Student Co-op Information

Career Services
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Benefits of Co-op

  • Springboard your professional career while in college, preparing you for your career
  • Develop career readiness skills in the workplace by working in professional positions with job duties and projects related to your area of study
  • Gain confidence in your skills and abilities in your area of study
  • Graduate from college and enter the workplace as a critical thinker, globally aware, confident, and self-directed learner
  • Build a stronger resume with industry related work experience
  • Students who complete a Co-op are fully prepared to engage in, contribute to and become leaders in the global workforce.
  • Improve your employability,  and increase the odds of landing a position prior to graduation

Search for a Co-op Position

  1. Develop an effective resume and cover letter and expand your job search strategies by utilizing our employment guide and other office resources. j
  2. UW-Stout receives hundreds of Co-op positions each year. Search positions approved for your major 24/7 in CareerLink
  3. Attend Career Conference and other on-campus recruitment/networking events.

Salary and Enrollment Statistics 

Register for a Co-op Course

UW-Stout Career Services coordinates co-op registration for all majors. 

 

What is cooperative education (co-op)?

Co-op is an educational program in which students obtain paid work experience in a position related to their academic and/or career interests working a minimum of 320 hours within a semester. This experience provides an integrated learning experience that enhances both the academic experience and career development.

Am I eligible for Co-op?

Students eligible for Co-op will have:

  • Completed a minimum of one semester of full-time coursework at UW-Stout (12 Credits)
  • Enrolled in an academic undergraduate or graduate program/major
  • Be in good academic standing (2.0 GPA)
How many credits will I take and what are the fees?

Credits earned per term (semester/summer) range from one to six depending on the length of time, program requirements, and intensity of experience. Prior to registering students will meet with their faculty mentor regarding credit requirements.

Fees will be like any other academic course, you will pay the per credit fee.

Will I Be Considered A Full-Time Student While On A Co-op?

To be considered for full-time student status, a Co-op student must work 40 or more hours per week at their Co-op and be registered for Co-op credits (course ending in XXX-X49).

Can I Keep My Current Health Insurance While On A Co-op?

Check with your insurance company to see if they need full-time student status documentation. Documentation can be provided by contacting the Career Services office.

What Do I Do About Housing?

Students must plan ahead to avoid conflicts with on-campus or off-campus rental contracts. Housing and living expenses while on a Co-op are the responsibility of the Co-op student. Some employers assist with locating housing and/or housing/relocation expenses.

How long is a co-op?

A Co-op experience is usually a full-time position, one semester and/or summer in length. Some employers prefer two term positions, January through August, or May through December. Some students complete two or more Co-op experiences with the same employer at upgraded levels, alternating with a semester on campus. The number of Co-op experiences varies from one to several.

A parallel Co-op, consisting of combining part-time work with part-time school, is possible when Co-ops are within commuting distance of UW-Stout.

How will I be evaluated?

Both the university and the employer evaluate the Co-op student. It is important for the student to have ongoing communication between the supervisor and their University faculty mentor. The faculty mentor assigns the final grade. The grade is A-F and will impact the students GPA.

What does UW-Stout do to prepare students for co-op?

Career Services hopes to begin working with students freshmen year to cover topics such as job searching basics, resume writing, interviewing skills, networking and professional etiquette in the workplace. Many programs/majors across campus integrate these topics into their curriculum. Career Services provides workshops, mock interview sessions, individual counseling, and also hosts several on-campus recruitment events and networking events with employers.

Do students work full-time and take classes at the same time

Most co-op positions require full-time work. It is unlikely for a student to enroll in other classes while working a full-time Co-op position. Students working part-time often enroll in classes at UW-Stout while completing their co-op.

Are students required to work in Menomonie, WI?

Co-op jobs are available in most states and sometimes even internationally. While many students work in Wisconsin and Minnesota, we encourage students to be flexible about the location in order to ensure the best possible experience and future career paths.

What happens if a student doesn’t get a co-op?

There are a large number of co-op jobs available to students and the Career Services staff will work closely with the student to help them secure a position. However, in rare cases, due to market conditions, economic circumstances or other factors, a student may not get a co-op job in a given semester. In that case and depending on their field of study and program, they may return to classes and begin the process of applying for co-op jobs for the next semester.

Are students required to participate in co-op?

Co-op is the cornerstone for many UW-Stout programs.  The majority of students participate in the co-op program and several programs require it for graduation.  Learn more about our academic programs here.

Will Co-op extend my graduation timeline?

Program directors or your faculty mentor must be included in all phases of planning and completing the Co-op experience to ensure that program requirements are met. Lengthy or multiple Co-op experiences usually extend the time required to earn a four-year degree. The extended time is more than often offset by the salary earned while participating in a Co-op experience. The experience provides a competitive edge in the job market.