Cooperative education program

Our cooperative education program allows participants to further explore their chosen engineering discipline, build a powerful resume, develop a network of professional contacts, and help support their academic expenses through real-world experiences.

The co-op academic program offers students at least three semesters, two of which are fall or spring, working in a position related to their major. Co-op participants gain at least a year’s worth of experience with the same employer and earn a competitive salary while working. 

Benefits of Co-op

  • Gain valuable engineering experience to focus interests and develop long-term career goals.
  • Able to apply theory from classes to solve actual engineering problems.
  • Opportunity to experience the “real world” as an engineer and develop a professional network.
  • Wages from co-op can help offset tuition fees. Co-op wages do not impact FAFSA.
  • Housing or living stipend is sometimes offered from the employer.
  • More likely to be offered a permanent position upon graduation.

Eligibility

Students should be in good academic standing and typically in their sophomore year. Students must have declared their engineering discipline. Students should also have completed between 35-55 credit hours when they begin interviewing for a co-op assignment.

Transfer students may apply during their first semester in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering.

Co-op vs. Internship

TIME COMMITMENT:

Co-ops are at least three work terms alternated with school, while internships are only one work term of about 12 weeks. 

ELIGIBILITY WITH COMPANIES:

For co-ops, students can find positions after 3 semesters of engineering courses, whereas most companies are looking for juniors and seniors to fill internship positions.

JOB DIVERSITY:

Because of multiple rotations, students in co-ops have the opportunity to be given different assignments within a company, whereas internships are limited to one area of responsibility.  

COURSE CREDIT: 

Co-op students gain up to three credits that can be used as technical electives, where as internships are not credit bearing. 

GRADUATION IMPACT:

Co-oping extends graduation by a year, providing at least one full year’s worth of experience, where as internships have no impact on graduation date and offer at least one term’s worth of experience. 

Co-op Process

PLEASE COMPLETE EACH STEP SEQUENTIALLY:

  1. Complete the co-op application.
  2. Meet with an advisor to discuss eligibility and create an academic schedule.
  3. Meet with the program coordinator Aaron Benally to discuss the co-op process and submit a work plan.
  4. Develop resume and prepare for interviews.
  5. Begin job search.
  6. Interview with companies.
  7. Meet with the program coordinator and finalize employer and university paperwork.
  8. Register for co-op courses on RamWeb.

AFTER CO-OP ROTATION:

Ask employers to submit an end-of-semester performance evaluation.

Meet with the program coordinator to wrap up co-op term and submit work experience report.

HOW TO APPLY

1. Fill out the co-op application and e-mail the form to:

Aaron Benally
aaron.benally@colostate.edu

2. Make an appointment with an academic advisor to confirm eligibility and create a co-op academic plan.

3. Once the co-op academic plan is signed, make an appointment with Aaron Benally through the Engineering Success Center front desk: (970) 491-6220.

4. Bring signed academic plan and a hard copy of resume to meeting with Aaron to discuss co-op opportunities.