Co-op Student Information

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What does the 4-year academic schedule look like with 3 co-ops?

YearFallSpringSummer
1st Year Full Academic Term Full Academic Term Break
2nd Year Full Academic Term Full Academic Term CO-OP I
3rd Year Full Academic Term CO-OP II Full Academic Term
4th Year CO-OP III Full Academic Term Full Academic Term

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What do I have to do to be eligible for co-op?

  • You must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0
  • You must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 64 credit hours towards your engineering major (ME, EE, or CE)
  • Satisfactorily complete EGR 290, Engineering Career Seminar, a course designed to enhance the engineering career and improve employment skills

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How will I be eligible to participate in the co-op program?

  • Contact the Engineering Co-op Program Director:

Joanne Wilkes
Kinsley Engineering Center, KEC-137
jwilkes@ycp.edu 

  By the required deadline for each of the co-op terms.  Deadlines are:

      • Summer Co-op (by Feb 1)
      • Spring Co-op (by Oct 1)
      • Fall Co-op (by May 1)
  • Have your resume critiqued 
  • Participate in a mock "practice" interview

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How long is a co-op assignment?

  • Each co-op experience must last a minimum of 12 weeks
  • The total of all three co-op experiences must be at least 48 weeks
  • Vacation time does not count toward the total number of weeks worked
  • Work weeks must be full-time (40 hours per week)
  • Part-time work does not count toward a co-op

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How do I find a co-op position?

While it is your responsibility to find a co-op position, the Engineering Co-op Program Director will assist you in your co-op search by:

  • Helping you with resume writing and interview skills
  • Position postings from local employers
  • Scheduling on campus interviews

Or you may find your own co-op position and have the job description approved by the faculty program coordinator

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What are my responsiblities and deadlines?

Prior to obtaining a co-op position you are responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that you meet all the eligibility requirements for the co-op program
  • Obtaining an appropriate co-op position
  • Registering for each co-op period with the College Registrar and paying the required tuition for co-op credits.
  • Completing a resume critique and mock interview with the engineering co-op program director by the deadline.
  • Following appropriate interview procedures: notifying employers of late arrival or cancellation of interviews, arriving on time for interviews, and sending personal thank you notes following an interview.
  • Advising the engineering co-op program director of all interviews, offers, and accepted employment.
  • Notifying engineering faculty coordinator of starting date, location, email address, and telephone number.

As a co-op engineer in the work place you will be responsible for:

  • Reporting to work in a timely manner.
  • Dressing appropriately for the position you have obtained.
  • Completing work assignments in a timely and thorough fashion.
  • Seeking the advice of your supervisor or mentor if you have any questions regarding work assignments.
  • Communicating regularly with your supervisor and keeping him/her up to date on the progress of each assigned project.

At the completion of each co-op term you will also be responsible for ensuring that:

  • The co-op evaluation surveys must be completed and submitted electronically.
  • A poster (Co-op Poster Requirements ) must be completed and submitted to your co-op advisor for approval

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What are some typical co-op duties and functions?

The exact duties and functions you will have in the workplace will vary with the employer, your abilities and skills, and the co-op term you are in. You will always be assigned to work with a practicing engineer, who will provide guidance and direction for your work assignments. Some examples of potential job functions are:

  • Testing of both standard and developmental products
  • Analyzing test data using statistical methods
  • Conducting engineering analysis using thermodynamic, static, dynamic, and vibration analysis, etc.
  • Performing engineering design utilizing CAD
  • Conducting experiments to assist in the design of products or processes
  • Writing operating or processing instructions
  • Purchasing, installing and starting up equipment  

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How much money can I make during my Co-op?

Co-op wage scales and benefits are set by individual employers in accordance with current market conditions.

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What are the keys to a successful co-op experience?

The successful co-op experience is a combination of the job assignments provided by the employer and what you are willing to put into the experience. The goal is for the employer to provide each student with signficantly challenging engineering work that truly complements the rigor of his/her academic program and for you to work on each assignment and complete it in the manner that your employer has described to you. Not all assignments will be fun and technically challenging. However, as you complete each one you will be able to show your employer that you have the ability to complete more technically challenging assignments.

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How will I get feedback regarding my co-op position?

There are several ways in which you will receive feedback during your co-op work experience.

  • Your co-op faculty advisor will visit your workplace where he/she will meet with both you and your assigned mentor to determine if there are any concerns that need to be addressed.
  • At the end of your co-op term both you and your employer will fill out an evalution survey, which will be returned to your advisor. This information is confidential between the student, the advisor and the employer.

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Am I required to maintain employment with the same company for all three Co-op semesters?

Not necessarily. However, in order to ensure that you are receiving maximum benefit from your co-op experience and that the key factors for success (described above) are met, it sometimes makes sense that you maintain employment with the same organization throughout your co-op experience. This, in turn, places more responsibility on the faculty advisor to know something about your career goals and abilities, and to help steer you toward a suitable and appropriate co-op experience. It should be noted, however, that this is not required, and in many instances it is an advantage for you to have co-op experiences with more than one company. Moreover, there is no guarantee that you will be asked to return to the same organization at which you previously worked. This is determined to a large degree on a case-by-case basis.

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Are there any geographic restrictions to Co-op employment?

No. You are free to choose any geographic location for co-op and are encouraged to seek co-op opportunities abroad with U.S.-based companies that carry out international engineering operations. Locally, an organization of more than 20 companies (the EIAC) advises and supports the development of the engineering program, and provides co-op employment opportunities for York College engineering students. Students who co-op locally have the option to use York College housing during their co-op periods, during which time standard room charges apply.

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Are engineering faculty members involved when I'm on co-op?

Yes. The successful co-op experience is based upon the three-way interaction involving you, your employer-based engineering mentor, and your co-op faculty advisor. During your co-op semesters, this interaction is nurtured and documented through regular meetings with your engineering mentor, on-site visits by your co-op faculty advisor, written assessments and evaluations by both mentor and advisor, and through your own co-op report and written evaluation of your co-op work experience.