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COOPERATIVE EDUCATION. FAQ. What is Cooperative Education?. It is called “Cooperative Education” because the program establishes a three-way relationship between the student, . the college, . and the employer . . This structured relationship allows students to create

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what is cooperative education
What is Cooperative Education?

It is called “Cooperative Education”

because the program establishes

a three-way relationship between

the student,

  • the college,

and the employer.


This structured relationship

allows students to create

short and long-range career goals

and to recognize his/her progress

by establishing three measurable

learning objectives for the semester.


Cooperative Education provides

a practical learning model for students

and helps them prepare for their future careers

through the integration of the on-the-job

learning experiences and academic classroom lessons.


By integrating both study and work,

each area should become more relevant,

interesting, and rewarding.

how do i qualify for coop ed
How do I qualify for Coop. Ed.?

You must be working, interning or volunteering

during the semester in which you are enrolled in Coop. Ed.

and you must also be enrolled in and complete

at least one additional class (besides Coop. Ed.),

at an accredited college or university.

(no credit is available for past experience)

The additional class requirement

is waived for the

Summer and Winter Sessions.

how is grading calculated
How is Grading Calculated?

Grading is based on a “point” system.

This is a combination of

the student’s evaluation and

homework scores.

how does the point system work
How Does the Point System Work?

First time students are required to attend 2 seminars

(Job Searching & Career Advancement)

Each seminar will include 2 homework assignments

(Total of 4 assignments)

Each assignment is worth up to 20 points

(Total of up to 80 points possible)


Second, third and fourth time students

are given a written assignment.

This assignment is worth

up to 80 points.


Each student is evaluated

by their employer/supervisor.

This evaluation is worth

up to 100 points.


The student’s homework scores are added

to their employer evaluation score

to get a final total score.

A student can earn up to 180 points.

Below is the breakdown:

153 – 180 points = A

126 – 152 points = B

108 – 125 points = C

90 – 107 points = D

80 and under = F

how do i earn my units
How do I earn my units?

You must learn three (3) new skills at your worksite

during the course of the semester.

If your job is related to your major

and you wish to receive elective credit in your major,

all 3 objectives must relate to your major.


If your job is not major related,

objectives need only be new learning experiences.

All 1st time Coop Ed students must attend

two (2) seminars offered during the semester.

All 2nd, 3rd and 4th time Coop. Ed. students

are given a written assignment that is due

near the end of the semester.

what are learning objectives
What are “Learning Objectives?”

Learning Objectives are the goals developed

between you and your supervisor

that must be accomplished by you

no later than the date specified,

which is near the end of the semester..


You and your supervisor should discuss and decide

on what three objectives you are to accomplish

by the due date.

Each objective needs to take

between 16-20 hours to complete.

These objectives will form the basis for the grade

your supervisor will be asked to give you

at the end of the semester.


These proposed objectives must be submitted

at the time of the initial meeting with

the Coop. Ed. Director.

Once your objectives have been approved,

you will be given an Expectations Contract

for you and your supervisor to sign.

This signed Contract must be returned

to our office within two days.

what is the difference between major units and general units
What is the difference between Major units and General units?

Cooperative Education units are used as elective credit

in your major if your job is related to your major.

You must declare a

Career Technical Education (CTE) major

to earn elective credit.

If your job is unrelated to your major

or you are an undecided major,

the units you earn are considered Generalunits.

what are these units good for
What are these units good for?

These units can be used to complete

required number of units to graduate

and / or complete general education requirements.


Example: You need 62 units to graduate.

You've completed all required classes

and you only have 56 units.

You' re short 6 units.

The General Cooperative Education units you earn

can be used to fill in for the units you're short.

can i transfer these units to a university
Can I transfer these units to a university?

These units are transferable

only to the CSU system.

California State Universities

(Northridge, Fresno, etc.)

how many units can i transfer
How many units can I transfer?

If the units earned are CTE major-related,

you can earn up to 4 units of credit each semester

for up to 4 semesters.

That’s up to 16 units possible.

You can transfer up to 12 of those units.


If you are enrolled in General units,

you can earn up to 6 units of credit

in the course of 2 semesters.

You can transfer up to 6 units.

how many times can i take coop ed
How many times can I take Coop. Ed.?

You can take Coop. Ed. up to 4 semesters

if you are earning college credit in your CTE major.

You can take Coop. Ed. up to 2 semesters

if you are earning General credit.

The maximum number of times

you can enroll in Coop. Ed. is 4 times.

how do you determine the number of units i qualify for
How do you determine the number of units I qualify for?

The total work hours you complete

determines the number of units you earn.

If your job is related to your CTE major,

the most units you can earn in one semester is 4.


If your job is unrelated

and you're earning General units,

the most you can get for the semester is 3.


Hours and Units for paid positions

are as follows:

Working 75 to 149 hours total for the semester

would get you 1 unit;

150 to 224 hours total = 2 units;

225 to 299 hours total = 3 units;

300 + hours total = 4 units.


Internship / Volunteer positions:

The total hours worked

determines the number of units you qualify for.

Working 60 to 119 hours total earns you one (1) unit.

120 to 179 hours total = 2 units;

180 to 239 hours total = 3 units;

240 + hours total = 4 units.

how do you determine if the units will be in my major
How do you determine if the units will be in my major?

If your job is related to your declared CTE major,

you will earn units in your major

as long as the 3 new skills you learn (objectives)

are directly applicable to major.

what happens if i quit or get fired
What happens if I quit or get fired?

If you've completed your three objectives

you will still get a grade

but the number of units you applied for

may be affected by the loss of hours.

A Section Transfer may be required

to change the number of units and finalize your grade.

This form must be signed by you and submitted

no later than the 12th week of the semester

(for Fall and Spring)


If you haven't completed the objectives at your job

prior to your termination,

then there is no basis for a grade

so you will have to drop the class to avoid failing.

Remember to inform the Coop. Ed. office

of any changes in employment.

what if i get a new supervisor
What if I get a new supervisor?

Notify our office of the change immediately

and make sure the new supervisor is aware of the program.

Inform the new supervisor what your objectives are

so that when the visitation and evaluation take place,

your supervisor will be familiar with them.

what if i get a new job
What if I get a new job?

Notify us of the change immediately.

If you've completed the objectives

with your former employer, then all you have to do

is come in and fill out an application

with your new employment information

so that your hours will still accumulate.

Otherwise we will only total the hours worked

at your former job and this may cause a reduction in units.


If you haven't completed the objectives,

you will need to set up different ones

with your new supervisor

(1-3 objectives, depending upon if you have completed

any objectives with previous employer).

Please let us know of any changes so that the evaluation and visitation will be done at the proper location.

how do you know if i was at a seminar
How do you know if I was at a seminar?

There will be a sign-in sheet passed around

in the beginning of the seminar.

Your signature is proof that you were there.

If you forget to sign, you will not get credit for it.

Students who arrive late to a seminar will not be let in.

If you leave before a seminar is over,

you will not get credit.

this is my second third fourth time taking coop ed do i still have to attend the seminars
This is my second (third, fourth) time taking Coop. Ed. Do I still have to attend the seminars?

If you have already taken the seminars

as a first time Coop. Ed. student,

then, as a repeat Coop. Ed. student

you have a written assignment to turn in.

This will be given to you

when your Coop. Ed. Application Packet

and Objectives are approved.

what if i had an incomplete the previous semester and i want to enroll as a second timer
What if I had an "incomplete" the previous semester and I want to enroll as a second timer?

You have one year

to take care of the incomplete.

Meanwhile, you can sign up

as a repeat student.

can i get credit for an internship or volunteer position
Can I get credit for an internship or volunteer position?


Many employers who have internship positions

require students to earn units for them.

what qualifies as an internship
What Qualifies as an “Internship?”

According to the Department of Labor,

there are six criteria

differentiating between

an employee and an intern:

criteria 1
Criteria #1

The training, even though it includes

actual operations of the facilities of the employers,

is similar to that which would be

given in a vocational school.

criteria 2
Criteria #2

The training is for

the benefit of the student.

criteria 3
Criteria #3

The student does not displace a regular employee,

but works under the close observation

of a regular employee or supervisor.

criteria 4
Criteria #4

The employer provides the training

and derives no immediate advantage from the activities

of the student; and on occasion,

the operations may actually be impeded

by the training.

criteria 5
Criteria #5

The student is not necessarily entitled to a job

at the conclusion of the training period.

criteria 6
Criteria #6

The employer and the student understand

that the student is not entitled to wages

for the time spent training.

what qualifies as volunteerism
What Qualifies as Volunteerism?

The Federal Department of Labor (DOL)

Wage and Hour Division has recognized that

a person may volunteer time to religious, charitable, civic, humanitarian, or similar non-profit organizations

as a public service and not be covered by the FLSA.

Such a person volunteers freely for such organizations without compensation or expectation of compensation.


Such activities are described by the DOL as

“ordinary volunteerism.”

In determining whether an activity is

“ordinary volunteerism,” the DOL considers

a variety of factors, including:

Nature of the entity receiving the services (nonprofit, for instance)

Compensation of any sort (such as money, room & board, perks, etc.)

Expectations of benefits in the future

Whether the activity is less than a full-time occupation


Whether regular employees are displaced

Whether the services are offered freely without pressure or coercion, and

Whether the services are of the kind typically associated

with volunteer work.

If an individual volunteers in a part of a nonprofit

which is commercial and that serves the public,

such as stores or restaurants,

the DOL does not recognize them as volunteers

for FLSA purposes.


For more information please visit our website at

Or call 818-947-2334

Monday to Friday

8:00 am – 12 noon &

1:00 – 4:30 pm