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Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is an academic support program that enables students to combine career-oriented, paid, full-time or part-time work experience with their college education. Co-op students benefit by being able to explore career interests firsthand, by gaining valuable work experience related to their majors, and by earning money to assist with their college expenses.  

How Co-op Works

Students should inquire about Co-op when they begin their degree programs. Work assignments start later, usually at the end of the sophomore year. The keys to a successful Co-op experience are flexibility and preparation. Co-op coordinators advise and counsel students in each academic area, helping students to prepare resumes and develop interview skills.

The flexibility of the UNH Co-op program gives students a chance to schedule plans of study and work which fit their needs. Undergraduate students attend classes for the first two years of college, and they prepare for work assignments which start at the end of the sophomore year. Juniors and seniors alternate classes with co-op work which may last four or six months. Transfer students typically complete one semester on campus and may then enter the co-op cycle, provided that they have completed their sophomore year. Individual cases vary, and students should review their needs with Co-op coordinators.

The variety and number of co-op employers attest to their recognition that cooperative education is an effective way to identify and train future employees. Active co-op employers include American Cyanamid, Black & Decker, Corometrics, Dow UT, Dictaphone, Pitney Bowes, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, and Remington Products, as well as state and federal agencies. Student assignments include computer programming, accounting, counseling, criminal investigation, and engineering.

Students may live in university housing while doing work assignments in the greater New Haven area, or they may work with their Co-op coordinators to develop jobs closer to home. Interested students will meet with a Co-op coordinator to review eligibility requirements and the plan of study for their degree program. Co-op plans vary, which makes it important for students to take advantage of the individual attention their Co-op coordinators will provide. Students should contact the Dean’s office of their college to be directed to the appropriate Co-op coordinator.