Everyone’s heard of an internship. But what’s a college co-op, and why should you consider attending a college with this specialized program?
College co-ops are different from internships in a few ways:
- Internships are sometimes paid, but often not
- Co-ops are always paid
- Internships are often part-time, so students can take classes and do their internship concurrently.
- Co-ops are full-time jobs
- Interns are often tasked with more administrative duties
- During a college co-op, students participate in a substantive way just like an employee would
- Because internships during academic periods are almost always part-time and concurrent with classes, students continue to pay tuition.
- College co-ops are full-time and most college students do not pay tuition during the time they are working.
In the video above, I interviewed David Lucas from Kettering University in Michigan, which is one of the colleges that place a co-op program at the center of the educational experience. Northeastern University and Drexel University are well-known for their established co-op programs, over 100 years old each. Students can still graduate in four years with a co-op, but they’ll have work experience on their resume! Many co-op students are offered full-time jobs after their program.
Most people don’t really know the difference between an internship and a co-op, or even know what a college co-op is. I hope the interview helps you learn more about this valuable opportunity for students to learn in a hands-on environment!