SUBJECT - Cooperative Education


DATE - 4/9/91 





I. Introduction


Cooperative Education at Laramie County Community College is the responsibility of the Career Planning and Employment Services Office. The goal of the Cooperative Education program is to assist students in finding work experience that provides actual on-the-job training related to the student's major and classroom work. College credit is earned for the development and achievement of job-related performance objectives. Placement in an appropriate Cooperative Education work experience is not guaranteed, but every reasonable effort is made to assist the student in finding a suitable work experience.


II. Procedures


A. Student Eligibility


1. For degree-seeking students, minimum requirements for a cooperative work experience include:


a. successful completion of 12 semester credit hours, six of which must be in the major field of study (including introductory course for the major; e.g., Introduction to Teaching);


b. a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5;


c. completion of ENGL 1010 with a grade of "C" or better; and


d. attendance at a Cooperative Education orientation session.


e. Completion of BOTK 2950-Employment Orientation is recommended but not required.


2. For certificate-seeking students, minimum requirements for a cooperative work experience include:


a. successful completion of 12 semester credit hours;


b. a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5; and


c. completion of or concurrently enrolled in BOTK 2950-Employment Orientation.


Exceptions to the above can only be made by written approval of the appropriate division dean in consultation with the academic advisor.


3. Enrollment


a. Application


Students interested in participating in Cooperative Education contact the Cooperative Education Office and make application to the program. After a work experience placement is made and approved by the student's academic advisor, the student is enrolled in a course carrying a course/program number depending on the needs of the program, past work experience, and academic placement of the student. A student may earn a maximum of 10 credit hours which, with advisor approval, may be applicable to an associate's degree or certificate. Some programs may require prerequisite courses prior to enrollment in Cooperative Education. Cooperative Education sections are opened on an individual basis by the appropriate division dean upon request by the Cooperative Education Office.


b. Course Credit and Length


Cooperative Education courses are open-entry, open-exit to provide students and employers maximum flexibility in scheduling work experiences. A minimum of 45 hours per credit per experience must be worked to earn one hour of college credit. It is emphasized that this is only a guideline. The Cooperative Education Office will evaluate the work station and assign credit prior to the beginning of the learning experience based on the quality of training involved and the time required by the position.


c. Compensation


Cooperative Education is usually a compensated work experience. Students enrolled in Cooperative Education are paid by their employers. Compensation may take a variety of forms such as hourly wages, stipends, or scholarships. Students may also work on a volunteer basis earning only college credit.


d. Transferability


The transferability of Cooperative Education courses is not guaranteed. It is the responsibility of the student to investigate the acceptability of such credit by the transfer institution of his/her choice.


e. Veterans


Veterans interested in these offerings should contact the veterans counselor prior to enrollment as these courses may not qualify for veterans benefits.


4. Course Criteria


a. Job-Related Performance Objectives


Job-related performance objectives are developed and written by the student, employer, and the Cooperative Education Coordinator. At least one performance objective is developed for each hour of college credit to be earned through the work experience. Students who elect to pursue another Co-op experience with the same employer must develop new learning objectives appropriate for a second experience. Ultimately, it is the student's responsibility to ensure that approved learning objectives are on file in the Cooperative Education Office at the beginning of each experience.


b. Timesheets


Timesheets listing hours worked in the context of the Cooperative Education experience must be turned in to the Cooperative Education Office on a monthly basis. Standard timesheets are available from the office.


5. Student Evaluation


a. Employer Visits


The evaluation process begins with the development of job‑related performance objectives during an initial joint meeting with the employer, the student, and the faculty coordinator. Evaluation continues throughout the work experience. It is the coordinator's responsibility to determine employer expectations and needs regarding student evaluation. In addition to the initial meeting, coordinators must make a midterm and final on‑site evaluation visit unless other arrangements are made at the request of the employer.


b. Evaluative Criteria


The evaluation process is designed to serve several purposes:


1. to ensure that the expectations of all parties involved are clearly defined.

2. to determine the extent to which the learning objectives are being accomplished.

3. to evaluate the student's general employee skills, such as the ability to relate to others, dependability, quality of work, attendance, etc.


c. Grading


A letter grade will be assigned upon completion of the work experience. The grade will be given by the appropriate coordinator and is based on student performance (as measured by the successful completion of the job‑related performance objectives), feedback from the employer and student, and completion of a final report.


6. Student Files


A student file will contain the following completed information forms:


a. To be submitted by student Application for Cooperative Education Resume, if applicable Student Letter of Agreement Advisor Notification Form Timesheets Job‑Related Performance Objectives Final Report


b. To be submitted by faculty advisor/coordinator Mid-term Evaluation Employer's Evaluation of Cooperative Education Student


c. To be submitted by Cooperative Education Office Semester Hours Recap Form


B. Recruitment and Training


1. Students


Students are recruited in a variety of ways, including direct mailings, semester class schedules, faculty referral, class announcements, class presentations, bulletin boards, seminars, media advertisements, and appearances at appropriate events such as local fairs. Prior to each semester, currently enrolled students meeting Co‑op criteria are contacted by mail and invited to participate in a Cooperative Education experience.


2. Faculty


Meetings with all faculty coordinators will be held once a semester to review program materials, methods, and evaluate program progress. Training and information is provided to all interested faculty.


3. Employers


Employers are regularly solicited by telephone, media advertisements, Chamber of Commerce lunches, conferences, site visits, direct mail, and personal contact. A cross-section of employers are selected to serve on the LCCC Advisory Committee. The committee provides advice on program operation, marketing, and employer needs for both graduates and cooperative education students.


C. Program Evaluation


1. Annual Report


Ongoing records documenting student progress for all students who have been enrolled in the program are maintained and regularly updated. Summary information is made available to appropriate students, administrators, faculty, employers, and the interested public.


2. Employer/Student Recognition


Nominations are solicited annually for LCCC Cooperative Education Student of the Year. Employer of the Year is chosen by the cooperative education staff. Awards are made at an annual Employer Appreciation Reception hosted by the college each spring. All participating employers, coordinators, and cooperative education students are invited to attend.