Frequently Asked Questions about Co-op Internship

Co-op Internship Program

The Cooperative Education Internship Program at WCSU provides students with an opportunity to gain career-related experience in their field of study while also earning academic credit and, in most situations, a competitive salary. The "hands-on" experience through co-op internship provides practical experience prior to graduation and an effective career planning tool for participating students.

Undergraduate students at Western who have earned at least 45 credits in good academic standing are eligible to apply for co-op internship. Positions are available on a part-time (10-20 hours weekly) or full-time (40 hours weekly) basis. It is recommended that students seeking a co-op apply at least one semester before they want to work.

All majors at Western are eligible to apply for the Co-op Internship Program.


  1. How do I start the application process for Co-op Internship?
    Schedule an appointment to meet with a staff member to complete and review the co-op internship application form by calling 203-837-8265.
  2. Do I need a resume?
    Yes! A resume is required for all co-op internship candidates and is utilized as you apply to each potential employer. The notification process for co-op internship openings begins only after your resume has been submitted. (Many workshops and individual sessions are available to help you begin writing a resume.)
  3. Will I receive college credit for my co-op internship experience?
    Credit is awarded based on a formula of 50 hours = 1 credit. In most cases, co-op internship credit is applied toward free electives. You must register for credit upon receipt of a co-op internship  position (as CED 297) through a separate registration card given out by the co-op staff.
  4. How many credits can I earn through co-op internship?
    Students may earn a total of 18 credits through the co-op internship program during their academic career. A maximum of 12 co-op credits may be earned in any one semester.
  5. Am I given a grade for the co-op internship?
    A pass/fall grade is given for CED 297. Students are required to attend the co-op internship seminars during the semester, keep a journal, write a five page reaction paper, and submit evaluations.
  6. Am I guaranteed a co-op internship job?
    Although the co-op office has a high success rate in arranging co-op internship placements, there is not a guarantee of co-op internship employment. Shifts in the economy may affect the availability of co-op internships and student performance during an interview is a factor in decisions made by employers. Because selection for co-op internships is competitive, students are encouraged to apply as soon as they are eligible.
  7. What are the co-op work blocks?
    There are three co-op work blocks at Western. They are:
    Spring: January 1 - May 15
    Summer: May 15 - August 15
    Fall: August 15 - December 15

    Western students may also participate in the two six-month blocks offered by some employers. These blocks are January 1 - July 1 and July 1 - December 15.
  8. What kind of co-op internships are available?
    Co-op internship students at WCSU have worked in all areas represented by the academic disciplines at the University.

    Some recent co-op jobs have included:

    Pre-Professional Accountant, Webmaster, Marketing Assistant, Reporter, Laboratory Technician, Management Trainee, Public Relations Representative, Human Resources Intern, Programmer, Financial Analyst, Operations Assistant, PC Help Desk Aide, Design Assistant, Database Administrator, Residential Counselor, Assistant to OSHA Coordinator, Mayoral Aide, Legal Assistant, Tax Preparer, Software Technician, Production Assistant, Corporate Communications Intern, Probation Associate, Zoning and Land Use Assistant, Customer Service Representative, Market Researcher, Fund-Raiser and many more.

    Most co-op jobs obtained through Western are within driving distance of the University or a student's permanent home and many are within a 30-mile one-way commuting distance.
  9. Do participating employers ever hire co-op internship students after the co-op internship term has ended?
    Employers are not bound to hire co-op internship students after the co-op internship work block has ended and, similarly, students are not expected to remain after their co-op internship has concluded.

    However, depending on factors such as date of graduation, work performance and available funding, many co-op internship students have become regular employees at the firm in which they completed their co-op internship assignment. National statistics indicate that over 40% of co-op students are offered permanent positions with their co-op internship employers upon graduation. Additionally, graduates of co-op internship programs are hired at higher salaries and promoted faster than other employees.
  10. Who should I contact for more information?
    Call Anthony Ciarleglio, Director of Cooperative Education, at 203-837-8265.

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