Co-op/Internship gives students the opportunity to work in their field while earning credit at the same time. Often, the credits can be applied to requirements in your major field of study; this varies by department.
The majority of students, while working full time, do not register in classes, but do maintain their full-time student status at WSU while registered in the Professional Practice and Experiential Learning (PPEL) Program.
Qualifying jobs are 50% or more engineering-related duties. If the job description qualifies, students can earn credit. Once a student accepts a job offer, their next step is to setup a pre-work meeting to register their experience.
Employers hire Voiland College students for a minimum of 14 weeks (one term or semester including summer) up to a maximum of 12 months (three terms or semesters including summer). Many employers prefer an experience that is six months or longer (for example, June through December).
WSU students, use their WSU Network ID to access CougLink, a job search database, to find work in their desired field (or use other resources). While working, the student maintains full-time student status and earns college credit through ENGR 488 and ENGR 489.
- Co-op/Internship work is usually full-time (more than 30 hours per week), but sometimes part-time (less than 30 hours per week).
- Credits earned depends on the number of hours worked. Full-time work earns two credits of ENGR 488; part-time work earns one credit of ENGR 488.
- Co-op/Internship jobs usually begin at the beginning of the term or semester – summer, fall, or spring.
- The PPEL program comprises a two-part linked course registration. While working on the job, students are registered for ENGR 488. The semester following the work period, students are registered for ENGR 489, a one-credit course. If the student is graduating at the completion of their Co-op/Internship, they are registered in ENGR 488 and ENGR 489 concurrently.
Advantages of Co-op and Internships
Co-op students gain hands-on work experience while earning credits toward a degree. Businesses gain the opportunity to recruit, evaluate, and train potential employees. As a student, a Co-op/Internship experience helps you fine tune your career goals and objectives. The relevant work experience also increases your job readiness and your marketability after graduation.
- All Co-op and Internship jobs sanctioned by Voiland College are paid.
- Gain work experience and transferable skills by applying methods and theories learned in class.
- Co-op and Internship jobs comprise work that is 50% or more related to the major.
- Have an edge in the job market.
- Get a foot in the door at a company.
- Network with professionals in the field, for references and future job opportunities.
- Develop new skills and refine others.
- Gain confidence in your abilities.
- Students on full-time Co-op/Internship jobs are considered full-time students during the terms they are working. This means you may be eligible for financial aid, student housing (if working in Pullman), student insurance, etc.
Getting Started with a Co-op or Internship
It’s always a good idea to meet with your academic advisor to determine how a Co-op/Internship will affect your time-to-degree and to meet with the PPEL Program to discuss program requirements and to help you get started with the process.
Search for opportunities on CougLink and find a job.
Once a job offer has been accepted, and before the student starts working, the student will need to set up a pre-work meeting with the PPEL office.
Before beginning the job, set up and attend a pre-work meeting to learn about the PPEL Program requirements and registration for ENGR 488 and ENGR 489.
- Set up a 30-minute pre-work meeting with the PPEL staff, EME 202H, email@example.com.
- Bring to the meeting:
- The job offer letter, including dates of employment
- Job description
- Street address of the work site
- Supervisor’s name (if known)
- International students must bring the International Programs CPT Request Form signed by their Academic Advisor.