Co-op Job Search and Registration Policies
Co-op Placement Guidelines
Paid vs. Unpaid
Typically, co-op is a paid, full-time work experience. However, this sometimes varies based on industry, job market, or other special circumstances.
Co-ops paid at minimum wage or higher are required to work full time (at least 32 hour/week). Co-ops that are unpaid or paid lower than minimum wage are only required to work a minimum of 20 hours a week. Circumstances may arise that do not fall into either category listed above. If a situation warrants special consideration, students should contact their co-op coordinator.
Co-op Must be Major-Related
All co-op positions must be related to a student’s major or concentration. Students who locate co-op positions independently must have their co-op coordinators review and approve the position to ensure that they are major-related. Decisions regarding co-op positions must take into account the long-term objectives of students, employers, and the University.
Commitment of Time
Students are expected to work full-time (at least 32 hours/week) for their co-op assignments. If a student decides to take an unpaid position, they are only expected to work 20 hours a week but can elect to work full-time in an unpaid capacity if they wish. Students must work the full six-month cycle (or 3 month cycle for majors that apply) and must follow the employer’s work schedule. Students who plan to be absent from their co-op job for an extended period of time, or who terminate their co-op employment prior to the end of the co-op term must receive approval from Steinbright and their co-op employer. Special exceptions may apply to athletes or for military obligations. Please refer to the Co-op Cycle page for information on exceptions.
Co-op Employment is Not Guaranteed
Students who participate in the co-op program are not guaranteed a co-op position through the SCDConline system. The Steinbright Career Development Center (Steinbright) will make every effort to find sufficient opportunities for co-op experiences for students, but the University cannot make any guarantee of employment. Therefore students who do not secure a position through the SCDCOnline system must conduct independent job searches until a co-op is located. The employment process is competitive and academic performance, skills, motivation, maturity, attitude, and employment potential will determine whether a student is offered a job. If a student experiences difficulties in securing a co-op, Steinbright will assist the student in a continuing job search.
Before you can apply to jobs through SCDConline, you must create at least one resume and have it approved by your cooperative education coordinator.
(Related Topic) Interview Policy
Students are required to attend all interviews granted by employers (whether on-campus or off). In the event that students are unable to attend an interview (emergencies such as a traffic accident, a death in the family, etc.) they should notify their coordinator and the employer immediately. Once granted an interview, students are required to schedule an interview time with the employer. Students who do not schedule an interview or neglect to attend all scheduled interviews will receive a co-op hold. To resolve a hold for a missed interview, they will be required to write a letter of apology to the employer detailing the reasons for the missed interview.
Students are not allowed to miss classes for co-op interviews. Schedule interviews accordingly.
Ranking and Pairing Policy
Ranking involves accepting offers or ranking positions for which you were designated a qualified alternate. While financial remuneration may be important, it should not be the primary factor in job selection.
At no time are students permitted to negotiate salary with an employer for an online position. The Steinbright Career Development Center (Steinbright) takes a strong stand on this policy: students may incur severe consequences for inappropriate actions, including co-operative education probation, a failed work term, and/or expulsion from the co-operative education program.
If students have been paired with employers through the Optimal Pairing process, the results are final - students are required to honor the agreement by providing an e-signature to the online Co-op Student Registration Agreement in order to get credit for their co-op experience. Because the results of Optimal Pairing are final, students must discontinue their independent job search immediately and not accept other positions.
Once students have been paired or accepted an offer from an employer, they may not renege on that agreement or accept other offers. Failure to observe this policy includes consequences such as: co-op probation, removal of co-op credit for that work experience and/or denial of the use of Steinbright’s services, including SCDConline. These measures can delay graduation and/or affect the student’s transcript.
Job Search Journal Policy
Steinbright will make every effort to find sufficient opportunities for co-op experiences for students, but the university cannot make any guarantee of employment. Therefore, if you do not secure a position through the SCDConline system you must conduct a self-directed job search until a co-op is secured. The employment process is competitive and academic performance, skills, motivation, maturity, attitude, and employment potential will determine whether any student is offered a job. If you are having difficulty securing a co-op, your co-op coordinator will assist you with the continuing job search.
If you have not secured and registered an approved co-op position by the beginning of the co-op term or your employment status has changed, you are required to complete a Job Search Journal. The Job Search Journal has a dual purpose. Its primary function is to facilitate the job search by providing you with instruction, structure and organization. Additionally, it serves as a means for you to earn credit for your co-op term(s) by showing concrete evidence of an active and thorough job search.* The Job Search Journal should demonstrate that you were actively engaged in a meaningful job search for at least 20 hours per week, until an approved co-op position had been secured and registered.
You will be required to complete the assignments in the journal until you have found a position and submitted the necessary job placement forms. You are responsible for maintaining regular contact with your co-op coordinator until an approved position has been secured and registered. Once a job is secured, the journal will be evaluated in order for you to receive credit for the term(s). If a position is not secured, the journal will be evaluated at the end of the co-op term(s) to determine credit. Each assignment in the journal carries a point value. Your coordinator will grade the weekly assignments and determine whether you pass or fail. Co-op is pass/fail and if you fail, your billing and graduation date may be affected. You need to receive a rating of 75% or above to pass. Successful completion of the job search journal requirement will yield Directed Approved Credit for the term(s) registered for co-op. This will be reflected on your transcript by “DCU” and will satisfy the program requirement towards graduation.
Steinbright recognizes that the pursuit of a meaningful co-op experience can be a lengthy process and the actual job search can provide as much of a learning experience as the job itself. If at any time you need assistance or advice, please contact your co-op coordinator.
*Nursing students with only one co-op are not eligible to earn credit for the Job Search Journal.
Co-op Job Registration
If students obtain their job through the SCDConline pairing process, a Student Co-op Registration Agreement form will be automatically generated. Students must electronically accept this form through DrexelOne under the Steinbright Career Development Center Services link. They must accept this form before the start of their co-op position. If students wish to have a printout of this form, it is necessary to print it prior to agreeing to it, or they can request that a copy be printed by the Steinbright Career Development Center.
If students obtain a job independently, they must turn in the following to be eligible to receive credit:
- Completed and signed Student Co-op Agreement and Registration form
- Comprehensive job description and offer letter on employer letterhead
- Salary information, hours per week, and start/end dates should be included in the offer letter
- Signed Employer Agreement form from the student’s employer
A blank Student Co-op Registration Agreement form and Employer Agreement form can be found on the Steinbright website.
All of the paperwork listed above must be submitted no later than the end of the second week (drop/add) of the term that co-op begins. If all paperwork is not submitted by this deadline, the student will not receive credit for that co-op cycle.