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Cooperative Education

Posted By: Lois Stone on May 30, 2006
I would appreciate the opportunity for input on the practice and assessment of Cooperative Education. With the economic realities our students face, especially those in rural settings, cooperative eductaion offers many first-generation college students opportunity to look into careers for the first time. Having only an academic perspective of a career choice until the traditional Junior year in college, when the "practicum" is often introduced, is often too late. As a second semester junior, a student is lost when he/she discovers that the field he/she thought they wanted as a career is somenting they abhor. Work reality rarely mimics the TV portrayal of the teacher, lawyer, psychiatrist, fore. The economy is restricting many small businesses from considering student co-ops as affordable. Co-ops are becoming the new volunteer program. With the Federal Work-study program having been cut in half, even the option for paid on-campus co-ops has diminished. Research in Cooperative Education has proven time and time again that the earlier students begin aligning themselves within their perspective field of choice the better. Co-op as career exploration is valid, especially in community colleges with a large number of students residing in rural communities. Discussion of this topic is appreciated.
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 Cooperative Education by Lois Stone on May 30, 2006
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