The Cooperative Education (co-op) program supplements formal classroom education with on-the-job experience in a variety of academic disciplines, typically within the timeframe of an academic semester. Co-op assignments are at least 180 hours where students receive pay for the work they do, earn academic credit for documented learning derived from their experiences, and are evaluated by employers and the co-op instructor. Students may earn a maximum of nine credits for cooperative work experience, which may be applied toward certain degree requirements.

Both part-time and full-time co-op work schedules are available and can be coordinated with students’ academic schedules.

To participate in the Cooperative Education work experience program, students must:

  • Be a current Tri-C student studying for a degree or certificate;
  • Have completed 12 or more credits of college-level coursework (transfer credits included);
  • Have successfully completed at least two courses related to the major field or have equivalent experience (subject to the employer’s requirements);
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better;
  • Complete the co-op application and orientation process;
  • Complete three job readiness workshops (Resumes That Get Results, Ace That Interview and Classroom to Career: Workplace Skills for Success);
  • Complete and sign an experiential learning agreement;
  • Enroll in the designated co-op course section by the start date.

The benefits of cooperative education include paid, hands-on experience in the field of study before graduation, the ability to earn academic credit in the major, and the opportunity to network with employers. Contact the Career Center at 866-933-5180 or visit for more information.