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Eligibility Requirements

Co-op Checklist

Students must have:

  • completed 32 or more credits (transfer students must have completed 16 credits at Ramapo). Individual exceptions may be requested from the Director
  • A 2.0 or better GPA
  • signed an ethical conduct agreement on The Archway

Cooperative Education offers students the opportunity to:

  • obtain better direction for academic studies
  • enrich academic courses
  • earn academic credit towards graduation
  • combine theoretical and experiential learning
  • gain exposure to specialized facilities and equipment
  • work in another geographic area in the United States or abroad
  • increase interpersonal skills
  • develop confidence, maturity and responsibility
  • clarify career goals
  • test career choices
  • gain professional experience in chosen career fields
  • gain a competitive edge over students without relevant work experience
  • develop career research, resume writing and interviewing skills
  • earn income towards educational costs
  • increase the likelihood of higher starting salaries after graduation
  • bridge the gap between college and the work world

Credits for Cooperative Education Courses

Employment schedules are highly individualized and may be full or part-time. A Cooperative Education assignment must be the length of an academic semester.  Each Cooperative Education course is worth either two or four academic credits.   See below for hour requirements:

4 credits:  a position of minimum 240 hours per semester
Summer: 22 hrs/wk for 11 weeks; Fall/Spring: 16 hrs/wk for 15 weeks
2 credits:  a position of minimum 120 hours per semester
Summer: 11 hrs/wk for 11 weeks; Fall/Spring: 8 hrs/wk for 15 weeks

Students may earn up to eight academic credits from Cooperative Education courses in their academic career at Ramapo College. Students’ work is evaluated by their employer and Cooperative Education faculty advisor.

Cooperative Education Position Approval Guidelines

Cooperative education positions will be approved by the cooperative education department and cooperative education faculty advisors based on the following criteria:

  • The work site must have the proper infrastructure to ensure a safe, properly guided learning experience. The position must provide an on-site work location, which means that the work site may not be in someone’s home, nor can the position be an on-the-road position. The position must provide daily supervision. The company or agency must be registered with the appropriate Department of Labor. The site must also have a published/working telephone number and if requested, promotional literature. The following types of positions will not be approved: jobs based on commission, entrepreneurial positions, telemarketing, or childcare.
  • A student may not be permitted to work for a relative.
  • The position must provide meaningful work experience related to the student’s major and/or career objectives.

Registration

Cooperative Education is an academic course for which students register with permission from the Cooperative Education staff. The Cooperative Education staff assists students throughout the year and will guide them through appropriate registration procedures.

After acceptance of a Cooperative Education/Academic Internship position, students must:

  • meet with your career advisor
  • report a co-op hire on The Archway
  • select a Cooperative Education faculty advisor • schedule an appointment with your faculty advisor to determine your learning objectives and academic assignment
  • electronically sign the Cooperative Education Three-Way Learning Agreement after it is sent to you
  • receive “Registration Permission”* from your Career Advisor in order to register
  • complete the appropriate form with Academic Advisement if the Pass/Fail option is selected.
  • if an international student on a J1 or other visa, must obtain authorization from the international advisor and fill out the appropriate paper work
  • students must register through the “Self Service” link on “My Ramapo” to add the Cooperative Education course

* Note* (Registration authorization only gives permission to take the course).

Grading and Evaluation

At the completion of the Cooperative Education placement a three-way Evaluation takes place:

  • Students are evaluated by their employer supervisor
  • students’ learning is assessed by their Cooperative Education faculty advisor who assigns a grade based on the quality of related academic assignments and the employer evaluation
  • Students are given the opportunity to evaluate their completed Cooperative Education experience

Conversion

If students are already in positions or have recently acquired a new position on their own for which they wish to convert to Cooperative Education they must:

  • not have been in the position more than two years, or
  • demonstrate that new learning is taking place with expanded duties and responsibilities, new projects, etc.
  • submit a current resume
  • present a job description of previous duties as well as a job description on company letterhead of expanded duties while participating in Cooperative Education
  • present this information to the Cooperative Education staff, who, with a Cooperative Education faculty advisor, will determine the suitability of the job for Cooperative Education. If approved, you must follow the registration steps outlined above

If a student wishes to remain at the same site for another Cooperative Education semester, he or she must submit a new letter from a work supervisor listing new responsibilities. This new learning will also be described on the Cooperative Education Learning Agreement. The student must then continue with the required registration procedures.

Sample Employers

Today, more than 62,000 corporations world-wide employ Cooperative Education students. Building upon a strong domestic corporate base, Cooperative Education at Ramapo has been expanded to multinational companies abroad. These are some of the firms where Ramapo students have worked:

  • Bergen County Sheriff’s Department – Correction Department
  • BMWNA
  • CNBC
  • EMI Capitol Records
  • Ernst & Young
  • Essex County Juvenile Detention Center
  • The Feminist Press
  • Global Alliance for Women’s Health
  • Global Business Dimensions
  • Mahwah Museum
  • The Margaret Sanger Papers Project
  • Meadowlands Environmental Center
  • Mercedes Benz USA
  • Merrill Lynch
  • MTV
  • Nets Basketball
  • Konica Minolta
  • KPMG
  • Oasis
  • Orange & Rockland Utilities
  • Rolling Stone Magazine
  • Senator Loretta Weinberg
  • Sirius Satellite Radio
  • Sharp Electronics
  • United Parcel Service
  • Universal Music
  • Walt Disney World
  • West Bergen Mental Health Center

Sample Positions

  • Assistant Controller
  • Audit Intern
  • Budget Analyst Intern
  • Community Resource Counselor
  • Computer Programmer
  • Copy Editor
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Graphic Designer
  • Historical Researcher
  • Human Resource Assistant
  • Jr. Accountant
  • Legal Assistant
  • Legislative Intern
  • Market Researcher
  • Media Planning Assistant
  • Public Relations Assistant
  • Research Laboratory Assistant
  • TV/Video Production Assistant
  • Urban Marketing Intern
  • Web Applications Programmer

In this economy finding a job can be extremely difficult, especially if you don’t know where to look. Ramapo’s new online database, The Archway, can help students and alumni in the search for jobs by simply registering and posting a resume. The Archway can also be used to find cooperative education internships and we encourage students to use this great resource. Also visit the Cahill Career Development Web Page, https://www.ramapo.edu/cahill and click on “Career Planning Resources and Programs” on the left and then click on “Internet Resources”.

Employer, Faculty and Student Responsibilities

Cooperative Education/Academic Internships, create educational partnerships between Ramapo College of New Jersey faculty, students, and employers to combine classroom learning with practical work experience. This unique experiential opportunity allows students to earn academic credit, and often a salary. Over a one year period, 212 Ramapo students earned a total of $339,814.

Local, state, and national employers are matched with Ramapo College of New Jersey students who bring fresh perspectives and enthusiasm to the workplace. These students are assigned to a variety of special projects and duties that blend academic requirements with company goals.

For more information click on the appropriate links which delineate Student, Employer, and Faculty Responsibilities for the Cooperative Education/Academic Internship program.

In order to participate:

  • Meet with your Cahill Career Advisor to draft a resume and get assistance in finding a placement.  The Cahill Career Center offers resume reviews on a walk-in basis between 1 and 2:30 PM in Room C 209, Tuesdays through Fridays.
  • Attend a Cooperative Education/Academic Internship workshop (see the schedule on The Archway).
  •  In order to receive credit, your placement must meet program requirements and faculty approval.

Important Information Regarding Cooperative Education:

Cooperative Education Program Procedures (PDF)

NJ Transit Reduced Fair Pass Available from Ramapo’s Self Service Web Site

  • Go to My Ramapo/Luminis
  • Log in
  • Click on Web Self Service
  • Log in
  • Click on Student Services and Financial Aid
  • Click on Online NJ Transit Student Pass Enroll
  • Follow instructions
  • Questions: contact Eileen Quaglino, 201-684-7455, equaglin@ramapo.edu
FAQ

What’s the difference between a Cooperative Education/Academic Internship (co-op) and an internship?

The terms Co-op and internship can be used interchangeably but there are a few differences. An internship is usually unpaid whereas traditionally Co-ops offer payment to students. A Co-op is also supervised by a faculty advisor and an employer supervisor while an internship does not usually give a student as much support. Both allow you to gain valuable work experience in your field of choice.

What is the first step in starting the Co-op process?

A student interested in doing a Co-op should call or come in to the Cahill Center, C 209, and schedule an appointment with his/her career advisor. The career advisor will start the intake process by making sure you meet the eligibility requirements and begin the application process.

If I don’t have a job, will the career advisor find me one?

The career advisor will assist you with the job search process and provide resources through The Archway and other job sources. You will still need to go on the interviews and get the job yourself.

What if I already have a job that I want to use as my Co-op?

This is called a job conversion and you can convert the current job if it meets certain criteria.

What are the Conversion criteria?

If students are already in positions or have recently acquired a new position on their own which they wish to convert to Co-op they must:

  • not have been in the position more than two years, or
  • demonstrate that new learning is taking place with expanded duties and responsibilities, new projects, etc.
  • submit a current resume
  • present a job description of previous duties as well as a job description on company letterhead of expanded duties while participating in Co-op
  • present this information to the Co-op staff, who, with a Cooperative Education faculty advisor, will determine the suitability of the job for Cooperative Education.

If a student wishes to remain at the same site for another Cooperative Education semester, he or she must submit a new letter from a work supervisor listing new responsibilities. This new learning will also be described on the Co-op Learning Agreement. The student must then continue with the required registration procedures. Keep in mind that the job must be relevant to a student’s major and/or career goals.

How many credits can I earn for a Co-op?

Students are eligible to register for a maximum of eight academic credits that count toward graduation and are elective credits that do not count toward the major. Students electing to register for additional co-op credit (more than eight) can do so, but these credits do not count toward graduation.

How much money can I earn during this experience?

There is no limit to the amount of money students can earn; however, the main goal should not be to earn money in this experience but to gain professional experience and in some cases income toward educational expenses, link field learning to classroom learning and increase the likelihood of employment/higher salaries post-graduation

How will my grade be determined?

Student grades are determined by their faculty advisor. The grade is usually assigned based on the quality of academic assignments and employer evaluations.

Keep in mind that your academic assignment is usually the largest portion of your grade as cooperative education is an academic experience.

Are orientation and reflection sessions mandatory?

Yes, any student participating in a co-op must attend one of each session during the semester they are working. These are opportunities to learn what to expect prior to starting your co-op and to discuss your experience afterwards.

Orientation provides students with essential information for their co-op experience and reflection bridges the gap between the real world of work and the classroom. Several sessions are scheduled and students are required to register on The Archway.