Cooperative Education (Co-op) is an optional, academic program that enables students to earn academic credit while gaining degree-related work experience prior to graduation. It is a planned, progressive educational strategy in which the student learns about his/her field of study through hands-on experience in the workplace.
To be eligible for Co-op, students must have:
- Successfully completed at least 60 hours (junior or senior standing)
- Successfully completed the pre-business core courses
- Cumulative University of Arkansas GPA of at least 2.5 for 1 or 2 hours, or 2.75 for 3 hours*
- Co-op eligible job: one that is directly related to a student's major and career goals and will enable students to take classroom learning to work and bring on-the-job learning back to school -- the student must be working throughout the semester they are receiving co-op credit; no credit can be granted for past work experience.
*Eligible students can receive up to 3 hours of co-op credit per semester (fall, spring, and/or summer) for up to 6 hours total. Students working at a co-op eligible job can receive the following number of credit hours per semester based on GPA and hours worked per week:
- 1 credit hour working at least 12 hours a week with a GPA of at least 2.5
- 2 credit hours working at least 20 hours a week with a GPA of at least 2.5
- 3 credit hours working at least 40 hours a week with a GPA of at least 2.75
Co-op can count toward upper level business elective credit or general education elective credit - each student should check with an academic advisor to verify which will work for their degree plan. Co-op may also satisfy up to 3 hours toward certain business minors (click here for details on minor eligibility).
Registration Guidelines & Course Requirements
Students interested in receiving Co-op credit must complete the following enrollment process and course requirements:
- Students must fill out the online Co-op Application. Completed applications must be submitted at least one week before the last day to add a class for the semester the student wishes to receive credit (fall, spring, and/or summer) -- the student must be working throughout the semester they are receiving co-op credit; no credit can be granted for past work experience:
- Spring 2017 deadline: applications are no longer being accepted - the deadline was noon on January 17, 2017
- Summer 2017 deadline: noon on May 24, 2017
- Fall 2017 deadline: noon on August 22, 2017
- The Career Center will then verify the student's employment, and, if eligible, Co-op (WCOB 310V) will be added to the student's schedule by the second week of classes for the semester they wish to be enrolled. (Co-op is an online course; it will show up on the student's schedule like any other course, but there is no scheduled classroom time.) Students will receive an email once their employment has been verified and they have been added to the course (or if there is an issue with the application). Students must check their schedule to ensure that they are enrolled in Co-op and are registered for the correct number of hours. If there is an error, students should contact the Career Center as soon as possible.
- The Career Center will email enrolled students after school starts with instructions for completing the four co-op assignments in Blackboard, which will include: Learning Objectives, Student Work Report Form, Employer's Evaluation and Co-op Term Paper. (Click here to view the assignments.)
- When the student submits all four assignments through Blackboard, they will be reviewed. If the assignments are approved, the student will receive credit/"CR" for Co-op. If the assignments are late or unacceptable, the student will receive an "I." These students will need to discuss the incomplete with the Career Center to make up the assignments.
Attention Accounting Majors: The accounting department offers an accounting internship credit (ACCT 310V); you should check with your academic advisor and/or the accounting department to determine which course you need.
Attention International Students: In addition to applying for co-op credit, you should contact the ISS office for CPT authorization before beginning employment.
The Arkansas Cooperative Education Program in Business Scholarship is designed to offer qualified business majors the opportunity to receive college credit while gaining valuable on-the-job experience in fields related to their academic majors. Scholarship recipients will work at a full-time, Co-op eligible job in Arkansas during the summer between their junior and senior years. They will then receive scholarship payments totaling $2,000 during their senior year. Recipients also have the option to earn up to 3 hours of co-op credit. In order to qualify for the summer 2018 scholarship, students must:
- Be at least a junior in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the time of application (with expected graduation date of fall 2018 or spring/summer 2019),
- Have completed all pre-business core requirements, and
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8 at the time of application and at the time of the scholarship award.
Applications for the summer 2017 co-op scholarship are now closed. Applications for the summer 2018 co-op scholarship will be available in late fall 2017.
For more information about Co-op, contact the Walton College Career Center: 479-575-6100 or email@example.com.