Attributes of Cooperative &
Experiential Education Programs

Cooperative and experiential education programs are structured educational strategies which integrate classroom study with learning in productive work experiences in a field related to a student's academic and/or career goals. These programs are a partnership among educational institutions, employers, and students.


1. The educational institution recognizes structured work-based educational programs with formal involvement of faculty in the development administration and direction of the program. These programs often carry titles such as: cooperative education, internships, practicums, etc.

2. Literature of the educational institution should include a description of the mission and goals of the cooperative and/or experiential education program.

3. The employer and the educational institution agree to a formalized plan of work experiences which are integrated with the academic program and related to the student's field of study and/or career goals. This formalized plan addresses the following:

- Description of the job and the opportunity for new learning, including workplace competencies.
- Work experiences monitored by the educational institution and supervised by the employer.
- Recognition by the educational institution of formalized periods of employment.
- Recognition of the student as an employee subject to all of the employer's conditions of employment, including remuneration.
- Evaluation of the work experiences by the students, educational institution and employer.
- Provision for maintaining interaction and communication.

4. Educational institutions are responsible for admission to the program, establishing guidelines for student eligibility, and setting policies for participation.

5. The educational institution provides formal academic recognition of the student's participation in the program, usually on an official transcript.