What is Cooperative Education?


Cooperative Work Experience Education provides an educational opportunity for students to earn transferable college credit through their paid or unpaid/volunteer work experience.

Cooperative Education offers courses during the 16-, 12-, and 8-week sessions in several occupational disciplines and one in general work experience (general work experience courses are not transferable).  These courses effectively use industry, government, education, and other business and service organizations as off-campus classrooms where students can apply what they're learning in the classroom to a real-life work experience. 

Cooperative Education teaches students how to use work experience for personal development, training, and career planning.  Through the combined efforts of college faculty, students, and local employers, students are assisted in acquiring desirable work habits as well as knowledge, skills, and abilities at their worksite.

Cooperative Education is designed for students who are cross-training at their current worksite for upward mobility, and students looking to gain experience for entry-level occupational positions through work-based learning experiences. 


Why take Cooperative Education? 

Utilizing Cooperative Education can provide:

  • Practical experience
  • Application of classroom learning on the job
  • Career guidance in a real setting
  • Opportunities to learn what areas you excel at
  • Job contacts
  • Demonstrate ambition and initiative to your employer
  • Current laboratory experience and job conditions
  • Experience socialization in work place
  • Transferable elective college units (CSU and some UC)


Credit is awarded based on the number of hours worked, number of learning objectives completed, assigned homework completed, and good time management and effective communication with your Cooperative Education instructor and staff.  Students in a paid work experience are required to complete a minimum of 75 hours for each unit of credit. Students in an unpaid/volunteer work experience are required to complete a minimum 60 hours for each unit of credit.

Students who are not working, or participating in an internship, cannot  participate in Cooperative Education.