McComsey Career Development Center

Co-op Employers Have Said...

• "The education that AU co-ops receive prepares them well for working in a materials lab. It's always a great moment when the connection is made between a project we are working on and something learned in a class at Alfred."
• "The co-op student has a solid foundation in hands on ceramic processing. He has started to understand industrial ceramic processing and how to tie the fundamental science that he learned in school together with his experimental results."
• "The co-op student is always eager to learn new things and dive into new projects. She demonstrates technical talent and willingness to tackle new projects. We hope to have her back for a future co-op and expect that she would be a strong candidate for a full time hire upon graduation."

An Alfred University co-op experience is a credit bearing, formally recognized program integrating classroom learning and productive paid work experiences in a field related to a student's academic and career goals. Co-op consists of full time work in industry or with a research organization, integrating theory and practice.


  • 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

What Previous Co-op Students Have Said:

"Would I recommend a co-op experience to my fellow students? Absolutely, without a doubt. You gain a wealth of experience that can only be learned in the work place; experience that gives you a foot-up on your competition when it comes to applying for a job."

Catherine Sahi"It was great to be able to recognize and apply concepts learned in class to what is really used in the work environment. I have a new appreciation for the education I have completed and motivation to continue the path I am on."

"The lessons I learned are not lessons that can be learned in a classroom. Combining a co-op into my engineering education was one of the best choices I could have made for myself and my future."

"There is NO better way to see if you like something than to go out and do it. I think it's worth noting that I am not that great of a student and you don't have to be, you just have to be willing to learn. In short, go on a co-op. You'll come back to a place that looks the same and sounds the same, but you'll realize it is you that has changed."

"I learned more than I could've ever imagined and gained the skills needed to excel in a manufacturing setting. My communication, presentation, time management, and persuasion skills were few among many that were harnessed and refined while on co-op."

Co-op blocks run from 5 to 7 months, usually including the summer months. A typical block begins in May/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.

Ethan Berberich and Ben Thomas at borgwarnerAcademic 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.
  • Alex Turner
  • 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.