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Office of Cooperative Education and Special Programs
Chambers Technology Center 102
Ester Rafanan
Cooperative Education Administrative Assistant
School of Engineering & Computer Science
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

Employer Resources

How Your Company Can Get 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.  

"University of Pacific's Co-op Program is a tremendous resource for NVIDIA.  The quality of the students has been so good that my lab only looks to Pacific to fill our intern positions.  And with the experience the students get during their co-op terms with companies like ours, they become better candidates for our full-time positions.  Five of the seventeen full-time engineers in my lab are former interns from Pacific."
Keith Seto
Director, Performance Group

 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-ops 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 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 orientation of:
  • Provide sitemap (buildings, parking lot, lunch room, business offices)
  • Provide office/building tour
  • Review 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)
  • Go over expectations of the student, possibly including a job description
  • Provide 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 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
  • 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

Employer Survey
Learning Outcomes
Employer's Student Evaluation