Frequently Asked Questions Parents Have About Co-op

What is a co-op?

At RIT, a cooperative work experience (co-op), is defined as a full-time work experience directly related to the student’s field of study. An associate level student is required to complete one 10 week co-op block. A bachelor level student's co-op requirement will vary by major. Get information about co-op for students.

How does a co-op benefit my son/daughter?

A co-op gives students the opportunity to experience a real-life job situation and focus their career choice. Your son/daughter also will develop technical skills and enhance vital personal skills such as teamwork and communication, which will make him/her a better candidate for full-time employment after graduation.

How do employers benefit from co-op students?

Co-op students are flexible, highly motivated employees and who are able to work at a relatively low cost. Many employers use co-op to assess a student’s abilities and potential for permanent employment. In fact, many students receive full-time job offers from their co-op employers.

Where have deaf and hard-of-hearing RIT students worked on co-op?

Some of our participating employers include Citigroup, Eastman Kodak Company, IBM, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Lockheed Martin, Mellon, Merck, Microsoft, Raytheon, Sprint, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of the Navy, Walt Disney World, and more.

Do I pay tuition for co-op?

No, you do not pay tuition or institute fees while your student is on co-op.

How does my son/daughter find a co-op?

NCE staff will work with your son or daughter to train him/her in job search strategies, including resume and letter writing, interviewing and researching companies who may be potential employers. The NCE website provides postings for co-op and permanent jobs, tips for job seekers, and information about the RIT/NTID fall on-campus job fair.

Is my son/daughter guaranteed a co-op job?

No. Students are not placed into a co-op position, but rather apply and go through the same hiring process they will when looking for a job after graduation. NCE staff will work with your son/daughter during their job search. By being flexible on their expectations and fully utilizing the resources available to them, students will become skilled in successfully conducting a job search.

What if my son/daughter doesn’t find a co-op job?

Co-op is required for graduation in most programs. Encourage your son/daughter to see his/her NCE employment advisor as soon as he/she is ready to begin his/her job search. We recommend that students begin the process several months before they want to start a co-op.

Does my son/daughter receive credit for co-op?

Standard academic credit is not given for co-op. However, your son/daughter will earn ‘credit’ in that his/her department assigns a grade of ‘satisfactory’ with successful completion of the co-op assignment.

Does my son/daughter receive pay on co-op?

A co-op should be a paid experience at competitive wages for a temporary job. By definition, co-op is paid employment. How much the student earns depends upon the particular profession, the demands of the position, the student’s skill level and the local economy. If your son/daughter can only find a co-op without pay (volunteer position), it is very important for your student to ask his/her chairperson for approval.

Can my son/daughter stay in Rochester?

Some co-op jobs are located in the Rochester area, but competition for these positions can be very keen. We don’t recommend limiting job searches to any one specific area. Your son/daughter will enhance his/her chances of landing a professionally rewarding position if he/she is geographically flexible. Your son/daughter should seriously consider all co-op opportunities in his/her field, regardless of location.

Where will my son/daughter live if they leave Rochester?

Many out-of-town employers provide some help in finding temporary housing. The assistance varies. Some companies will provide a list of possible apartments and room rentals; some will pay for a hotel for a few days while the student is looking; some have co-op housing already arranged. It’s a good idea to check with the colleges in the area because residence hall space is frequently available, especially in the summer. Your son/daughter can discuss his/her housing concerns with an NCE employment advisor.

How does co-op affect financial aid?

Any earnings, whether from co-op or other types of employment, are considered when your son/daughter’s financial aid package is developed each year. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 585-475-2186 (Voice) or 585-475-6909 (TTY) to discuss your son/daughter’s individual situation.

Will my student’s SSI/SSDI payment be affected by a co-op?

If your student receives SSI and/or SSDI, be sure to discuss how to handle your student’s SSI/SSDI payment for the time he or she is on co-op with your Social Security representative.

What role does VR play in my student’s job search?

If your student is getting VR support, he or she can contact your local VR representative for more information about placement services and services during the co-op and after graduation.