As a successful Co-op student, you'll enjoy the rewards of real-world job while continuing to receive a top-notch education. Between alternating work periods, you are required to be enrolled in classes full-time.
It is possible to enroll in a class during a full-time Co-op work period, but you must complete a Course Permission Form, which requires the approval of your employer, your academic adviser and the Co-op coordinator. Students who are on the Co-op rotation for the first time are not encouraged to enroll in a class.
Carefully weigh the consequences of taking on the burden of a class in addition to the Co-op workload - if you request a Late Drop of the course at a later date, the demands of your Co-op job will not be considered as a valid excuse.
"Typically, I've seen Co-op students have the most success when their work rotations are their full-time focus," said Lisa Bullard, director of undergraduate studies in chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State University and an advisor to hundreds of students on campus. "The students are able to work full-time during their rotations and then come back to campus and really focus on their coursework, as opposed to the students who might be working part-time at a local restaurant for 20 or 30 hours a week, while they are taking classes".
"Those students are taking a significant amount of time away from their studies while not gaining relevant work experience in their field".
All undergraduate Co-op students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain in the program, while graduate students need to remain in good standing with the University and keep a GPA of 3.0 or above. If your employer's GPA requirements are higher, they will apply in lieu of those mandated by the University. In either case, you and your employer will both be notified by the Co-op office if your GPA drops below the required level.
NEXT: Your Post-Work Report