Your Pathway to Success

For 50 years, students in the School of Engineering and Computer Science have gained real-world experience through our Cooperative Education program (CO-OP). CO-OP is an experiential internship program for juniors and seniors to gain hands-on experience with an organization while earning academic units towards their degree. Students practice and grow their engineering and computer science skills while enhancing the soft skills needed to thrive in their future careers. 

CO-OP allows students to: 

  • Connect classroom knowledge to industry practice
  • Learn and practice professional skills needed to successfully collaborate in a team 
  • Learn job hunting and interviewing skills 
  • Build a network of professionals 
  • Earn a paycheck to help defer educational expenses 

 

Hire a CO-OP Student

The Office of Cooperative Education is here to support you in your hiring process. We assist with posting your position, sending resumes, and scheduling your interviews. 

To get started send us your job description.

Here is an overview for hiring a student for CO-OP.

Rachel Owens, Electrical Engineering Major
Electrical Engineering
Rachel Owens ’20

"CO-OP was one of the reasons I chose Pacific because it is such a crucial learning experience. I was a little intimidated by the process when I first got here, but honestly, it was pretty painless. You do the CO-OP seminar class and professor Camy walks you through every single step. I did the interviews all here on campus and I got the one I wanted at Hewlett Packard Enterprise."

Getting Involved

The CO-OP program is a three-way partnership involving the University, the employer and the student. To ensure that all parties experience a positive relationship, we request that all CO-OP employers review the SOECS expectations for the CO-OP assignment.

  • Employers are encouraged to provide a brief job description.
  • The job assignment must relate to the student's field of study. These assignments should be challenging and increase with difficulty during the course of the CO-OP.
  • The student should be supervised by a degreed engineer or computer scientist who should meet regularly with the student.
  • Students must be paid a reasonable salary.
  • Employers are expected to allow the CO-OP coordinators and faculty advisors to visit the work-site and review the program.
  • It is recommended that student learning objectives and employer expectations be outlined early in the process so both parties are aware of each other's goals for the work term.
  • Employers must complete an evaluation (form provided by the CO-OP office) upon the student's completion of the CO-OP experience. We encourage employers to meet with the student to review their performance over the duration of the CO-OP.

Benefits to Employers

  • Accessible Talent Pool - Exposure to a year-round supply of well-trained, highly motivated student employees. Students spend six months on the job working, not merely training.
  • Relief to Workforce - Students lend relief to an organization's more skilled, permanently staffed professionals to perform other tasks in peak or normal periods. They add enthusiasm, a fresh perspective and an infusion of energy to your existing work environment.
  • Evaluate Prospective Employees - Employers have a cost-effective means of evaluating the potential of future employees without making a long-term hiring commitment. If a CO-OP graduate is hired to a permanent position, significantly less training time is needed.
  • Promote Your Company on Campus - Upon their return to school, CO-OP's share their work experiences with their classmates, thus bringing your organization to the attention of other students - one of the most effective means of "advertising" an employer can have.
  • Reduce Recruitment Costs - Provides you with a seamless way to meet your long-range recruitment goals. You can carefully evaluate the student as a prospective employee before deciding to initiate negotiations for permanent employment. Hiring through co-op greatly reduces new employee recruitment costs that could range between $30,000 to $50,000 per hire.

The School of Engineering has put together these guidelines and suggestions for CO-OP student employers and supervisors.

Prior to student arrival

  • Brainstorm to develop a list of projects the student could be helpful with.
  • Determine what department(s) and project(s) the student will be assigned to. If available, begin planning specific assignments.
  • Assign a Supervisor and/or Mentor: Choose a mentor that will be able to answer technical as well as non-technical questions, as well as possibly help counsel the student on education and/or professional aspirations Does the student need assistance with housing and transportation?
  • Prepare office equipment (phone, computer, workstation) and other office and/or HR-related paperwork for the student.

The first day of work

Provide student with an orientation consisting of a:

  • Sitemap (buildings, parking lot, lunchroom, business offices)
  • Office/building tour
  • Review of office equipment (phone, copier room, computer, parking, timecard)
  • Discussion of company and office code of ethics
  • Introduction and discussion of employees and company structure
  • Discussion of professional behavior standards (dress code, work hours)
  • Discussion of how to deal with workplace issues such as harassment
  • Discussion of time management (timecards, breaks, lunch, appointments)
  • Discussion of expectations of the student, possibly including a job description
  • Any necessary safety training

Treat the student like a real employee

  • Encourage them to actively participate in meetings
  • Involve them in company events and activities

Ideas to strengthen the student's experience

  • Introduce and train the student on new relevant computer software, if available
  • Provide hands-on training, such as taking the student into the field
  • Provide projects for the students that involve a range of activities including idea generation, design, product conception, manufacturing, testing, and/or quality control
  • Provide opportunities for the student to complete a written and/or oral project and/or presentation.

 

Examples of skills that students look to gain while on CO-OP

  • Lab skills
  • Project management skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Self-motivation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Team-building skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills

Student Development and Evaluations First week:

  • Discuss the student's short and long-term responsibilities and expectations
  • Discuss the path the student would like to pursue at the company
  • Suggest methods for tracking daily tasks

Mid-term:

  • Follow up on student progress
  • Discuss CO-OP office staff site visit with student

Last week of term:

  • Discuss the industry and work experience with the student
  • Discuss any future opportunities within the company

Why CO-OP?

Who must take CO-OP?

How long is a CO-OP?

How many credits do I get for a CO-OP?

Will I be paid during my CO-OP?

I am a Computer Science major. Should I do a CO-OP?

Is tuition charged during CO-OP?

How do I find a CO-OP?

How to prepare for CO-OP?

Are there international CO-OPs?

May I take classes while I am on CO-OP?

I am a transfer student. How do I fit a CO-OP into my experience?

When should I take my CO-OP?

Are there pre-requisites for a CO-OP?

What is ENGR 181-182 Professional Practice?

I am an international student. Can I do a CO-OP?

What should I do if I am unable to secure a CO-OP?

May I take CO-OP at the end of my academic career?

I worked for an engineering firm before I enrolled at Pacific can that count as CO-OP?

 

Why CO-OP?
You will strengthen and reinforce your academic engineering knowledge and skills, acquire hands-on industry experience and programming skills, learn how to navigate in a corporate environment and build confidence.  CO-OP makes you more employable.  Employers tell us that they prefer to hire graduates with the real-world experience that CO-OP provides, and many SOECS CO-OP students are offered full time positions post graduation. Additionally, it allows you to:

  • Connect classroom knowledge to industry practice
  • Learn and practice professional skills needed to successfully collaborate in a team
  • Learn job hunting and interviewing skills in preparation to your CO-OP and post-graduate employment
  • Build a network of professionals who are interested in seeing you succeed
  • Earn a paycheck during CO-OP which can help defer educational expenses

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Who must take CO-OP?
CO-OP is a requirement for undergraduate students majoring in BioengineeringCivil EngineeringEngineering ManagementMechanical EngineeringElectrical EngineeringEngineering Physics and Computer Engineering. CO-OP is an integral part of the curriculum for these majors. CO-OP is optional for Computer Science, the Biomedical career path in Bioengineering and for international students.

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How long is a CO-OP?
A CO-OP is two academic terms. Since you receive academic credit for your CO-OP, the Director of Cooperative Education must ascertain and approve the quality and length of your experience. Generally a CO-OP extends over a semester and a summer. This implies that the beginning date of your CO-OP is shortly after the last day of classes and your end date is shortly before the beginning of classes.

CO-OP is a full-time employment with an engineering or computer science-related firm for a specified period of time.  The agreement you make with your CO-OP employer usually spells out the beginning and end date for your employment.  

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How many credits do I get for a CO-OP?
You will receive a total of 32 units or 16 per academic term.  CO-OP is a regular course, ENGR 181 and ENGR 182, with a syllabus, graded assignments, and final report. You will receive a pass/no credit grade for the class.  If in the determination of the Director of Cooperative Education, your CO-OP is not sufficiently long or of sufficient quality your CO-OP units may be less than 32 units.  

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Yes. You will be paid. Pay rates vary greatly from industry to industry and region to region.  We see CO-OP salaries in the range of $15.00 to $32.00 per hour.    
Note to advisors: students may petition to the Director of the Cooperative Education to take an unpaid position to satisfy the CO-OP requirement.  The volunteer experience must meet all requirements for a CO-OP.

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I am a Computer Science major. Should I do a CO-OP?
You should strongly consider doing a CO-OP. The growth, experience and the benefits you will receive during a CO-OP are no different than an engineering student. 

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Is tuition charged during CO-OP?
Yes, as you will be a full time enrolled student in one of the ENGR 18x courses. The tuition is greatly reduced.

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How do I find a CO-OP?
Finding a CO-OP is a 'cooperative' process. Your active and early participation in the job search is essential for success. The CO-OP office brings CO-OP employers to campus for interviews and arranges for off-campus interviews. You are expected to also search for your own CO-OP.  In the class ENGR 25, and in conjunction with the Career Resource Center, we will give you the techniques to successfully find a CO-OP.   

Sometimes the best way to find a CO-OP is to work in parallel with all available resources and through your own network of family, friends, faculty and employers.  The keyword is being flexible and open to getting a good experience. 

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How to prepare for CO-OP?
At the start of your first year at Pacific, you will meet with your faculty advisor to create your Academic Plan.  Depending on your major, your faculty advisor can tell you what you will need to accomplish and when you can expect to graduate. This determines where your CO-OP fits in your academic career. It is never too early to start looking for a CO-OP.

  • Keep your résumé and LinkedIn updated
  • Set up an account on Tiger Jobs at the Career Resource Center
  • Consider a summer internship early in your academic career
  • Work your networks of family and friends for leads to a CO-OP

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Are there international CO-OPs?
 You may do an international CO-OP. INTL 151 course: Cross Cultural Training is recommended to be completed prior to working overseas. You may also need to take appropriate language courses. You should consult International Programs and Services for additional requirements and information. An international CO-OP requires a lot of lead time to negotiate other country's requirements, so you should plan accordingly.

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May I take classes while I am on CO-OP? 
You may not take classes while on CO-OP.  Your employer has an expectation that you will be dedicated full-time to your employment with them.  
"All students register for Professional Practice units while on their CO-OP. Students do not enroll in any other academic courses at Pacific or at another institution in a traditional classroom setting or online."  (Stockton General Academic Catalog)

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I am a transfer student. How do I fit a CO-OP into my experience?
At the start of your first year at Pacific, you will meet with your faculty advisor to create your Academic Plan.  Depending on your major, your faculty advisor can tell you what you will need to accomplish and when you can expect to graduate.

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When should I take my CO-OP?
Your CO-OP will generally take place in your junior or senior years. You will work closely with your faculty advisor to develop a curriculum, so you can keep track of courses and plan your CO-OP. Typically your CO-OP would begin either in the spring semester of your junior year or in the summer before your senior year. Exceptions to this pattern are possible depending on the academic plan that you work out with your faculty advisor. Note to advisors: In some cases a summer/summer CO-OP is an option for a student. 

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Are there pre-requisites for a CO-OP?
You should take ENGR 25 Professional Practice Seminar the semester before your CO-OP.  This class helps you prepare your résumé and portfolio, hone your interviewing skills and give you ways to search for and apply for CO-OP positions. You must also have completed your Fundamental Skills as defined in the catalog.
You must have a minimum GPA of 2.0.  Some CO-OP employers require you to have a higher GPA and may also require a background check and a drug test.  

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What is ENGR 181-182 Professional Practice?
"This course offers cooperative employment in a professional engineering environment.  Students register for a variable number of credits that depend upon the length of the work period [typically 16 units].  The course requires a satisfactory completion of the work assignment and a written report.  Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis.  Prerequisites: Completion of all Fundamental Skills." (Stockton General Catalog)

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I am an international student. Can I do a CO-OP?
Yes.  A CO-OP is an option for you.  It is strongly suggested you make this intention known to your academic advisor and the Director of Cooperative Education early in your academic career. There are special requirements related to your visa.  An F1 visa with OPT (Optional Practical Training) or CPT (Curricular Practical Training) approval is required. You should consult International Programs and Services for more information. 

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What should I do if I am unable to secure a CO-OP?
Thirty-two units of CO-OP are required for you to graduate.  The search for a CO-OP is a cooperative effort between you and the CO-OP office.  The CO-OP office will work diligently to find opportunities for you but you must do your part by preparing your résumé and portfolio, interviewing, researching the firms that the office brings to the table and aggressively pursuing all opportunities.  It is an expectation that you will also search for CO-OP opportunities on your own initiative.   

If you are unable to secure a CO-OP for the designated period in your academic plan, you will have to revise your academic plan in coordination with your faculty advisor. The goal will be to fit the CO-OP into a revised plan and to apply lessons learned in the first attempt.   

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May I take CO-OP at the end of my academic career?
No. A terminal CO-OP would be one that was taken after the completion of all required coursework. You must return to the School for at least seven units of credit following your CO-OP.    

"A minimum of seven units (undergraduate or graduate) must be completed after the final CO-OP experience. At least three of these seven units must be from their major area." (Stockton General Catalog)

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I worked for an engineering firm before I enrolled at Pacific can that count as CO-OP?
Yes. You may petition to have work experience credited toward your CO-OP. It must have been with an engineering, computer science or other firm related to your major.  The experience must have taken place before you were an enrolled as a Pacific student. In the petition, you must describe and document in detail your work experience and account for the number of hours that you worked at this job.

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In the last 3 years, our students have completed their CO-OP at the following companies

Bioengineering

Abbott Laboratories Edwards Lifesciences RefleXion Medical, Inc.
Augmenta Bioworks, Inc. Inogen Silk Road
CA Department of Water Resources Intrexon Corporation U.S. Department of Agriculture
Central Contra Costa Sanitary Dist. Martino & Luth University of the Pacific, Biology
City of Manteca, Public Works Novanta Corporation Vocera Communications
Constellation Brands Ouster Wellman's Center of Photomedicine
E & J Gallo Orthofix

 

Civil Engineering

AECOM Dokken Engineering South Tahoe Public Utility District
Bay Cities Paving & Grading, Inc. Great Lakes E & I Stantec Consulting Services
BKF Engineers HDR, Inc. Sukut Construction
CA Department of Water Resources JCWagner & Associates, Inc. Superior Elect. Mech. and Plumbing
Central Contra Costa Sanitary Dist. KANE GeoTech Teichert Construction
CH2M Hill Associates Kennedy Jenks Consultants Terracon
City and County of San Francisco Kimley Horn The Dutra Group
City of Manteca, Public Works Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc. Turner Construction
City of Modesto, Public Works Knife River Construction VVH Consulting Engineers
City of Stockton, Public Works MCR Engineering W.L. Butler Construction
Clark Pacific Plant Construction Company West Yost Associates
Crawford and Associates Inc. Siegfried Engineering Inc.  

 

Computer Engineering

Aruba, a HPE Company Continental Automotive Holding Nvidia
Abbott Laboratories E & J Gallo Winery Open Networking Foundation
Capital Insurance Group Intel Panasonic
City of Stockton, IT Intuitive Surgical RefleXion Medical, Inc.
City of Stockton, Public Works Lawrence Livermore National Labs University of the Pacific, OIT
Collins Electrical Company, Inc. Mirantis Vocera Communications

 

Computer Science

Aruba, a HPE Company Holt of California, IT Orthofix
Athena Technology Solutions Intel San Joaquin County, Public Works
Cisco Lawrence Livermore National Labs University of the Pacific, OIT
City of Stockton, IT Lemelson-MIT Program VSP Global
E & J Gallo Winery Nvidia Vocera Communications
Flextronics Developer Open Networking Foundation  

 

Electrical Engineering

Aruba, a HPE Company Holt of California, IT San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water
Abbott Laboratories Ichor Systems Inc. Stella Technology
CA Department of Water Resources InSynergy Engineering, Inc. Teledyne Controls
Carollo Engineers Intel The Aerospace Corporation
City of Stockton, Public Works Northrop Grumman Tierra Luna Engineering
Damatt Engineering, Inc. Nvidia Verizon Wireless
E & J Gallo Winery Omron Adept Technologies Vocera Communications
Guntert & Zimmerman Sacramento Municipal Utility Dist. Wilab Energy

 

Engineering Management

Abbott Laboratories E & J Gallo Winery Pavement Engineering
BKF Engineers G3 Enterprises Persistent Systems Inc.
Central Contra Costa Sanitary Dist. Granite Construction San Joaquin County, Capital Projects
City of Manteca, Public Works Guntert & Zimmerman San Joaquin County, Public Works
Collins Electrical Company, Inc. Holt of California Teichert Construction
Constellation Brands Knife River Construction The Dutra Group
Construction Testing Services NALCO TriTechnic, Inc.
Daimler AG Niagra Bottling West Yost Associates
Delicato Family Vineyards O.C. Jones and Sons  

 

Engineering Physics

Abbott Laboratories Ichor Systems Inc. Reynolds Systems Inc.
Damatt Engineering Inc. Mission Support & Testing Services Teichert Construction
CA Department of Water Resources Quality Sound Systems Integration University of the Pacific, OIT
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab RefleXion Medical, Inc. Vector Technologies

Mechanical Engineering

Abbott Laboratories Excelsior Orthofix
Altec, Inc. Foster Farms Panasonic R&D Co. of America
CA Department of Water Resources Frito-Lay Parker Hannifin, Racor Division
Caldera Medical G3 Enterprises Proco Products
Central Contra Costa Sanitary Dist. Guntert & Zimmerman RSS Manufacturing
City of Manteca, Public Works Habitat for Humanity of SJC Teichert Construction
City of Stockton, Public Works Harley Davidson TriContinent
Constellation Brands Kohana Coffee Trinchero Family Estates
Daimler Trucks North America Mission Support & Testing Services Tri-Technic, Inc.
Delicato Family Vineyards NASA, Armstrong Flight Research RGA Design
E & J Gallo Winery Niagara Bottling Sugar Bowl Bakery
Edwards Lifesciences O.C. Jones and Sons UTC Aerospace

CO-OP Average Salaries

Based on data from 2015 to 2019

Major Hourly Salary Monthly Salary
Bioengineering $21.30 $3,690.88
Civil $18.98 $3,288.71
Computer Engineering $24.29 $4,209.23
Computer Science $25.08 $4,345.64
Electrical $22.76 $3,943.54
Engineering Management $19.35 $3,353.17
Engineering Physics $20.69 $3,585.40
Mechanical $19.51 $3,380.74

Total Average $21.49 $ 3,724.66

Hire a CO-OP Student

The Office of Cooperative Education is here to support you in your hiring process. We assist with posting your position, sending resumes, and scheduling your interviews. 

To get started send us your job description.

What are the requirements to hire a student?

  • Job Description
  • Meaningful Work
  • Supervised by a qualified engineer, supervisor and/or manager
  • Site Visit
  • Evaluation

 

Find Your Perfect Match
Employer Recruiting Events

The Office of Cooperative Education hosts two recruiting events including a Career Fair and CO-OP Interviews in both the Fall and Spring semester. CO-OP Interviews take place immediately following the Career Fair, and employers interview engineering and computer science students for CO-OP positions. 

Our students seek opportunities for CO-OP, research and laboratory positions, REU, and international CO-OP in the following disciplines:

  • Bioengineering
  • Engineering Management
  • Civil Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Network and Software Engineering