Co-op FAQ | Career Exploration and Development | Kent State University

Co-op FAQ

What is Cooperative Education (co-op)?

Cooperative Education is an academic focused program which allows students to obtain professional work experience while still in college. It is a unique opportunity for students to apply their academic preparation to "real world" settings and situations. Co-op programs provide students the opportunity to combine classroom study with periods of paid professional employment directly related to a student's major and career goals.

Who can participate in a co-op?

Co-op is available to all undergraduate KSU students, in any major, who meet the eligibility requirements.

What are the eligibility requirements?
  • Enrollment as a full-time student
  • Admitted to a degree program
  • Minimum cumulative 2.75 GPA at time of co-op application
  • No holds on student's record from any source (financial, academic, conduct)
  • Cooperative education position must directly relate to student's major or concentration
  • Completion of two semesters (one semester for transfer students) at Kent State prior to the first co-op rotation
What is the difference between a co-op and an internship?

Co-ops are full time paid positions in their field of study. The student works for the employer during the semester and is discouraged from taking any other classes.  While on the co-op, students retain their status as a full time student and can utilize select KSU services. Full time status allows them to maintain benefits such as: medical insurance, student loan deferment and income earned is not included on FAFSA.

Internships can be paid or unpaid. Students typically are enrolled in classes and complete the internship on a part time basis. Income earned is included on FAFSA.

If I participate in the program, will I need to make-up the semester?

It depends. Each student entering the program will bring different credentials.  Typically, since a high percentage of co-op students have employment at their graduation, considerable amount of time is saved by not having to conduct a job search after graduation. 

How can I make-up the semester and graduate on time?

Students are encouraged to meet with their academic adviser to review their academic record and determine how many courses are needed to fulfill requirements for graduation. Options for making up time include:

  • Taking additional classes/credit hours during the remaining semesters
  • Considering summer school
Do I have to pay tuition during the co-op program?

No, students do not pay tuition during the co-op, but do retain their full-time student status.  The fee for the Co-op program is $500. 

Do students have to work in Northeast Ohio?

No, students can work anywhere during their co-op.  Many co-op employers do exist in the Northeast Ohio area, but it is up to the students to decide when and where they wish to complete a co-op experience. 

Are there other requirements for the co-op?

Yes. All students participating in a co-op will complete a mid-semester assessment, and a final assessment of the experience.  The assessments help to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and the experiences had.