Cooperative Education Program (Co-Op)
The purpose of the Cooperative Education experience in career and technical programs is to provide the student with an opportunity to perform the duties of a particular occupation, understand its challenges, and be paid as an employee. The Cooperative Education experience is not obligatory on the part of the school program but rather a privilege extended to enhance employability. Students interested in the Cooperative Education Program need to meet specific criteria to be eligible for the experience.
What is Cooperative Education?
Cooperative Education provides a valuable supervised work experience that facilitates the student’s transition from school to work. For many students, the program leads to permanent employment with the co-op employer. For other students, the program provides work experience that can be invaluable when seeking full-time employment after graduation. Students are hired part-time by employers in their respective trade area. Instead of attending their technical class, students earn credit while working in their field. The Cooperative Education Coordinator visits the student and employer at the job site on a regular basis (minimum once per month) to assess and evaluate student performance with the employer. They also provide related instruction in health & safety, employment retention, communication, human relations, and more.
- Provides local businesses with trained, skilled labor who frequently remain on staff aftergraduation becoming full-time employees.
- Gives students the opportunity to earn while they learn and get an early start on their career.
- Need to have completed 8 quarters in a technical program related to their job placement.
- Need to have completed at least 75% of their Program of Study Task List.
- Must have technical instructor’s recommendation.
- Must maintain good grades (C average or better) and have no behavior or attendance issues.
- Students need to have a drivers license and reliable transportation to and from work.
- Students complete time sheets and weekly graded assignments.
- Students demonstrate initiative and conduct themselves in a courteous, responsible, business-like manner.
- Provide challenging learning experiences that encourage career development and relate to the student’s trade area.
- Train the student in health and safety rules specific to the workplace.
- Provide periodic evaluations that factor in to the student’s grade.
- Meet with the Co-Op Coordinator once a month to discuss the student’s progress
- Employer must follow all labor laws and child labor laws, pay at least minimum wage with deductions, and have workers compensation insurance.
- Employer must obtain criminal background & child abuse clearances if student is under 18.
- Work days must coincide with the CCTI A/B schedule. (Students cannot work during school hours on “A” days.)
Throughout the program, the Cooperative Education Coordinator will:
- Visit the student and employer at the job site on a regular basis (minimum once per month).
- Assess and evaluate student performance.
- Act as a liaison between the employer and the CTE instructor.
- Monitor student performance at the placement on a regular basis.
The Pennsylvania Child Labor Act requires all minors 14 through 17 to have a work permit in order to be employed. To obtain a work permit, the student’s parent or guardian must complete and print the Work Permit Application along with one of the listed forms of identification (usually birth certificate, social security card, drivers license, or passport) to the Co-Op Coordinator for verification. Please Note: The identification document must be the original – no photocopies please.
Please review the PA Child Labor Abstract to review allowable hours of work and work times for minors ages 14-17.
For more information please contact:
Mrs. Michele Klock – firstname.lastname@example.org – 570-325-3682 ext. 1224