Cooperative Education Program
Links for current co-op students:
Work Session Report
For more information contact:
Mechanical Engineering Technology
Cooperative Education Program
- Application Process
- CO-OP Information
- Typical Technology CO-OP Jobs
- CO-OP Eligibility
- Getting The CO-OP Job
- CO-OP Class/Work Schedules
- Rules of the Game
- Advantages For You
- CO-OP Coordinators
- Current CO-Op Companies
Cooperative education brings together the worlds of education and work. Co-Op students alternate sessions of full-time work with semesters of full-time study. On-the-job, they apply classroom theory to workplace production projects. As they work with professionals, they learn about the potential for their chosen careers. In the classroom, work experience makes theory meaningful.
Although programs vary in size and scope between departments, all have one goal: to provide an opportunity for students to gain relevant work experience and to understand the role of the professional in business and industry.
In the College of Technology, Cooperative Education Programs are administered by departmental coordinators who help students locate jobs, schedule interviews, provide course and career counseling, and may visit students on the job site. They maintain regular communication with the employer and help employers and students establish a mutually beneficial relationship.
Technology students often find that by integrating classroom and laboratory instruction with related work experience, their job marketability increases greatly. These students have the experience that employers look for---and often do not find---in recent graduates.
Cooperative education provides a valuable opportunity for students, industry and the university to work together for their mutual benefit while meeting their individual goals and objectives.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology offers a practical curriculum focusing on the application of scientific and engineering principles of manufacturing, manufacturing processes, quality control, materials, and cost analysis. Two programs are offered: mechanical engineering technology and Manufacturing Engineering Technology.
The MET student focuses on product development while the MFET student concentrates on automated manufacturing techniques. This knowledge enables him/her to resolve production problems and prepares him/her to apply the latest technology. A MET/MFET education gives the graduate the flexibility to pursue a wide variety of career options.
Specific jobs depend upon the student's discipline and the employer who hires him/her. But, most Co-Op students find themselves doing what a recent graduate might do or assisting a professional. In either case, the student has the opportunity of observing, or being, a professional in action.
Mechanical Engineering Technology: act as maintenance manager, product line supervisor, quality control inspector, mechanical laboratory technician, tooling designer, draftsman, technical service representative, technical writer, and manufacturing process controller.
Positions and responsibilities change through the course of the program as the Co-Op's education progresses and s/he can handle increased diversity and responsibility on the job.
The Cooperative Education program is voluntary and open to students who meet specific criteria set by the department. Acceptance into the program does not guarantee placement at a specific company. Academic credit for Co-Op work experience is available in all disciplines and is graded on the same scale as other classes and satisfies MET/MFET elective credit. Once accepted into the professional practice program, students register for the appropriate cooperative education course and pay the registration fee for each work session. By doing so, they maintain full-time student status while away on work assignments. Income received while on Co-Op work sessions is exempt from consideration in financial aid decisions.
Note: GPA (Grade Point Index) is based on the standard Purdue 4.0 scale.
Mechanical Engineering Technology and Manufacturing Engineering Technology: MET/MFET students in the program must have and maintain a minimum 2.8 GPA. Before entering the program, they must have completed at least 2, but not more than 4, semesters of academic work including the courses required in the first semester of MET.
Students interview for Co-Op positions just as any job seeker. Prospective employers are University-approved and, at their discretion, interview either on campus or at their place of business.
Co-Op employers base their selection on their companies' needs, the needs of the students, and the degree to which they will benefit from each other. Offers are generally extended in the middle or late spring but may be tendered in the fall also. Each candidate is free to accept or reject any offer.
Once a student is hired, the Co-Op coordinator works closely with both student and employer to set up a work program to the benefit of both.
Typically, students enter the Co-Op program at the end of the freshman year and begin the first work session either in the summer or the fall, depending upon the needs of the employer. However, this can vary with the sponsoring department. In CPT students enter during or after their sophomore year.
Sessions of employment alternate with semesters of study until the student has completed four or more semesters of employment with the norm as five. The pattern may vary according to the needs of the employer and the student; however any variation must meet with the approval of the coordinator.
The student may choose an optional sixth session; however, she/he will qualify for a University-issued Co-Op certificate at the completion of the fourth work session. In addition, students receive University credit as follows: one credit per session for the first four work sessions, and one to two credits for the optional fifth session.
Co-Op students usually take an additional year to complete the Bachelor's degree program but students may be able to reduce this by taking evening courses during work sessions or by attending summer school at an accredited institution.
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Once you become a Co-Op student, you will continue with your chosen employer throughout the entire program. Neither you nor your employer will be permitted to alter the program without adequate cause and written approval from your Co-Op Coordinator.
Although neither you nor your employer are obliged to continue your working relationship after graduation, approximately two-thirds of our Co-Op students accept permanent employment with their Co-Op employers upon the completion of the five years.
After qualifying for the Co-Op Program your first year, you continue to be eligible to remain in the program by maintaining satisfactory academic and work records, and by abiding by all company rules and regulations. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic standards, presently a GPA of 2.8 or better, will result in probation and possible termination from the Co-Op Program.
While you are away from campus on your work assignment, you will be registered for a course at Purdue, for which you will be charged a fee each term. This fee covers part of the added cost to the University of administering this special program. For 1994 the Co-Op Fee is approximately $380.00 per work session. At the end of each work session, you will submit a written report of the work you performed and the evaluations of your work session to your Co-Op Coordinator.
As a Co-Op student you will have the opportunity to:
- apply the fundamental principles and theories you have learned in the Purdue classroom to actual technology engineering programs--making your academic work more meaningful. Your assignments will not consist of "make-work" projects, but will be challenging projects necessary to the operation of your employer's business.
- get to know and work with professional engineers in real problem-solving situations.
- learn to work with and understand people at all levels of the employment environment.
- learn some of the many and diverse functions that technologists perform. In this way you may develop your own interests and abilities along certain channels. This experience will help you choose electives in your senior year.
- lessen the adjustment from academic to professional life.
- learn to know more about yourself. In a work environment you gain insights into your ability to work better as an individual or in a group-orientated career.