McComsey Career Development Center

Interviewers Say...

• "Seemed to gain a very valuable knowledge base from his co-op. Had specific examples and knowledge of real-world processing."
• "Overall, I was struck by how much experience everyone has..."
• "Past work-research experience, especially using the scanning electron microscope. Most undergrads have limited access to a SEM."

An Alfred University co-op experience is a credit bearing paid experience that consists of full time work in industry or with a research organization.


  • A student is typically enrolled in an engineering or technical program and is a sophomore, junior, or senior in good academic standing (2.7 GPA is required or approval of advisor)
  • The student is required to participate in all co-op preparation/education workshops facilitated by Career Development Center staff
  • Must report accepted position to the Career Development Center
  • Must complete a Learning Contract, provided by the Career Development Center, prior to starting the co-op

Co-op blocks run from 5 to 7 months, usually including the summer months. A typical block begins in June and runs through December, or begins in January and runs through August. Employers are asked to guarantee employment for a minimum of 5 months.

Academic credit
3 credits through Alfred University's Inamori School of Engineering. Co-op is considered a technical elective.

Co-ops are always paid; a competitive salary is offered by the employing organization. The employing organization establishes compensation for co-op employment according to its own pay scale. The employing organization is not obligated to find or establish room and board for the student, although assistance in arranging lodging is welcomed. If the work site is at some distance from the campus, the employer may provide a travel allowance. Please contact Jill Crandall, Assistant Director for Experiential Education to find out how previous co-op students have been compensated.

Agreements and documentation
Federal law now requires all employers to verify the identity of new hires. A signed social security card and state-issued photo driver's license are proof of identity.

The employing organization is encouraged to have students complete technical agreements, employee contact agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. These agreements are between the student and the employing organization; therefore, the Career Development Center does not need a copy of any employer-specific contract(s).

Requirements for students:

  • Show up for all interviews on time. If the interview takes place on campus, no-shows or cancellations require notification of the Career Development Center and a letter of apology to the individual recruiter. Failure to appear for multiple interviews may result in the loss of interview opportunities. If a student accepts another position prior to an interview a letter of withdrawal from the interview process is required. See our sample Thank You/No Thank You letter.
  • Accept a position both verbally and in writing.
  • Arrive at your work assignment promptly and prepared to begin work.
  • Dress according to office dress code.
  • Follow all employer attendance, work regulations, and policies.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions.
  • Seek feedback on your performance from your supervisor and co-workers.
  • Complete all necessary paperwork and assignments including a final learning paper, letter of recommendation and blog entries.
  • Contact the Alfred University Assistant Director for Experiential Education with any problems.

Requirements for employers:

  • Complete Work Agreement - this includes the work/study pattern to be used (summer/fall, fall only, spring only, spring/summer), the location(s), work activity within the organization, supervision of the student while on assignment, reporting system, etc. A brief company bio and co-op job description for each position is part of the Work Agreement which must be kept on file at the Career Development Center. For more information, please contact the Assistant Director for Experiential Education, Jill Crandall.
  • Notify the Career Development Center of candidates hired.
  • Complete mid-point and final evaluations of student performance (to be reviewed with the student and returned to the Career Development Center. The Assistant Director will provide these documents at the appropriate times.
  • The employer is responsible for making all candidate selection decisions, including selecting candidates to interview and choosing the successful candidate(s) for the co-op position(s) offered.
  • The employer should inform the student about the company, the position, the responsibilities of the co-op job, and the compensation package.
  • If problems arise on the job and cannot be resolved satisfactorily, the employer is asked to contact the Career Development Center.

Co-op resources for students, faculty, and employers.