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.
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.
Grading is based on a “point” system.
This is a combination of
the student’s evaluation and
homework scores.
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
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.
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.
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 General units.
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.
These units are transferable
only to the CSU system.
California State Universities
(Northridge, Fresno, etc.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You have one year
to take care of the incomplete.
Meanwhile, you can sign up
as a repeat student.
Many employers who have internship positions
require students to earn units for them.
According to the Department of Labor,
there are six criteria
differentiating between
an employee and an intern:
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.
The training is for
the benefit of the student.
The student does not displace a regular employee,
but works under the close observation
of a regular employee or supervisor.
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.
The student is not necessarily entitled to a job
at the conclusion of the training period.
The employer and the student understand
that the student is not entitled to wages
for the time spent training.
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
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