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Faculty Resources

A Faculty Guide to Cooperative Education at Wentworth

1. What is the role of the Co-op + Career Advisor?

Co-op + Career Advisors educate students on how to find co-op and full-time positions. We give them the tools, resources and guidance necessary to explore this process on their own.   We can facilitate introductions with employers via career-related events and on-campus interviewing.

2. Who are the advisors and what majors do they support?

Our advisors are professionals with varying backgrounds in counseling, higher education, and/or the fields in which they advise. Each supports a different group of majors through the co-op preparation and search process (in-person and through teaching Co-op Institute, the co-op preparation seminar), as well as advises them through their full-time job searches post-graduation.

3. When do students go on co-op?

Students typically go on mandatory co-op for the first time the spring of their junior year and for the second time the fall of their senior year. There are several exceptions to this rule including architecture, electromechanical engineering, and applied mathematics. Most students may also go out on an optional co-op in the summer of their sophomore year.

NOTE: Other than Architecture and three-year Applied Mathematics majors, students must have junior status to complete their first mandatory co-op and senior status to complete the second. Additionally, if a student is off-track from their major curriculum, that student must work with their faculty advisor to decide on the best time to complete their co-op requirements. That decision cannot be made by their Co-op + Career Advisor.

4. What if a student is not able to enroll in the Co-op course?

As long as there are no holds on their account, a student’s ability to enroll in Co-op through LConnect is directly tied to their number of passed credit hours - a guideline of which can be found here. While extremely rare, exceptions can be made to allow the student to go on Co-op if they fall just short of cutoff. The Academic Advisor, Department Chair, and Co-op Advisor can make this determination based on the student’s individual development and upon the creation of a new academic plan. The Co-op + Career Advisor must then contact the Registrar’s Office to allow special enrollment.

5. What type of compensation is provided to students on co-op?

Wentworth strongly encourages all for-profit employers to pay students at least the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is greater.  Most employers pay between $15-25/hour.  Area of study, geographic location, prior experience, and job duties contribute significantly to this wage range.  You can find the current wages paid to our students here.

6. What are the co-op requirements?

Each co-op experience should be a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks, and can be as long as 16 weeks. Students must work between 32 and 40 hours each week. Prior to going on co-op, students must be in good academic standing.

7. How close does the co-op experience need to be to a student’s major?

A student’s co-op experience should be related to their field of study. This is especially true for international students, as they have to adhere to strict immigration laws.

8. What is Co-op Institute?

Co-op Institute is a five week seminar created to prepare students for their first co-op job search and teach them about professionalism in the workplace. The topics covered include resume and cover letter writing, the job search process, networking, interviewing, and being a new professional. Most students complete this seminar during their sophomore year.

9. What are some events I can suggest students attend?

Our largest annual events are the Mock Interview Day in October and the Career Fair in September and March. Mock Interview Day is a time for students to practice their interviewing skills with professionals in the field. The Career Fairs are open to all students and alumni and provides an opportunity to network with employers who recruit for co-op and full-time openings.

10. What is WITworks and how is it used?

WITworks is an online platform where students can search for co-op and full-time job listings. Students are required to report through WITworks anytime they have been hired for a co-op position. At the end of each co-op, students (and their co-op employers) will return to this platform to fill out assessments of the co-op experience.

11. If I want someone to talk to my class about co-op, how can I arrange that experience?

If you’d like someone to come into your class you can directly reach out to the appropriate Co-op + Career Advisor. We are happy to present on a specific topic or just stop in to give a quick introduction to the services we offer.

12. How else can faculty collaborate with your office?

There are various other ways in which you can collaborate with our office – it is not limited to referring students or in-class presentations. Below are some ways in which Co-ops + Careers and faculty have collaborated in the past. If you have a new idea, we welcome that partnership.

  • Work with your department’s Co-op + Career Advisor to determine the best implementation of co-op for a student who is off-track from the typical curriculum of their major
  • Request classroom presentations focused on specific majors regarding – job search process, preparing for conferences, creating an elevator pitch, networking with professionals in the field  
  • Invite your Co-op + Career Advisor to participate in studio design reviews if his or her background is in the students’ field of study
  • Arrange for your Co-op + Career advisor to attend faculty meetings to meet all faculty members, discuss co-op, learn about new majors on the horizon, and more
  • Join your department’s Co-op and Career Advisor on a site visit to a co-op employer
  • Reach out to your Co-op + Career Advisor for assistance in requesting employers who might be interested in reviewing senior projects or participating in studio design reviews
  • Invite us to teach a career-related topic in your classes in the event you have a planned or unplanned absence

13. Where can I find information about employers?

Our students are employed by a wide variety of companies in the Greater Boston Area, throughout New England, and sometimes across the globe. You can find information on specific full-time employers in the Class of 2014 Career Outcomes report. If you would like to review the information we share directly with employers regarding our policies, you can find that information here.

14. What should I do with an employer who contacts me?

Connect the employer with Employer Relations Specialist in the Center. We are continually working to build connections with employers in order to provide more co-op and full-time job opportunities for our students.

15. What is On-Campus Recruiting (OCR)?

On-Campus Recruiting, more commonly known as OCR, allows employers to conduct first-round interviews in our office. We provide all administrative support and our students have the convenience of interviewing on-campus.

16. How does a student get co-op credit for previous work experience?

Students may petition to request co-op credit for previous full-time employment of at least eight months in duration that is in their field of study. Refer interested students to the Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development (Co-ops + Careers).

17.  What happens if a student can’t secure a co-op?  What can I offer?

If a student is unable to secure a co-op, some faculty may agree to supervise a student through a major research or independent project. Subjects and objectives will vary by major, but the project must be treated as a full-time position. The faculty member would offer guidance to the student through the term and periodically meet to discuss their progress. The student does not need to be provided compensation for their work.

18. Can I call friends working in the field if I have an excellent student I would like to recommend for employment? 

Before you decide to recommend a student, please familiarize yourself with the faculty guide to student hiring

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