Cooperative Education and Internship Program | A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland

Our programs allow students to combine classroom theory with career-related work experience giving them professional growth and personal development opportunities. At the same time, employers benefit by increasing recruitment and retention, cutting labor costs, and pre-training future employees.

Definition of Terms

An internship or co-op assignment is a monitored work experience in which an individual has intentional learning goals and reflects actively on what she or he is learning throughout the experience. For engineering students, traditionally co-op has been defined as full-time work during a traditional school semester which may or may not be combined with a summer. However, there are increasingly more part-time co-op positions. Internships are part-time during the school year or full-time in the summer. The bottom line is that there is a great deal of flexibility in work schedules and our top priority is to do what is best for the student and employer, regardless of the terminology.

  • Reduce the cost of recruitment by previewing potential future hires.
  • Pre-train future employees.
  • Cut labor costs and supplement your work force.
  • Instill new energy into your organization through the enthusiasm of student employees.
  • Provide management development opportunities for your current employees by providing them with supervisory roles.
  • Provide your organization with campus ambassadors as students return to their studies after work.
  • Employment should relate to the student's field of study and be considered a significant educational experience.
  • Assignments should require creative problem solving and not be limited to repetitive or routine tasks.
  • Work periods should be progressive so that students are given increased levels of responsibility as experience and expertise are achieved.
  • Employers will provide student employees with quality training and a supervisor who will provide guidance and direction.
  • Employers will demonstrate a genuine interest in integrating the students as team members of the organization.
  • Employers will complete a written performance evaluation at the end of each work period.
  • Students should receive a fair and competitive salary.
  • Employers will not make any offers of employment, which would be in conflict with the students' academic obligations and commitments.
  • Employers may, but are not obligated to offer students permanent employment upon graduation, nor are students obligated to accept any such offers.

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