Cooperative Education Program (Students)

The Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program allows students to gain "real world" work experience with area employers, while earning academic credit at Southwest. In order to qualify, students must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, have completed 12 college-level credit hours and be employed in a position related to their major prior to enrolling in a Co-op course. Students already working in a position related to their major should obtain a brief job description signed by their supervisor and bring it to Career Services, prior to enrollment. Students seeking employment related to their major should visit Career Services for job search assistance at least one semester prior to enrolling in Co-op. Once enrolled, students will complete a total of 225 work hours during the semester and earn a grade-based 80 percent on their job performance and 20 percent on a student synthesis paper. To learn more about the Co-op Program and gain approval for participation, students should contact Career Services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning the Co-op Program are listed below.

What are the benefits?

The benefits of Cooperative Education are:

  • Gain real-world work experience related to your major
  • Discover if you have selected the right major before you graduate
  • Earn additional or substitute credit
  • Network with professionals in your field
  • Qualify for higher paying jobs upon graduation because of experience
  • Cooperative Education looks great on your college transcript and resume

Is Cooperative Education the same as an Internship?

Cooperative Education positions are always paid, Internship positions can be paid or unpaid.

How do I sign up for Cooperative Education?

If you already have a job related to your major, get a brief job description from your boss and have the chairperson of your degree program approve (initial) the job description and bring it to Career Services.

If you do not have a job related to your major and would like to find one, please bring a copy of your resume to Career Services so that it can be reviewed. We also encourage you to check out our current full-time and part-time job listings, which are updated weekly. Any job related to your major may be considered for academic credit.

For more information contact Career Services.

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