What Is Cooperative Education?
Cooperative Education (Work Study) is a citywide program intended as a year-long, work-based learning experience for high school senior students, designed to give on-the-job advanced skills training. The internship and pre-work skills training aligns to a chosen CTE pathway as well as to students who are not in a CTE program.
Students develop an Individualized Cooperative Education Plan. This should include both technical and employability skills training agreed upon by the student and their co-op teacher and employer. Students are assessed based on performance to this plan, including feedback from site visits and supervisor assessment.
Students take three credits in the afternoon portion of their senior year schedule and are managed by a CPS citywide teacher along with CPS partner programs for internship training and placement. Students must apply into the Cooperative Education work study program in their junior year.
What Are The Benefits?
- See firsthand the connection between classroom education and work
- Explore interest in a particular career area
- Further develop work readiness skills
- Build resume and improve future employability
- Explore career choices prior to making long-term college and career investments
- Earn wages while learning from skilled professionals
Am I Eligible to Participate in Co-Op?
- Be a high school senior and at minimum 16 years old
- GPA minimum of 2.0, excellent school attendance, and recommendation by school counselor
- On-track to graduate by taking only four in-school classes in senior year
- Be able to work a minimum of 180 hours/semester which equates to approximately 10 hours/week
Is There a Special Code That I Need to Follow?
In accepting a cooperative education position, students are committing to adhere to the rules and disciplinary actions set forth in the CPS Student Code of Conduct as well as the employers’ code of conduct. If your conduct or attitude becomes unsatisfactory in school or on the job, conferences with your parent/guardian, teacher and employer will be held and could result in the loss of credit. Three regular elective credits are associated with Co-op for the afternoon portion of the senior year schedule.
Attendance is a very important part of this code. You are expected to report to work each day outlined in the signed training plan. You must complete a minimum of 180 hours/semester (~10 hours/week). If you are unable to attend school on a given day, you will not be able to work at the job site on that day. It's school and work, not school or work.
- You are responsible for calling both the school and job site when absent or tardy.
- Quitting or being discharged from a job because of chronic tardiness or dishonesty may result in dismissal from cooperative education with loss of credit.
- Students cannot resign or discontinue a job until discussed with your parent/guardian, teacher/counselor and employer.