What is Cooperative Education and Internship Program?
The NDSU Career Center defines Cooperative Education and Internship positions as career-related, paid work experiences taken for academic credit. Employers hire Cooperative Education and Internship students to achieve company goals by providing work opportunities to students who apply current skills to the position that is offered.
What are the benefits of hosting a Cooperative Education and Internship student?
- Hosting a Cooperative Education and Internship student is a solid recruiting investment. Many of the employers who hire NDSU students for Co-op/Intern assignments consider offering them full-time employment when they graduate.
- Cooperative Education and Internship students can work on short-term or specialized projects and free your current staff for other responsibilities.
- Employers often say that Cooperative Education and Internship students bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to your team. Students also give you a link to the current curricula and advances in your field or industry.
- Employers can increase workforce diversity by utilizing the Cooperative Education and Internship Program.
- Current employees are allowed to build supervisory skills.
- Participating in Cooperative Education and Internship can increase visibility for your organization, products, and services on the NDSU campus. Employers also create a pipeline for additional candidates and increase retention rate through returning students.
- Students are provided with real world experience, creating a smooth transition to full time employment.
“Bobcat Company continues to recruit NDSU students for Co-op positions because of the quality of students and their strong educational background by which they continue to contribute and strengthen Bobcat Company business.”
Recruiting & Staffing Specialist
What Are the Expectations of a Cooperative Education and Internship Employer?
Employers agree to:
- Pay the student a wage.
- Accept qualified students and assign jobs without regard to age, race, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or color.
- Notify the Career Center of any performance issues and/or concerns.
- Employ the student in a position that provides career-related work experience, while supervising and evaluating his/her work performance.
- Pay students a wage that meets or exceeds your state's minimum wage.
- Employ the student under the same working conditions and rules that govern other employees, including worker’s compensation.
- Notify the Career Center when the student is hired for a Cooperative Education and Internship assignment that was posted on CAREERlink or the applicant was accessed through Career Center resources.
What Kinds Of Jobs Are Appropriate Cooperative Education and Internship?
- Managerial, professional or technical jobs are applicable to Cooperative Education/Internships.
- We expect students to be treated as pre-professionals utilizing the skills they are learning in the classroom on Cooperative Education and Internship assignments.
When Can A Student Work On Cooperative Education and Internship?
- Parallel: Students work part time with a local employer and still take classes at NDSU.
- Alternating: Students alternate between attending classes on campus full time for a semester and working full time on a Co-op/Intern assignment for a semester.
- One Semester: Students work on a Co-op/Intern assignment for one semester only.
- Consecutive: Students work 2 or 3 semesters in a row. Co-op/Intern assignments may be completed during any semester. Summer semester is a very popular time to do a Co-op/Internship.
What If We Don't Have A Formal Cooperative Education and Internship Program?
- Many employers do not have a formal or ongoing Cooperative Education and Internship program; rather, they are hiring one student for one work assignment.
- If you are reviewing the option of beginning a Cooperative Education and Internship program, it may be advisable to start by employing one student to determine the level of mentoring needed to make it a successful experience.
How Do We Get Started?
- It's very simple to become a Cooperative Education and Internship employer.
- Develop a job description that details what the Co-op/Intern student will be doing in your organization.
- Determine the salary that will be offered. Contact the Cooperative Education and Internship staff to discuss salary averages.
- Log on to CAREERlink to post the position or call 701.231.7111 to begin the hiring process.
How Do We Make Our Cooperative Education and Internship Job Attractive?
- Write a detailed job description so students have an understanding of the position they are applying to.
- Pay for the academic credits associated with the experience.
- Because NDSU students earn credit for Cooperative Education and Internships, they are responsible for the cost of those credits. One of the strongest recruiting tools an employer has is to pay the cost of the Co-op/Intern credits in order to compete for the most sought after students.
- A number of Cooperative Education and Internship employers make the investment in NDSU students by paying the cost of the credits students earn on Cooperative Education and Internship.
- Make sure the salary you are considering is competitive with the prevailing market. Contact the Career Center if you have questions on the average salaries in your industry.
- Increase visibility on campus through informational meetings and attendance at recruiting events sponsored by NDSU.
- Consider taking a more liberal view of application requirements. While company application, cover letter, high GPA, transcript, year in school, and academic major can help you in the screening process, requiring all of these things may serve as a barrier to some qualified students who may not apply. The less you restrict application standards, the wider your pool of applicants.
- Some employers offer the benefits beyond salary that may include:
- Similar benefits to Cooperative Education and Internship students offered to full-time employees, assistance in finding housing, give a housing allowance or furnish housing for remote assignments.
How Do We List A Cooperative Education and Internship Job?
- Paid Cooperative Education and Internship positions can be approved through our electronic recruiting system, the CAREERlink system developed by NACElink.
- Employers can register "new" or access NDSU CAREERlink here.
- Once a new or updated employer profile is completed, click on "Jobs" (located at the top of the toolbar).
- Click on "Add New" and complete the required fields to "Submit" your job(s).
- You will be notified within one business day by email confirmation once approved.
Note: Employers without access to the Internet may call the Career Center Recruiting Coordinator at 701-231-8464.
How can my ND Technology company receive funding for a co-op/intern student?
The Students in Technology Transfer and Research (STTAR) program places upper division college students with North Dakota firms to address science and technology problems.
To apply for STTAR support, companies complete a brief form indicating how students will make a contribution to company performance, products, or processes using science and technology. Companies pay at least half of the students' salaries.
For more information please see:
When Are Staff Available?
- Staff are available from 8-5, Monday through Friday. Summer office hours are 7:30-4.
- Call 701.231.7111 to discuss your needs with a staff member.
Additionally, our electronic system, CAREERlink allows registered employers access to the recruiting activities of the NDSU Career Center 7 days a week, 24 hours a day via the web.