Working Semester, General Details

Work and Academic Semester Schedule

Work and Academic Semester Schedule

Number and Order of Working Semesters

The duration of the co-op will be decided by the employer and the student upon hiring.

The standard Co-op Program work sequence calls for working and attending school during alternate semesters for a total of three semesters of work. However, in some cases, it is advantageous to have two of the three work periods back-to-back. For example, there could be a summer/fall work period or a spring/summer work period, with a third work period the following summer.

Students are not allowed to work only summer semesters, due to the shorter time-period and the long break between working semesters. Students need to work at least one spring or one fall semester in their work rotation.

It is recommended that students work for three semesters rather than two; however, some employers only offer two-semester co-ops and those are generally scheduled back-to-back.

Working three semesters in a row is occasionally allowed with approval from the Co-op Director, but is discouraged as it can seriously disrupt a student's academic planning. The Co-op Director will look at your academic records and creating a plan of UNITE or night classes to keep up with academics, before giving approval.

It is up to the student and the employer to negotiate and document a plan specifying how many semesters will be available to the student, and which semesters those will be. It is the student's obligation to document this work-academic plan during the first work semester by completing the Work Assignment Plan with his or her supervisor. The student is responsible for submitting this form to the Co-op office within the first two weeks of the first work semester and updating it as necessary by resubmitting the form. Registration in 4043W and 4044 is contingent upon having a valid work-academic plan in place. Failure to complete a work-academic plan precludes registration for 4043 and 4044 and effectively ends the student's involvement in the Co-op Program.

Working During the Academic Semester

Working During the Academic Semester

Working During the Academic Semester

Co-op students are discouraged from working for their Co-op employer during their academic semesters. However, circumstances sometimes arise in which students are needed for their special skills, knowledge, or experience on a specific job. Students who work during academic semesters should have a somewhat better than average GPA and should not exhibit a decline in performance. Work hours during the academic semester should not exceed ten hours per week. If grades start to suffer or if these guidelines are exceeded, the student should talk to his or her supervisor and, if not resolved, should contact the Co-op Director.

Taking Classes during the Work Semester

Taking Classes during the Work Semester

Taking Classes during the Work Semester

The Co-op work period consists of full-time employment; therefore, it is not possible to take a full academic course load during a working term. Taking an additional academic course during working semesters may help students stay on track with coursework and graduate on time, but doing so should not interfere with completing Co-op coursework and should not take away from working a full 40 hours per week.

Students are allowed to take no more than one academic course in addition to the Co-op course during any work term; taking more classes requires permission from the Co-op director.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance

Health Insurance

Please read the attached document for instructions on how to continue with your University health insurance. The Co-op Program is considered a "clinical rotation," which under Boynton's rules qualifies you to continue on with your student health insurance plan.

Employer Regulations and Holidays

Employer Regulations and Holidays

Employer Regulations and Holidays

A student on co-op assignment must observe all the rules and regulations of the employer and not expect special treatment. For instance, University holidays and breaks do not apply during the work assignment.

Workplace Challenges

Workplace Challenges

Workplace Challenges

Any misunderstanding or challenge that a student might have with an employer should be discussed with Engineering Co-op Program personnel. Layoffs or extended absence due to illness or other emergencies should be reported immediately to the Co-op facilitator and the Co-op Director.