Cooperative Education, Internships, and Volunteering
The co-op/field experience program is a unique form of education that integrates classroom study with mostly paid, planned and supervised work experience in the public and private sectors. Your work experience supplements your classroom learning with practical workplace skills as you participate in the reality of the world of work, thereby increasing your self-confidence, career direction and understanding of your chosen profession. Each co-op/field experience course has two components: Work Experience and Seminar Class. Learn more below:
Each co-op/field experience course has two (2) components:
1. Field experience portion: (minimum of 180 hours over the course of the semester) in a job/field experience related to your major
If you already have a job related to your career, you may be able to use your existing job for Co-op credit. Meet with Career Service to discuss.
If you don’t have a job, we can help you find a job or internship. Please make an appointment to meet with Career Services several weeks before the semester begins so we have time to help you search. Placement is not guaranteed.
We can offer help with résumé writing and interview skills.
You must have an approved job before you can register for a co-op/field experience class.
The duration of the job is for one semester only. Neither you nor the employer is committed beyond the end of the term, although a number of co-op employers do hire their students on a permanent basis.
Registration for classes requires a signature from Career Services and your department chair, therefore registration cannot be completed online.
2. Seminar class portion:
Meets on alternate Tuesday evenings from 6pm – 8pm to discuss work-related professional development topics. Alternate class meeting dates/times may be needed and will be discussed on the first night of class.
Topics include customer service, diversity in the workplace, conflict resolution and team-building skills.
Students work with their site supervisor to develop five work-related learning objectives which they complete during the semester. Each student submits a portfolio which documents their cooperative education experience.
Be a matriculated MCC student in the curriculum that corresponds to the Co-op class for which you would like to register
Meet a member of the Career Services staff (West Hall, 2nd Floor) and file an application for the program
Be in good academic standing with at least a 2.0 grade point average
Have completed the necessary prerequisite courses or have received permission to enroll in the course from your department's chairperson
Before you can register for a co-op class, your registration must be stamped & approved by both Career Services and by your department. Career Services has paperwork for you to complete verifying that you have been offered an internship, co-op or position that will allow you to apply the skills you have learned in the classroom out on the job. Make an appointment to meet with Career Services by calling 732-906-2595.
Come to Career Services, 2nd Floor West Hall to pick up the Cooperative Education Site Agreement Form. Take that form to the supervisor of your internship/field experience, have him/her fill it out and bring the original form with you to step 2. Attach a description of the internship/field experience position.
Meet with your academic department chair to have the internship approved as appropriate for your major/ the co-op course for which you are registering. The role of the chair in this process is to ensure that your internship will extend your classroom learning by allowing you to apply what you’ve studied into a real world application. Your chair will sign in the form (middle, front page) if the internship is appropriate academically.
Bring the completed form back to Career Services. We will register you for the co-op course at that time.
What is the Difference Between Co-op and Internships?
Both co-op and internships are forms of on-the-job learning that provide students with the opportunity to gain experience, apply knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations, and acquire key skills required to enter into a particular career field. Students can use these experiences to determine if they have an interest in a particular career and to create a network of contacts.
Cooperative Education/Field Experience:
Is a category of experiential learning that uses jobs, internships or volunteer work as the basis of extending classroom learning into hands-on application in a real-world setting.
MCC students earn academic credit for the field experience by registering for and completing the co-op field experience course in your major (after satisfying all pre-requisites and obtaining all required signatures. The co-op is completed during one semester.
Your co-op field experience can be your current position provided that it 1) is relevant to your major, 2) gives you the opportunity to do morethan the job you are already being paidto do, and 3) is approved by the chairperson of your academic department as academically appropriate.
You can also use an internship position as your co-op field experience provided it meets all of the requirements explained above and allows you to attend the bi-weekly seminar class.
Students and the supervisor at the site develop learning objectives against which the student’s performance is evaluated as part of the co-op course grade.
It can be full-time or part-time but must provide a minimum of 180 hours of field experience within the semester and allow you to attend the bi-weekly seminar class on Tuesday evenings.
Some internship opportunities are part of a formal program hosted by an employer or organization that includes other activities in addition to work experience, perhaps including professional development workshops, conferences or opportunities to network.
Often the employer sets the entry requirements for the internship in terms of years of education completed or major field of study.
Application deadlines can be approximately 6 months before the start of the internship. Look to apply in October/November for summer internships in a formal program
Most internships are full-time for the semester and are often paid, either by stipend or an hourly rate. Employers sometimes offer permanent jobs to successful interns, however that is not always the case … but it’s still a good idea to approach the internship as if every day is a job interview!
MCC students may be eligible for a paid internship in the following industries: Advanced Manufacturing; Construction & Utilities; Financial Services; Health Care; Life Sciences; Retail, Hospitality & Tourism; Technology; or Transportation, Logistics & Distribution.
Interested students should email Charlotte Quigley, Career Services Manager, for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. She will schedule an appointment with you to help you search for an internship. This opportunity is made possible by the Many Paths, One Future Internship Grant program.
You can also take a look at the companies linked below – there are many great opportunities available!
Democracy House at MCC
Democracy House is our award-winning Center for Civic Engagement. Diverse groups of students are united and work together to address the unmet needs of the local community by tutoring homeless children, feeding the hungry, restoring local rivers, completing community based research projects for local nonprofits, organizing local youth to identify and complete their own neighborhood improvement projects — and much more. Most students receive an hourly stipend and a college scholarship for their commitment and desire to learn and serve their community. Click here to learn more or become a member.
United Way of Central Jersey
This is a volunteer matching platform that connects individuals to volunteer opportunities in their community. Register to create a volunteer profile and then search for opportunities in your area.
Project SPAN Mentoring Program
Specially recruited, screened and trained mentors work with "at-risk" families referred by the Division of Child Protection & Permanency.