Cooperative Education (co-op) is the integration of classroom theory with practical work experience where students alternate attendance at school with periods of professional employment. A three-way partnership is designed between the cooperating employer, the Auburn University Co-op Program, and the participating students to merge professional opportunities with student talent and resources to achieve many goals.


Some of the ideals upon which the program is based are:

  1. Students’ work should be related as closely as possible to their field of study and interest within the field.
  2. Employment is considered to be a regular, continuing, and essential element in the educational process, and some minimum amount of employment and a minimum standard of performance must be included in the requirement for the Co-op Diploma presented by the school.
  3. The work experience will ideally increase in difficulty and responsibility as the student progresses through the academic curriculum and shall parallel as closely as possible progress through the academic phases.

We invite you to join us as a co-op employer to support these ideals.

Secure Future Hiring Needs
Co-op employers are not required to hire co-op students into full-time positions upon graduation, but oftentimes co-op students go to work full-time for their co-op employers after finishing their degrees. By hiring co-op students, employers give themselves a pool of acclimated, company-trained candidates to fill full-time positions.

Extended Interview
The Co-op Program offers a unique opportunity for employers to evaluate co-op students for an extended period of time. Through the process of hosting students for three work rotations, employers can observe students and determine their potential for future success within the organization.

Build Your Brand
By hiring co-op students and ensuring that they have challenging, positive work experiences, you will gain ambassadors on campus who can tell others about their fantastic work semesters. Some co-op employers even involve their current co-op students in on-campus recruiting events to help spread the word about opportunities with their organization.

STARTING A CO-OP PROGRAM

Having decided that you wish to hire Auburn University co-op students,

  1. The first step you should take is to contact the AU Co-op Program staff to arrange an initial planning session. The staff will discuss the program with you and determine how the program can best work for you.
  2. Plan the work assignments. Know what you want the student to do before they arrive.
  3. Determine qualities (academic and personal) desired in a co-op applicant and connect with us to post a job.


Tips for a Successful Co-op Program

  1. Work with students to make them feel like they are part of the team and community at your company
  2. Incorporate meetings and exposure with senior leadership to build critical soft skills
  3. Have students present their projects to management for leadership experience
  4. Incorporate a 3rd semester or capital project in their last working rotation
  5. Incorporate professional development and skills training into students’ work life
  6. Excellent supervision and mentoring throughout work rotations
  7. Students tend to be satisfied with more structure, so providing a structured work experience will most likely lead to higher performance

Employer FAQs

1. Are all students required to participate in the Co-op Program?

 No, co-op is a highly recommended but optional program offered at Auburn University.

2. What are some of my responsibilities as an employer?

Co-op work terms should provide meaningful employment exposure related to the student's field of study. Employers are responsible for providing full-time, paid employment for 3 alternating semesters. To ensure the success of the program, continued collaborative efforts with the Co-op Coordinators are necessary. Co-op employers must also complete the student’s SkillSurvey evaluation after each work term.

3. How do I apply to recruit co-op students?

Students are available year-round and there are three work terms per year– fall, spring, and summer. You can apply for co-op student recruitment by contacting the Co-op office.

4. What are the benefits of hiring a co-op student?

There are several benefits of hiring a co-op student. Students can provide solutions to staffing needs and they are available year-round to work. Students are also eager to learn and will bring creative and fresh new ideas to the workplace. Companies can also use the Co-op Program as a recruitment tool to pre-screen future employees.

The CDCR supports the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) standards on internships. These standards state that internships need to meet specific criteria to ensure compliance with the United States Department of Labor and Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA).

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework. 
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.   
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals. 

Co-op Work Term Calendar 

Summer 2023  (12 weeks)

Report to Work     Monday, May 8

Evaluations Due    Friday, July 28

Work Term Ends    Friday, August 4

 

Fall 2023 (20 weeks)

Report to Work     Monday, August 7

Evaluations Due    Friday, December 15

Work Term Ends    Friday, December 22

 

Spring 2024   (20 weeks)

Report to Work     Tuesday, January 2

Evaluations Due    Friday, May 3

Work Term Ends    Friday, May 17

 

Summer 2024   (12 weeks)

Report to Work     Monday, May 6

Evaluations Due    Friday, July 26

Work Term Ends    Friday, August 2

 

Fall 2024 (20 weeks)

Report to Work     Monday, August 5

Evaluations Due    Friday, December 13

Work Term Ends    Friday, December 20

 

Students will participate in a 3-semester rotation (typically a Fall, Spring, and Summer semester) for a total of 52 weeks, equivalent to 1 year of experience prior to graduation.

Auburn Academic Calendar: http://www.auburn.edu/main/auweb_calendar.html

Co-op Salaries by Major

 

Co-op Salaries by Major (Summer 2022-Spring 2023)

Average co-op pay rate 1st term

Major

Average

Count

Aerospace Engineering

$20.75

31

Biosystems Engineering

$20.25

7

Chemical Engineering

$23.30

75

Civil Engineering

$19.57

51

Computer Engineering

$20.84

18

Computer Science

$19.96

63

Electrical Engineering

$20.91

62

Industrial Engineering

$20.14

50

Mechanical Engineering

$21.11

132

Software Engineering

$20.05

37

Overall

$20.93

526

* - Insufficient Data

Average co-op pay rate by major

Major

Average

Count

Aerospace Engineering

$19.05

13

Biosystems Engineering

*

2

Chemical Engineering

$22.60

23

Civil Engineering

$19.67

17

Computer Engineering

$20.89

7

Computer Science

$17.93

20

Electrical Engineering

$20.14

22

Industrial Engineering

$19.32

17

Mechanical Engineering

$20.05

40

Software Engineering

$18.25

7

Overall

$19.97

168

* - Insufficient Data

Average co-op pay rate 2nd term

Major

Average

Count

Aerospace Engineering

$21.90

9

Biosystems Engineering

*

1

Chemical Engineering

$23.40

25

Civil Engineering

$19.33

17

Computer Engineering

$20.64

5

Computer Science

$20.93

17

Electrical Engineering

$20.86

19

Industrial Engineering

$20.64

22

Mechanical Engineering

$21.45

46

Software Engineering

$19.10

15

Overall

$21.14

176

* - Insufficient Data

Average co-op pay rate 3rd term

Major

Average

Count

Aerospace Engineering

$23.13

9

Biosystems Engineering

*

4

Chemical Engineering

$23.83

27

Civil Engineering

$19.70

17

Computer Engineering

$21.25

6

Computer Science

$20.82

26

Electrical Engineering

$21.85

21

Industrial Engineering

$20.86

11

Mechanical Engineering

$22.07

46

Software Engineering

$22.26

15

Overall

$21.86

182

* - Insufficient Data

  

Housing Information

45% of co-op students either receive a housing stipend or have housing provided by their co-op employer.

Average monthly housing stipend received: $846.70