The Kettering University Professional Cooperative Education program is unique in that students have the opportunity to co-op throughout the entire program. In addition, the Kettering University co-op program is designed to give both students and participating co-op employers an opportunity to grow together and gain the most from these experiences, as students most commonly stay with a single employer throughout the program. Maintaining a relationship with a single co-op employer is advantageous in a number of ways including:
- Ample opportunity for a student to spend quality time in a variety of departments, so that upon graduation the student has a thorough knowledge of the organization from the "ground-floor."
- Opportunity for the student to take on progressively more responsible roles within the company as he/she gains the trust of the employer by demonstrating the ability to take on these roles.
- Upon graduation and offer of full-time employment, many employers will count years of service spent as a co-op employee towards vacation time, salary and benefits.
Although remaining with a single employer is the most ideal way to progress through the Kettering University co-op program, there are situations that warrant requests for changes in employers. This is referred to as reassignment. Some common reasons for requesting reassignment include:
- Employer termination of co-op program
- Change in major by student that cannot be supported by employer
- Unresolvable personal issues between student and employer
Reasons that are invalid for reassignment include:
- Issues over salary and or benefits
- Geographic location of co-op employer
Policies and Procedures For Requesting Reassignment
The Kettering University Reassignment Committee and the office of Cooperative Education and Career Services will consider requests for reassignment on a case-by-case basis and will grant such requests only after it has been determined that reassignment would be in the best interest of the student and the employer.
In order to submit requests for reassignment, students must utilize the following guidelines:
- Requests must be made in writing and through personal interview with student's Cooperative Education Manager
Before pursuing reassignment requests, always discuss your situation with your Cooperative Education Manager. It is through this individual that you will submit your case and all of your documented evidence to the Reassignment Committee. Written requests must include reasons for this action, copies of all past evaluations (from student and employer), a current grade transcript, and any other relevant information (see Student Download Zone for Co-op Reassignment Employment Search Request/Authorization Form & Student Obligation Form).
- Documented evidence of discussion & concerns shared with present employer (evaluations, separate meetings)
In order for the committee to determine whether or not reassignment is in the best interest of both the student and the employer, the student must show documented evidence that he/she explored all possibilities of remaining with his/her current co-op employer. Quite often when problems occur between students and co-op employers, they are a result of a lack of communication. Part of the learning experience of a co-op student is to learn how to communicate in a business environment, not to walk away at the first sign of difficulty. Thus it is important that as a student you first attempt to resolve problems by discussing them with your co-employer. In addition, if you are a student who is considering a change in major, never just assume that your co-op employer cannot support you in this change. Give your employer the benefit of a discussion about these changes. Written evaluations or a journal of these discussions can serve as the documentation necessary to be considered by the Reassignment Committee. If you have any questions or concerns about approaching your co-op employer, remember that your Kettering University Cooperative Education Manager is a resource for you.
- Requests must be submitted prior to the second week of the school term before the work term in which the change will take effect
As a student member of a co-op partnership (a partnership that consists of student, employer, and school) it is unethical to provide your co-op employer with less than two weeks notice of the possibility you will be not returning to the organization. Your co-op experience is not a job. It is the experiential portion of a Cooperative Education Professional Program. As a Kettering University co-op student, you are not just representing yourself to your co-op employer; you are representing the entire institution. Thus, it is vital that you represent Kettering University in an ethical and professional manner by providing adequate notice of your departure.
Decisions of The Reassignment Committee
After reviewing reassignment requests, the Reassignment Committee has a number of decisional options including:
- Approving requests
- Approving requests with conditions such as attending Professional Development Seminars offered by the Office of Cooperative Education, work credit deferral or co-op probation. Note that co-op probation results in disqualification from participating in co-op for a set period of time (usually six months) where co-op experience credits cannot accumulate.
- Deferral - asking that additional information be submitted
- Denying requests
Consequences of Not Following Proper Reassignment Procedures
Students who do not follow the above stated procedures and voluntarily quit their co-op employers and or initiate conversation with new co-op employers without approval, risk the following consequences:
- Loss of all future support of the Kettering University office of Cooperative Education including your co-op employment search privileges available on-line Kettering Connect, eligibility to take part in any of the Cooperative Education Employment Fairs, and assistance of a Cooperative Education Manager
- Jeopardizing receiving work experience credits for graduation (co-op probation)
- And/or receiving probation from the University (see Techmate - Disciplinary Procedures)
Employers who release students without prior consent from Kettering University, risk the following consequences:
- Review and possible suspension of the Kettering University Co-op program
Students Granted Reassignment Rights
Students who are approved for reassignment can expect the following:
- Access to the Kettering University co-op employment posting (Available on-line), Kettering Connect
- Placement on the upper-class unassigned list, enabling credentials to be sent to co-op employers seeking upper-class students
- Students who are approved for reassignment are expected to:
- Take an active role in pursuing new co-op employment by meeting regularly with appropriate Cooperative Education Managers
- Maintain an updated resume on the web-based resume system, Kettering Connect
- Check the "Job Posting" section of Kettering Connect for on-campus interviewing and employer referral opportunities at least twice a week while searching for cooperative employment
- Remain in good academic standing
To graduate, students seeking reassignment must still meet all academic, work experience, and thesis requirements.
As you seek reassignment, always remember that as a Kettering University Student, you are part of an educational program, not just an employee in a "job". As a student you can expect a great amount of support from the University as you progress through the work experiences that round out your Kettering University Education. You can also expect that with each request for reassignment, much thought and consideration will be a part of the decision making process.