Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Co-op?
When should I do a Co-op?
What majors are eligible for a Co-op?   
What are the prerequisites for participating in a Co-op?  
Will Co-op credits transfer?   
Will I get paid for this work experience?   
How do I get started?
What happens next?
How is credit earned?


What is Co-op?

 Co-op is Cooperative Education Program—a unique one or two semester plan of education that integrates classroom study with supervised career-related work experience. Co-op is one way to get important, relevant work experience in your major prior to graduation. 

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When should I do a Co-op?

A Co-op work experience ideally is done in your last semester. You earn college credits, depending on the number of hours committed to the job. (For example: 3 Credits=150 hours, 6 Credits=300 hours.) 

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What majors are eligible for a Co-op?

Generally, Cooperative Education at CCAC is designed primarily for occupational majors that do not incorporate mandatory work experience into their curriculum. Check with the Job Placement & Career Services office on your campus for specifics.

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What are the prerequisites for participating in a Co-op?

Most programs require that half of a student's course credits be completed or that the student have special approval. Thirty (30) or more college credits are recommended, and a 2.5 grade point average is required.

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Will Co-op credits transfer?

The credits may or may not transfer or be applied to a 4-year degree. You need to check with a CCAC Transfer Counselor or the 4-year college or university of your choice.

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Will I get paid for this work experience?

Co-op work experiences may be paid or unpaid. The employer determines pay rate, if any, and the work schedule. The most important criterion for the Co-op position is its relevance to your field of study.

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How do I get started?

At least one full semester prior to your Co-op semester:      

  • Schedule an appointment with an Employment Specialist in the Job Placement & Career Services office.  
  • Complete a Cooperative Education application.  
  • Develop a current resume.  
  • Be prepared to actively assist in the search for an appropriate site.  
  • Be prepared to interview for appropriate positions.  
  • Register and pay the tuition for Co-op credits.

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What happens next?

Once a Co-op site is established and confirmed:    

  •  You will be given permission to register for the Co-op credits.
  • A faculty member will oversee your Co-op experience.

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How is credit earned?

Credit is earned based on:  

  • Completion of hours.  
  • Employer's evaluation.  
  • Communication and completion of responsibilities assigned by a faculty member.

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