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Colleges with good co-op or internship programs

mdcisspmdcissp Registered User Posts: 2,494 Senior Member
edited May 2010 in Parents Forum
My son is interested in majoring in Business. Can anyone recommend a college with a good co-op program or other work experience as part of the degree? I heard Northeastern and RIT have these programs. Is the extra cost worth it? Any other universities/colleges to consider a visit this summer? With the economy as is, I hear a lot that work experience before graduation is very valuable. Thanks so much.
Post edited by mdcissp on

Replies to: Colleges with good co-op or internship programs

  • poipoi Registered User Posts: 2,427 Senior Member
    I think that Drexel may have it also.
  • mdcisspmdcissp Registered User Posts: 2,494 Senior Member
    Do you know anything about Drexel?
  • eireanneireann Registered User Posts: 1,480 Senior Member
    I just graduated from Northeastern, and although it's five years, there really is not much extra cost, if any. You don't pay tuition while on co-op. I happened to live off-campus for all of mine and therefore paid nothing to the university, and the amount that I got paid for two of the three of them allowed me to cover all of my own living expenses. And I'm looking to work in non-profits. Business co-ops usually pay decently; your son might even be able to save some money.
  • frazzled2thecorefrazzled2thecore Registered User Posts: 1,098 Senior Member
    As you make your rounds of schools, I would also advise asking specific questions about co-op placement rates. These differ significantly from year to year and as well as among majors, and between schools. Sometimes students have to be persistent with their networking, and take two or three semesters to find a suitable co-op opportunity.

    Something else to look at is whether students complete a capstone experience (and the quality of that experience) and whether and how students generally obtain internships for at least one summer.

    From everything I have heard and seen over the past years, work experience is indeed desirable for new grads and has been for some years, especially for grads interested in entering a field in which they have few or no family connections, and for those who do not have the personality to whiz past HR departments. It is a very good idea to evaluate the quality of career offices while looking at everything else a school offers.
  • RMGsmomRMGsmom Registered User Posts: 514 Member
    University of Cincinnati is known for its co-op programs. MIght be worth checking to see what they have for business majors.
  • scansmomscansmom Registered User Posts: 1,553 Senior Member
    Under their "Academic Programs to Look For" section, the US News College Rankings includes a list of schools who are well-known for their internship and co-op programs; although this list is not for specific majors or programs, it might at least be a good starting point:

    Alverno College Milwaukee, WI
    Berea College Berea, KY
    Bradley University Peoria, IL
    Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
    Elon University Elon, NC
    Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
    Johnson and Wales University Providence, RI
    Kettering University Flint, MI
    Keuka College Keuka Park, NY
    New York University New York, NY
    Northeastern University Boston, MA
    Ohio State University--Columbus Columbus, OH
    Portland State University Portland, OR
    Purdue University--West Lafayette West Lafayette, IN
    Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
    University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
    University of Maryland--College Park College Park, MD
    University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA

    Although I cannot speak about most co-op programs, my S is in his 4th yr at Northeastern and loves it there and has really benefited and grown from his academic and co-op experiences so far. He is in a 5-yr engineering program and has done 2 co-ops so far, with one more coming up later this yr. However, their Business co-op program is one of their strongest programs, along with engineering.

    S also has Asperger's so he has benefitted not only by gaining actual work experience but also in developing his social understanding of how the real world operates outside of school. In addition, some of Northeastern's co-op program requirements have been very helpful for him, for instance Northeastern requires students to take a semester-long course to prepare them for co-op, during which they work with advisers to prepare resumes, learn interview techniques and select companies to apply to. Mock interviews are done with older students and as an older student, S has also been involved in those. For S, some of these non-academic life experiences will be just as important, if not more important than the academic ones.

    [just wanted to add that although S has not received any accommodations while in college, the quality of disability services was also a consideration in selecting a college for him - just in case, and Northeastern has been well ranked for the disability services it provides; the Disability Services director at NEU is very involved in post-secondary disability issues and has lectured and written about issues relating to many learning disabilities including Asperger's so this was another selling point for me (she recently even co-authored a book for college personnel specifically designed to help educate colleges on providing supports for students with Asperger's).]
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    I am familiar with the University of Cincinnati's coop program. It may surprise you that they were the first coop education program in the US. In fact, most of the other coop programs, until fairly recently referred to their own coop program as "the Cincinnati Plan."

    University of Cincinnati has their coop integrated into their whole program and culture. It isn't just an adjunct to their academics as with some other schools.

    Due to their longevity, they have a large number of opportunities all over the world. In addition, they have a well repuded business school as well. Definitely, check them out.

    By the way, they are also a lot less expensive than schools like Northeastern or Drexel. In addition to lower tuition, you should ask about the carges that students pay for coops. At Cincinnati, it is about $250. At other schools, it could be in the thousands!
  • poipoi Registered User Posts: 2,427 Senior Member
    I don't know too much about Drexel but I think that they are supposed to have a good business program.
  • scansmomscansmom Registered User Posts: 1,553 Senior Member
    Taxguy, what sort of co-op charges are you referring to? The only charges S has during his co-op periods are for room/board.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    Scansmom, most coop schools have a charge for placing the kid with coop and holding their spot in the university while on coop, although I think that Northeastern doesn't have fees. You really need to ask what these charges are. These charges are in addition to room and board and can be quite significant. It is a hidden charge that most schools never tell you about unless you ask.Some schools don't charge for coops per se. They simply charge the normal or reduced tuiton. Drexel charges you for a whole year's tution even though you are going to school for only two quarters ( out of three quarters) during coop. Again, you need to check out each school's requirements.

    Also, I did a review of Drexel that everyone should see in the college visit forum. I also reviewed Cincinnati too.
  • eireanneireann Registered User Posts: 1,480 Senior Member
    Northeastern has no charge for co-ops, unless they really sneak it into all of the other bills. I have paid absolutely nothing to the university while on co-op, and, looking at the breakdown of my bills for the semesters when I was not, right now I don't see a charge. It's possible that tuition charges are higher but I don't think they're higher than comparable schools. I'm looking at NU's co-op FAQ right now, which says no tuition charge but a housing bill if you live on campus.

    Experiential Education > Students > FAQ

    Also, NU's website says that the average salary of co-op students who worked for six months of the academic year in 2008-2009 was $15,860. It really does tend to balance the other way.

    Scansmom, I've had a similar experience to your son, where I'm not somebody who is automatically good at connecting to people and interviewing. I feel like being at NU has given me a ton of interview experience, and a resume, as well as work experience. I just feel much more familiar with the process than I would otherwise.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    Eireann, you are right. Northeastern doesn't charge fees per se. However, they have a fairly high tuition that might make up for it.
  • ADadADad Registered User Posts: 4,920 Senior Member
    We visited RIT, where coops are required to graduate. After that visit, I got a little skeptical about RIT's required coops. I got the impression, from speaking to a number of students there, that while some students were very happy with their coops, others felt obligated to accept less-than-thrilling coops in order to graduate.

    A year of coop/internship actually costs money if the pay, though nice for a college student, is less than one would have earned in a year at one's first job after graduating in four years.
  • tonerangertoneranger Registered User Posts: 3,723 Senior Member
    Drexel has an excellent coop program. May local employers go them for business and engineering students. Their reputation is growing and selectivity is increasing. The campus (West Philly) is not so pretty...but it's getting better with some newer construction recently. It seems to be coming out of a period where it lived in the "shadow of Penn" and is developing its own reputation as an excellent school. Especially in an economy like this one...
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    ADAD notes,"A year of coop/internship actually costs money if the pay, though nice for a college student, is less than one would have earned in a year at one's first job after graduating in four years. "

    Response; Yes, they do pay the kids less than normally paid for full-time staff,w hich is why companies offer coops. However, these kids get substantial experience for their resume that other kids don't get, AND, they get connections for possible future jobs. In today's economy, having a leg up with great real-world experience can be very benefical.Frankly, the pay is somewhat irrelevant. As long as it covers room and board, I am unconcerned with pay as long as the work provides great experience.
This discussion has been closed.