexible enough to allow you new learning experiences. Many students have used full and part-time positions as cooperative education positions. The key to all cooperative education is in the learning that takes place on the job and how that relates to your program of study at Lane. Cooperative education credits cannot be earned for prior work experience.

10. Must I be currently employed to enroll in Cooperative Education?

The Co-op Coordinator works in partnership with you to locate a work-based learning site related to your major or career. You may be expected to do some searching on your own in addition to the effort put forth by the coordinator, especially if you have specific wage requirements. You should expect to go through an interview and selection process. You may be required by the placement site to provide a resume, transcripts, medical information, take a drug test, agree to a criminal background check, or sign a confidentiality agreement whether the position is paid or non-paid.

Students who are required to take Cooperative Education for their degree or who are interested in incorporating Cooperative Education into their college program should discuss it with their program counselor or advisor, and the Cooperative Education Coordinator to plan the best term for registration. You should meet with the Cooperative Education Coordinator in your program area several months before the term you plan to begin working; this will allow time to identify a learning site and for interviewing or other pre-co-op activities to take place.

11. Is cooperative education a graded course?

Yes, co-op is graded and uses the same A-F (as well as plus and minus if the faculty so chooses) system of other Lane classes. Your term grade is determined by your cooperative education coordinator and is based on your performance at the work site, your site supervisor's evaluation, and your class assignments.

12. Am I required to pay for cooperative education credits?

Cooperative Education courses are approved college level courses. Therefore, students participating in co-op pay for credits in which they enroll.

13. Will cooperative education credits transfer to other colleges?

The number of co-op credits that will transfer varies by college. All four-year public colleges and universities in the State of Oregon accept co-op credits as electives. Many private educational institutions will also accept co-op credits. It is advisable to contact the private institution directly to verify its transfer policy. Up to eighteen credits of cooperative education can transfer as electives under the Oregon Associate of Arts Transfer (AAOT) degree guidelines

14. Do VA benefits apply?

Approval of cooperative education courses for veteran's benefits is the same as other courses in your approved curriculum. If co-op is required or an approved elective in your program of study, then it will be approved. Veterans should check with Lane's Veteran's Office if questions arise.