Co-op Requirements

A graphics design student working on a co-op jobEverything you always wanted to know about co-ops

Is a co-op experience required?

Yes, a cooperative work experience is required for your major. It helps you to prepare for the competitive working world after you graduate.

  • Associate degree programs require one co-op, typically at least 350 hours over a ten-week period.
  • Bachelor degree co-op periods vary depending on the program. Typically a semester will run between 15 and 16 weeks in length and the summer, between 10 and 12 weeks.
  • You must report your co-op to RIT and check with your academic department about reporting your co-op in SIS.
  • There is no tuition fee for your co-op and you receive no credit, but it is required for your degree and will appear on your transcript.
  • Some paperwork is required. See your academic chairperson, co-op coordinator or employment advisor for specific forms required for your major.

What about pay?

A co-op should be a paid experience at competitive wages for a temporary job.

  • Pay can vary, depending on the type of employer, job duties, your qualifications, and location of the co-op.
  • If you can only find a co-op without pay (volunteer position), it is very important for you to ask your chairperson for approval.
  • If you receive SSI and/or SSDI, and get a paying co-op, be sure to discuss with your Social Security representative how to handle your SSI/SSDI payments for the time you are on co-op.

When you get a co-op, share your good news with your employment advisor, chairperson and/or co-op coordinator.

It is important that you provide the following information when you report your co-op to RIT so that your supervisor will receive an on-line evaluation to complete on your performance:

  • Name of company, complete mail and e-mail addresses
  • Name, job title, and telephone number of person who hired you
  • Name, job title, and telephone number of your supervisor
  • Your job title and duties

At the beginning of the co-op, we suggest that you:

  • Discuss with your employer the best ways to communicate with you. For more information about communication and working with deaf people, tell the employer about the NCE Web site.
  • Meet your supervisor and the other workers, and ask for a chart of the organization if available, to help you understand the company’s big picture.
  • Find out what your co-workers prefer to be called.
  • Ask about the dress code.

Learn about the culture and policies in your workplace. Some examples:

  • Everyone is expected to come to work every day and be on time.
  • Teamwork and cooperation in the workplace are important.
  • Participation in social events will help you be part of the team.

Tips for success

  • Understand your responsibilities and work priorities.
  • Be motivated to do the tasks well and on time.
  • Ask what else you can do when you finish assignments.
  • Be flexible and willing to do tasks that are not normally part of your job.
  • Ask appropriate questions.
  • Learn new skills and grow.
  • Maintain a good attitude.
  • Make the co-op a positive experience for both you and the employer, since you represent yourself, NTID and other deaf and hard-of-hearing people.