Co-op vs. Traditional College Programs
One way to help pay for college is to work while in school, but wouldn’t it be better if a student could earn college credits for working. Too good to be true, you exclaim? Well, such a program has been going on for over several decades at a few schools. At co-op colleges similar to Northeastern University in Boston, Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and Drexel in Philadelphia, students spend a portion of their undergraduate years taking classes and a portion working as an intern at a job directly related to the student’s major. The classroom learning is integrated with the on-the-job experience. Students learn employment skills and build a network of work-related resources. Unlike many intern programs, co-op students are paid, often 15-18 dollars. At some co-op colleges students earn 30 thousand to fifty thousand dollars over the course of their undergraduate years and often have the option to live on campus while working at a co-op company.
This on-the-job training period also helps students in making important career decisions. At several co-op companies students are hired right after graduation. Maturity is likely to develop along with the network of employers and colleagues. College students involved in co-op education are offered a clear objective to work toward, and the co-op experience is an added value to students’ interests and goals. Students experience the direct relationship of classroom learning to what goes on in the workplace. With this maturity comes the self-confidence to make changes, try something new, and not be afraid to fail.
CPSi consultants guide a student to compare many options, including a co-op program when appropriate, to determine their best-fit colleges. Enrolling in the best-fit program and college can make the difference between success and failure, and between earning an undergrad degree in four years or five or six. For some, the co-op experience is the best fit and can mean success without the burden of long-term debt. As in most important decisions, knowing the facts is essential to making the right choice. CPSi’s students have access to the relevant facts when making such important decisions.