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Encyclopedia > Cooperative education

Cooperative education is a structured method of combining academic education with practical work experience. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ...


Research indicates that one of the attributes employers value most in newly hired employees is work experience[1] A cooperative education experience, commonly known as a "co-op", provides academic credit for career work.


Cooperative education is taking on new importance in school-to-work transition, service learning, and experiential learning initiatives[citation needed]. School-to-work transition is on-the-job training, apprenticeships, cooperative education agreements or other programs designed to prepare students to enter the job market. ... Service learning is a method of teaching, learning and reflecting that combines academic classroom curriculum with meaningful community service. ... Experiential Learning occurs when individuals engage in some activity, reflect upon the activity critically, derive some useful insight from the analysis, and incorporate the result through a change in understanding and/or behaviour. ...


Students working on a cooperative education assignment are typically held in higher regard than interns.

Contents

History of cooperative education

Herman Schneider and the University of Cincinnati

While at Lehigh University at the beginning of the 20th Century, Herman Schneider (1872-1939), engineer, architect, and educator, concluded that the traditional classroom was insufficient for technical students. (Smollins 1999) Schneider observed that several of the more successful Lehigh graduates had worked to earn money prior to graduation. Gathering data through interviews of employers and graduates, he devised the framework for cooperative education (1901). About that time, Carnegie Technical School, now Carnegie Mellon University, opened and thereby minimized the need for Schneider's co-op plan in the region around Lehigh University. However, in 1903 the University of Cincinnati appointed Schneider to their faculty, and later, 1906, allowed him an experimental year to implement his plan. Following that year, the University of Cincinnati gave him full permission for the co-op program. The University of Cincinnati is a state university located in Cincinnati, Ohio. ... Lehigh University is a highly selective private, co-educational university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United States. ... 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... The University of Cincinnati is a state university located in Cincinnati, Ohio. ...


Schneider, beginning from the rank of Assistant Professor, would rise through the rank of Dean of Engineering (1906-1928) to become President (1929-32) of the University of Cincinnati, based largely upon the strength of the co-op program. Throughout his career, he was an advocate for the co-op framework. His thirty years of service to the University of Cincinnati are partly credited for that institution's worldwide fame. A professor is a senior teacher and researcher, usually in a college or university. ... 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ...


In 1965, The Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA) created "The Dean Herman Schneider Award" in honor of the contributions made by Dean Schneider in cooperative education. The award is given annually to an outstanding educator from faculty or administration.


Post-Cincinnati evolutions

In 1909, seeing the possibility of co-op education, Northeastern University began using co-op in their engineering program, becoming only the second institution to do so in this country. By 1919, Antioch College had adapted the co-op practices to their liberal arts curricula, for which reason many called co-op the "Antioch Plan." Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Northeastern University (NU) is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts, in the New England region of the United States. ... Antioch College is a private, independent liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. ...


In 1922, Northeastern University emphasized its commitment to co-op by extending it to the College of Business Administration. As new colleges opened at Northeastern, such as the College of Liberal Arts (1935) and College of Education (1953), they became co-op schools as well. By the 1980s, Northeastern was the acknowledged leader in co-op education across the world, a distinction that remained throughout the 1990s. (Smollins 1999) Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ...


In 1926, Dean Schneider invited those interested in forming an Association of Co-operative Colleges (ACC) to the University of Cincinnati for the first convention. The idea took hold, and was followed by three more annual conventions. In 1929, the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, now called American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), formed the Division of Cooperative Engineering Education, incorporating the membership of the ACC. (Auld 1972) Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... The University of Cincinnati is a state university located in Cincinnati, Ohio. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) is a nonprofit member organization that was founded in 1893 to promote engineering education in the United States. ...


In 1961, the Ford and Edison Foundations commissioned a study of co-operative education, published as Work-study college programs; appraisal and report of the study of cooperative education, (James Warner Wilson and Edward H Lyons, New York: Harper). The result of that study resulted in the formation of the National Commission for Cooperative Education (NCCE). NCCE remains today to promote and lobby for co-operative education in the United States. Its membership is comprised of sponsoring corporations and organizations (not individuals) from academia and business.


By 1962, about 150 academic institutions used co-op education, in one form or another, many were outside of engineering. The need for professional support of non-engineering programs became obvious, and the membership of ASEE, in 1963, began the Cooperative Education Association. To reflect its membership more accurately, it was eventually (sometime in the 1990s or early 2000s) named the Cooperative Education and Internship Association, it remains today as the professional association for co-operative education outside of ASEE.


Much of that early efforts of NCCE focused on lobbying and promotion of co-operative education. In 1965, the federal Higher Education Act provided support specifically for co-operative education. Funding continued from the federal government through 1992, when Congress ended its support of co-operative education. In all, a total of over $220 million was appropriated by the federal government toward co-operative education. (Carlson 1999)


In 1979, educators from Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States (Northeastern's President, Kenneth Ryder), met to discuss work-related programs in their respective countries. In 1981 and 1982, this group, headed by President Ryder, convened an international conference on cooperative education. In 1983, several college and university presidents, educational specialists, and employers from around the world (including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the United States and the United Kingdom) formed the World Council and Assembly on Cooperative Education to foster co-operative education around the world. In 1991, it renamed itself the World Association for Cooperative Education (WACE). By 2005, that Association boasted a membership of over 1,000 individuals from 43 different countries.


Co-op models

From its beginnings in Cincinnati in 1906, cooperative education has evolved into a program offered at the secondary and postsecondary levels in two predominant models (Grubb and Villeneuve 1995). In one model, students alternate a semester of academic coursework with an equal amount of time in paid employment, repeating this cycle several times until graduation. The parallel method splits the day between school (usually in the morning) and work (afternoon). Thus, like school-to-work (STW), the co-op model includes school-based and work-based learning and, in the best programs, "connecting activities" such as seminars and teacher-coordinator worksite visits. These activities help students explicitly connect work and learning. Coursework refers to work carried out by students while they are studying a course at university or school that contributes towards their overall grade, but which is assessed separately from their final exams. ...


Co-op's proponents identify benefits for students (including motivation, career clarity, enhanced employability, vocational maturity) and employers (labor force flexibility, recruitment/retention of trained workers, input into curricula) as well as educational institutions and society (ibid.). Beyond informal and anecdotal evidence, however, a familiar refrain in the literature is the lack of well-done research that empirically demonstrates these benefits (Barton 1996; Wilson, Stull, and Vinsonhaler 1996). Barton (1996) identifies some of the research problems for secondary co-op as follows: federal data collection on high school co-op enrollments and completions ceased in the 1980s; some studies use data in which co-op was not isolated from other work experience programs. Ricks et al. (1993) describe other problems: due to lack of a clear or consistent definition of cooperative education, researchers cannot accurately identify variables and findings cannot be compared; theory is not well developed; theory, research, and practice are not integrated; and co-op research does not adhere to established standards.


Another set of problems involves perceptions of the field and its marginalization. Because of its "vocational" association, co-op is not regarded as academically legitimate; rather, it is viewed as taking time away from the classroom (Crow 1997). Experiential activities are not necessarily rewarded in postsecondary promotion and tenure systems, and co-op faculty may be isolated from other faculty (Crow 1997; Schaafsma 1996). Despite the current emphasis on contextual learning, work is not recognized as a vehicle for learning (Ricks et al. 1993). Schaasfma (1996) and Van Gyn (1996) agree that the field places too much emphasis on placements rather than learning. Wilson, Stull, and Vinsonhaler (1996) also decry the focus on administration, logistics, placements, and procedures.


Some institutions are fully dedicated to the co-op ideal (such as RIT, Kettering University, and LaGuardia Community College). In others, the co-op program may be viewed as an add-on and therefore is vulnerable to cost cutting (Wilson et al. 1996). Even where co-op programs are strong they can be threatened, as at Cincinnati Technical College when it became a comprehensive community college (Grubb and Villeneuve 1995) or LaGuardia during a budget crisis (Grubb and Badway 1998). For students, costs and time to degree completion may be deterrents to co-op participation (Grubb and Villeneuve 1995). Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is a private higher education institute, emphasizing career preparation, located in the township of Henrietta, outside of Rochester, New York. ... Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) is an engineering school in Flint, Michigan along the Flint River on property that used to be the main manufacturing location for General Motors. ... LaGuardia Community College is a CUNY school located on Thomson Ave. ... LaGuardia Community College is a CUNY school located on Thomson Ave. ...


Redesigning a co-op for current realities

Although this is a gloomy picture, there are reasons for optimism about the future of co-op. "Social, economic, and historic forces are making cooperative education more relevant than ever" (ibid., p. 17), including emphasis on university-industry-government cooperation, a fluid and demanding workplace, new technology, the need for continuous on-the-job learning, globalization, and demands for accountability (John, Doherty, and Nichols 1998). Federal investments in school-to-work and community service have resulted in a number of initiatives designed to provide "learning opportunities beyond the classroom walls" (Furco 1996, p. 9). Because this has always been a principle of co-op, the field is in a position to capitalize on its strengths and the ways it complements other experiential methods in the effort to provide meaningful learning opportunities for students. To do this, however, cooperative education must be redesigned.


For Wilson, Stull, and Vinsonhaler (1996), a new vision involves conceiving, defining, and presenting co-op "as a curriculum model that links work and academics-a model that is based on sound learning theory" (p. 158). Ricks (1996) suggests affirming the work-based learning principles upon which co-op is based. These principles assert that cooperative education fosters self-directed learning, reflective practice, and transformative learning; and integrates school and work learning experiences that are grounded in adult learning theories.


Schaafsma (1996) also focuses on learning, seeing a need for a paradigm shift from content learning to greater understanding of learning processes, including reflection and critical thinking. Co-op is an experiential method, but learning from experience is not automatic. Therefore, Van Gyn (1996) recommends strengthening the reflective component that is already a part of some co-op models. "If co-op is only a vehicle for experience to gain information about the workplace and to link technical knowledge with workplace application, then its effectiveness is not fully developed" (p. 125).


Integrating experiential methods

School-to-work and service learning have also been promoted as ways to link theory and practice through meaningful experiential learning experiences. Furco (1996) outlines the similarities between school-to-work and service learning. Although school-to-work, service learning, and co-op have different goals, each of his points also applies to cooperative education: 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...

  • Based on the philosophy that learners learn best through active engagement in meaningful activities
  • View of students as active learners and producers of knowledge
  • Use of such instructional strategies as contextual learning and application of knowledge to real situations
  • Requirement for schools to establish formal partnerships with outside entities
  • Concern for integrating school experiences and external experiences

The Community Service Scholarship Program at California State University-Fresno combines cooperative education with service learning. Students receive co-op/internship credit and scholarships for completing a placement at a community service site (Derousi and Sherwood 1997). As in traditional co-op work placements, students get real-world training, opportunities to explore career options, and enhanced employability skills such as communication, problem solving, and leadership as well as awareness of community and social problems. Combining co-op and service learning thus prepares students for roles as workers and citizens. For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... The California State University (CSU) is one of three public higher education systems in the state of California, the other two being the University of California system and the California Community College System. ...


Research on highly successful co-op programs in Cincinnati (Grubb and Villeneuve 1995) and at LaGuardia Community College (Grubb and Badway 1998) shows that they share the basic philosophy and fundamental characteristics of the educational strategy of school-to-work. The reconceptualization of co-op should recognize and build upon this connection. At the same time, lessons from successful co-op programs can benefit the broader STW movement. LaGuardia Community College is a CUNY school located on Thomson Ave. ...


There is a need for broader definition of acceptable models for integrating work and learning. Barton (1996) and Wilson et al. (1996) identify a variety of work-based learning activities taking different names: co-op, internships, externships, apprenticeship, career academies, etc. Work-based learning programs should look for connections and develop collaborative relationships. The alternating and parallel co-op models may not meet the needs of returning adult students and dislocated workers needing retraining (Varty 1994). Alternatives such as extended-day programs emphasizing mentoring should be considered.


Connecting activities to integrate school- and work-based learning are an essential part of STW. At LaGuardia, the required co-op seminar helps students make connections by giving them a structure within which to reinforce employability skills, examine larger issues about work and society, and undertake the crucial activities of critical reflection (Grubb and Badway 1998). Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


Grubb and Badway (1998) and Grubb and Villeneuve (1995) found that the value of cooperative education is embedded in the culture of the institution (LaGuardia) and the region (Cincinnati). In this supportive culture, employer support does not have to be repeatedly obtained and there are clearly understood long-term expectations on all sides (schools, employers, students). This "informal culture of expectations around work-based learning may be more powerful in the long run than a complex set of regulations and bureaucratic requirements" (Grubb and Villeneuve 1995, p. 27).


However, even LaGuardia has found it difficult to sustain co-op culture over time (Grubb and Badway 1998). "The only way in which STW programs can find a permanent place in schools and colleges is for the work-based component to become so central to the educational purposes of the institutions that it becomes as unthinkable to give it up as it would be to abandon math, English, or science" (ibid., p. 28).


Finn (1997) believes that the answer lies in going beyond reconceiving co-op as an "educational strategy, pedagogy, model, methodology, or curriculum" (Finn 1997, p. 41). She asserts that it is time for cooperative education to develop and define its body of knowledge, investigate its unique phenomena-e.g., the concept of learning from experience, and clarify and strengthen the qualifications of co-op practitioners. For Ricks (1996), cooperative education is inherently committed to improving the economy, people's working lives, and lifelong learning abilities. It can thus position itself to serve the experiential learning needs of students into the 21st century.


See also

  • University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario has the largest co-operative education program in North America, with more than 11,000 students enrolled in co-op programs and more than 3,000 active co-op employers.
  • Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is branded as "The Ultimate Internship™", Drexel's cooperative education program is one of the largest in the nation. Drexel has a fully internet-based job database, where users can submit resumes and request interviews with any of the hundreds of companies that are offering positions. A student graduating from Drexel with a 5-year degree typically has a total of 18 months of internship with up to three different companies.
  • Northeastern University in Boston, MA has the largest co-operative education program in the United States of America, and is known as one of the only five-year universities in the United States. Northeastern's Co-Op program has been ranked #1 in the Co-Op and Internships category by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Kettering University in Flint, Michigan enrolls students in co-operative education from their first year on campus, specializing in engineering, science, and management degree programs.
  • Work experience
  • Intern
  • Work college
  • Practice-based professional learning

The University of Waterloo, also known as UW, UWaterloo, or simply, Waterloo is a medium-sized research-intensive public university in the city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. ... The City of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada is the smallest of the three cities in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and is adjacent to the larger city of Kitchener. ... Drexel University is an institution of higher learning located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... Nickname: City of Brotherly Love, Philly, the Quaker City Motto: Philadelphia maneto (Let brotherly love continue) Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States State Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Mayor John F. Street (D) Area    - City 369. ... A billboard advertising The Ultimate Internship The Ultimate Internship is the trademarked name for Drexel Universitys cooperative education program, usually referred to as co-op. Drexels internship program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation, running since 1919, and having thousands of students out on... Northeastern University (NU) is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts, in the New England region of the United States. ... Alternative meanings: Boston (disambiguation) The 18th_century Old State House in Boston is surrounded by tall buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries. ... U.S. News & World Report is a weekly newsmagazine. ... Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) is an engineering school in Flint, Michigan along the Flint River on property that used to be the main manufacturing location for General Motors. ... Nickname: The Vehicle City, Buick City, Flint Town, Bedrock, The 810 Location of Flint within Genesee County, Michigan. ... Work experience is the experience that a person has working, or working in a specific field or occupation. ... In North America, an intern is one who works in a temporary position with an emphasis on education rather than merely employment, making it similar in some respects to an apprenticeship. ... A work college is a type of institution of higher learning where student work is an integral and mandatory part of the educational process, as opposed to being an appended requirement. ... Practice-based professional learning (or pbpl) is best understood in contrast to classroom- or theory-based learning. ...

References

Auld, R. B. "The Cooperative Education Movement: Association of Cooperative Colleges." Journal of Cooperative Education (ISSN 0022-0132), vol. 8, pp. 24-27, 1972.


Barton, P. E. Cooperative Education in High School: Promise and Neglect. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, 1996. (ED 400 413)


Carlson, A. Co-op Planet: Organizations at N.U. Plant Co-op's Seeds Far and Wide. Northeastern University Magazine. Boston, MA: Northeastern University (Office of University Relations). May 1992. Downloaded July 12, 2005, from http://www.numag.neu.edu/9905/wase.html.


Crow, C. "Cooperative Education in the New Millennium." Cooperative Education Experience, pp. 1-5. Columbia, MD: Cooperative Education Association, 1997. (ED 414 433)


Derousi, P., and Sherwood, C. S. "Community Service Scholarships: Combining Cooperative Education with Service Learning." Journal of Cooperative Education 33, no. 1 (Fall 1997): 46-54. (EJ 565 927)


Finn, K. L. "The Spaces Between: Toward a New Paradigm for Cooperative Education." Journal of Cooperative Education 32, no. 2 (Winter 1997): 36-45. (EJ 542 265)


Freeland, R. M.; Marini, R. C.; and Weighart, S. "Moving Partnerships between Co-op Institutions and Co-op Employers into the Next Century." Journal of Cooperative Education 33, no. 2 (Winter 1998): 17-27.


Furco, A. "Service Learning and School-to-Work." Journal of Cooperative Education 32, no. 1 (Fall 1996): 7-14.


Grubb, W. N., and Badway, N. Linking School-Based and Work-Based Learning: The Implications of LaGuardia's Co-op Seminars for School-to-Work Programs. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, 1998. (ED 418 230)


Grubb, W. N., and Villeneuve, J. C. Co-operative Education in Cincinnati. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, 1995.


John, J. E. A.; Doherty, D. J.; and Nichols, R. M. "Challenges and Opportunities for Cooperative Education." Journal of Cooperative Education 33, no. 2 (Winter 1998): 10-16.


Ricks, F. "Principles for Structuring Cooperative Education Programs." Journal of Cooperative Education 31, nos. 2-3 (Winter-Spring 1996): 8-22. (EJ 524 105)


Ricks, F.; Cutt, J.; Branton, G.; Loken, M.; and Van Gyn, G. "Reflections on the Cooperative Education Literature." Journal of Cooperative Education 29, no. 1 (Fall 1993): 6-23. (EJ 475 316)


Schaafsma, H. "Reflections of a Visiting Co-op Practitioner." Journal of Cooperative Education 31, nos. 2-3 (Winter-Spring 1996): 83-100. (EJ 524 109)


Smollins, J.P. "The Making of the History: Ninety Years of Northeastern Co-op." Northeastern University Magazine. Boston, MA: Northeastern University (Office of University Relations). May, 1999. Downloaded July 12, 2005, from http://www.numag.neu.edu/9905/history.html.


Van Gyn, G. H. "Reflective Practice: The Needs of Professions and the Promise of Cooperative Education." Journal of Cooperative Education 31, nos. 2-3 (Winter-Spring 1996): 103-131. (EJ 524 110)


Varty, J. W. "Cooperative Education for the '90s and Beyond." Co-op/Experience/Co-op 5, no. 1 (March 1994): 10-11. (EJ 478 859)


Wilson, J. W.; Stull, W. A.; and Vinsonhaler, J. "Rethinking Cooperative Education." Journal of Cooperative Education 31, nos. 2-3 (Winter-Spring 1996): 154-165. (EJ 524 112)


External links

  • Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA).

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cooperative education - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2806 words)
Cooperative education is taking on new importance in school-to-work transition, service learning, and experiential learning initiatives.
Grubb and Badway (1998) and Grubb and Villeneuve (1995) found that the value of cooperative education is embedded in the culture of the institution (LaGuardia) and the region (Cincinnati).
She asserts that it is time for cooperative education to develop and define its body of knowledge, investigate its unique phenomena-e.g., the concept of learning from experience, and clarify and strengthen the qualifications of co-op practitioners.
Cooperative Education and Other Forms of Experiential Learning > Ministry of Education (11775 words)
A cooperative education course must be based on a related course (or courses) from an Ontario curriculum policy document or on a ministry-approved locally developed course in which the student is enrolled or which he or she has successfully completed.
Cooperative education courses may be planned as single- or multiple-credit courses, but the latter are encouraged in order to ensure sufficient time at the placement for the student to fully achieve the required knowledge and skills.
Frequent contact between the cooperative education teacher and the supervisor reinforces the importance of the partnership between the school and the placement, and provides students with a sense that they are still part of their home school.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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