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Cooperative Education

Phone: (209) 946-2151

Cooperative Education for Engineering Programs

Cooperative Education is an integral part of the engineering curriculum at University of the Pacific. The CO-OP program gives each student the practical skills and discipline necessary to pave a strong career path in their chosen field. The CO-OP program is coordinated through the School of Engineering and Computer Science Office of Cooperative Education. Faculty coordinators keep in close contact with students and their employers during the work period.

Cooperative Education (CO-OP) employment enhances an engineering degree program by relating theory to practice. During CO-OP, students apply what they have learned in the classroom to professional practice in a workplace. This process of “learning by doing’’ increases student motivation.

The Cooperative Education Program is required for students who graduate with a BS in Engineering. There are three exceptions to this requirement.

  1. International students are exempt from this requirement; however, they are encouraged to look for and embark on CO-OP opportunities. This exemption is due to the fact that their study abroad experience already qualifies as a significant “experiential learning” component of their education. (Permanent residents are not exempt from the CO-OP requirement.)
  2. Students who have prior work experience in engineering may file a petition for equivalent CO-OP credit prior to the end of their second semester on campus. Approval of the petition rests with the CO-OP Director, the student’s faculty advisor, and the Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science.
  3. Bioengineers following the biomedical career pathway.

Transfer students must be enrolled at Pacific for a minimum of one semester immediately prior to their CO-OP experience. Students on academic probation are not eligible to participate in the CO-OP program until they eliminate their academic deficiency. Successful CO-OP employment depends on many factors: Students are expected to be willing to accept co-op employment in a wide range of geographical locations and to work aggressively with the CO-OP coordinators in preparing resumes, developing interviewing skills and seeking appropriate positions.

All lower-division courses, as well as fundamental skills requirements, are to be completed before a student begins their CO-OP assignment. All students must complete their CO-OP requirement prior to the final semester of courses. A minimum of seven units (undergraduate or graduate) must be completed after the CO-OP experience. At least three of these seven units must be from their major area. While on their CO-OP, students do not enroll in academic courses at Pacific or at another institution in a traditional classroom setting or online. This is to maintain the high level of workplace performance anticipated by our CO-OP industry partners, and provided by the University and CO-OP program.

If a student receives financial aid, income from CO-OP employment may affect the amount of financial assistance a student receives during the employment period.

Cooperative Education For Computer Science Program

Experiential learning is an integral part of the computer science curriculum at University of the Pacific. All computer science students are required to complete a senior project, which is a primary experiential learning experience. Computer Science students are strongly encouraged to also elect a CO-OP experience or undergraduate research, to further enhance their experiential learning. Cooperative education employment enhances a computer science degree program by relating theory to practice. During CO-OP, students apply what they have learned in the classroom to a working situation. This process of “learning by doing’’ increases student motivation and improves student’s understanding of their future career prospects.

Computer science students who elect a CO-OP experience spend at least one term in their position. The CO-OP program is coordinated through the School of Engineering and Computer Science Office of Cooperative Education. Faculty coordinators keep in close contact with students and their employers during the work periods.

Transfer students must be enrolled at Pacific for a minimum of one semester immediately prior to their CO-OP experience. Students on academic probation are not eligible to participate in the CO-OP program until they eliminate their academic deficiency. Finding CO-OP employment depends on many factors. Students are expected to work aggressively with the CO-OP coordinators in preparing resumes, developing interviewing skills and seeking appropriate positions.

All lower-division core courses, as well as fundamental skills requirements must be completed before a student is eligible for the CO-OP program. All students must complete their CO-OP requirement prior to the final semester of courses. A minimum of seven units must be completed after the CO-OP experience. At least three of the seven units must be from their major area.

If a student receives financial aid, income from CO-OP employment may affect the amount of financial assistance a student receives during the employment period.

Cooperative Education Faculty

Irene Camy, Assistant Director of Cooperative Education, 2015

Steven M. Harvath, Director of Cooperative Education, 2014, BA in Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; MA in Anthropology, Brown University, Providence, RI; PhD, Anthropology, Brown University, Providence, RI.