What to Expect from A Cooperative & Experiential Education
As a Kettering University Co-op student, your employer is making a tremendous investment in you and your education. It is important that you are provided with the opportunities and the resources to gain the most from your co-op work experiences. Each employer is different and will provide you with opportunities in different ways and at different times during your experiences; however, some basic expectations you should look for include:
Many problems that develop between co-op students and employers are a direct result of a lack of communication. It is important that an open-line of communication is established from the outset. As a developing employee, you must receive feedback on your performance and progress throughout the work term. You also need to be included on planning your progress with the employer as you advance in experience. Since communication takes more than one party to work - ask for this information if it is not provided to you.
At the conclusion of each work term, you have the right as a student employee, to meet with your supervisor and be evaluated in a face-to-face manner on your work performance. This is essential in your development within the organization and your growth towards graduation. Your evaluation must be signed by you and by your supervisor and returned to Kettering University within three weeks of the end of your work term. The evaluation may be returned by you to the Cooperative Education and Career Services Office or may be mailed in by your employer. NOTE: work term credit will not be awarded to you until the Cooperative Education and Career Services Office receives the signed work evaluation.
Progressive Work Experience
As you move through the Kettering University program, your work experiences should progress to be increasingly more demanding and responsible. The speed and level of this progression will vary from employer to employer depending upon the philosophy of your particular organization and the skills and attitude that you display. As a co-op student, do not be surprised if your initial experiences are extremely basic. These basic responsibilities will give your employer the opportunity to gage your attitude and abilities.
Senior Thesis Project
Part of the graduation requirements of the Kettering University Bachelor of Science program is completion of the Senior Thesis Project. This requirement is intended to facilitate your transition from student to professional status. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to apply your academic and co-op work experience knowledge to a realistic major problem posed by your employer.
Problems With Student
As stated in the previous section, problems occasionally arise between students and employers during the co-operative employment program. Employer concerns about student conduct should be first brought to the attention of the student. Problems of a magnitude that cannot be worked out between student and employer require the support of the University through the Cooperative Education and Career Services Office or other appropriate University offices.