This research analyzes the program structure, marketing, and assessment of cooperative education and internship programs.
Key observations from our research
1. The career services department manages cooperative education and internship programs at Institution C and Institution D, while specific program offices and academic departments share responsibility for program management at Institution A and Institution B.
2. Students at profiled institutions who complete cooperative education and internship programs for academic credit must supplement their experiential learning with semester work plans, journal entries, lectures, and assignments (e.g., networking).
3. Cooperative education and program staff focus recruitment efforts (e.g., posters, classroom presentations, targeted emails) on the benefits of the programs (e.g., career preparation, experience) rather than the structure of the programs.
4. To assess cooperative education and internship programs, program leadership considers student enrollment in the programs, employer evaluations, student completion rates, and students’ employment rates after graduation.