CECS Co-op Program

College and University Benefits

The National Commission for Cooperative Education outlines benefits that the university and its faculty gain from having a co-op program on campus:

  • Expands the range of educational opportunities for students by integrating learning at the workplace into the academic program.
  • Assists in the recruitment and retention of students. Co-op earnings and enhanced prospects for professional employment increase student and parent interest.
  • Improves student and faculty access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology by using the workplace as a laboratory extension of the classroom.
  • Keeps college curricula up-to-date with changes in industry through constant input from the employment sector.
  • Builds a positive relationship between the institution and the local business community.
  • Enhances public support for higher education by improving the post-graduation career opportunities for students. Policymakers increasingly request demonstrated outcomes for students, and co-op can enhance the quality and level of employment results for graduates. 

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Faculty's role in the partnership

As co-op as well as internship opportunities are important to the total education of our students, UTC faculty are very important to the success of the cooperative education process. Faculty advise and encourage students to look beyond the classroom to gain knowledge about and practical experience in their selected majors. UTC faculty are instrumental in advising students on co-op opportunities. Faculty also work with students in planning their academic schedule with the addition of a full-time internship or co-op position. UTC students continually look to faculty to be a resource as they begin examining careers.

Faculty have not only helped with general advice but have reviewed student resumes, ensuring that students list the requisite technical skills and/or the equipment needed in a given profession. UTC faculty have also been instrumental in suggesting new business and industrial contacts that students can pursue to establish new co-op relationships and additional jobs for our students. Furthermore, students help staff understand many of the intricacies of new career opportunities within their majors, which has, in turn helped us find our students better co-op positions.

Students co-oping have been beneficial to numerous UTC faculty members. It has led to faculty developing research and consulting relationships with many of our co-op employers. Recently, several faculty have developed new class structures built on our students working on special class projects generated by employer demand that benefit both the students and our employers. It has also lead to updated curricular advances and improvements.

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UTC Co-op's role in the partnership

We all are in the process of improving the quality of students that we graduate. To help you in that process, CECS can:

  • come to your class to give students a brief introduction to co-op/internship opportunities
  • take you to employer sites to visit our students there
  • advertise current positions by posting jobs on our Web site, with you, or around your office
  • keep you current on where our students are working by sending updates to department heads, sending student work reports after work terms
  • help develop independent study credit opportunities to increase FTE
  • help set up tours of local/regional businesses/industries
  • identify students in our files who may be interested in working on your paid, grant opportunities

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Co-op: Educational/Experiential Learning

Co-oping is not just a job service. CECS evaluates each employer's suggested co-op position thoroughly before placing a student in it. In that evaluation, we look for the total educational/experiential learning package not just a salary and the number of hours that a student will be working. We require each student to submit a work report each semester that they work. Work reports are often shared with department heads so that they can let their faculty know of their students' work experiences.

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All College of Engineering and Computer Science co-ops are managed within the Mechanical Engineering Office.

Email: Andrea-James@utc.edu 
Phone: 423-425-5217

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