Academic Resources

Cooperative Education

Information for Employers

Please click on any question below to go directly to that question's answer--or scroll down through the page to read the full series of questions and answers.

How do employers register with the Co-op Program?

How does Co-op Work?

What forms do employers need to complete?

What kind of employees are Saint Joseph’s Co-op students?

What are the benefits of hiring a Saint Joseph’s University Co-op student?

What is the educational background of Saint Joseph’s Co-op students?

What is expected of Co-op employers?

What types of work would be appropriate for a Co-op student?

What is the current pay range?

How do employers reach Co-op students with job opportunities?

When does hiring take place—and where do interviews take place?

Does the Co-op Program mandate that an employer hire a Co-op student?

What can employers expect from the Co-op Program while employing a Co-op student?

What is the contact information for the Co-op office?



How do employers register with the Co-op Program?

Registration (or general inquiries) can begin with the Director of the Co-op Program: 

Dr. Todd Krug, 610-660-1103 or at Krug@sju.edu.  

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How does Co-op work?

The Co-op Program includes two full-time work terms:

1) from September to December of the sophomore year and

2) from January to August of the junior year.

For both terms, students’ resumes are sent to the University’s Co-op employers, and Co-op students subsequently interview for the posted positions.  Because of changing job market conditions and variations in students’ skills and abilities as they relate to employers’ needs, the Co-op Program cannot guarantee jobs. However, the Director works diligently with students to help them engage in the most successful job search possible.

The first work term is a more general experience, introducing students to the fundamental demands of work and providing them with workplace tasks that meet their introductory-level skills and knowledge. The second work term is comparatively more in-depth, allowing students to participate in higher-level responsibilities. Students may work for the same employer for both work experiences or opt to work for different employers.

Co-op students enroll in two summer semesters (the summers following the freshman and sophomore years). The summer semesters, which run from mid-May to mid-July, replace the semesters that students work. Contrary to what one might expect, Co-op students commonly report enjoying the summer semesters, particularly the cohesiveness and collaboration among the students in the Program and the academic success that often results.

A Co-op student’s schedule proceeds like this:

CLASSFALLSPRINGSUMMER
Freshman Study Study Study
Sophomore Work Study Study
Junior Study Work Work
Senior Study Study/Graduate  

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What forms do employers need to complete?

Co-op employers need to sign an agreement form which lists the standards and expectations that will inform and support the relationship between the company and Saint Joseph’s Co-op Program.  Co-op employers also need to complete a directory form (with the name and telephone number of the company’s contact, a mailing address, a web site address and so on).  These forms are available by contacting the Director of the Co-op Program.

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What kind of employees are Saint Joseph’s Co-op students?

Co-op students at Saint Joseph’s University self-select into the Co-op Program; as such, employers are assured that the candidate pool is comprised of students who are particularly focused and committed, as they are among a select group of students who have opted to alter the process of earning their four-year degree to make possible two full-time work experiences. Co-op students must have a minimum GPA of a 2.75 to be in the Program, and the average GPA of Co-op students is a 3.2.  In short, Saint Joseph’s Co-op students are eager, hard working, reliable and anxious to learn.

These claims are supported by the following statistics, which represent the average employer ratings given to all Co-op students since the Program’s inception:

Scale is 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent)

 

Dependability 4.52
Quality of Work 4.47
Attitude 4.5
Time Management 4.23
Appearance
4.28
Judgment
4.33
Overall performance
4.5

If you had a full-time job to offer your Co-op student, would you?  93% responded “yes.”

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What are the benefits of hiring a Saint Joseph’s University Co-op student?

Tangible benefits to employers include the opportunity to:  1) add to the company workforce with young, new talent and in a cost effective way; 2) develop a relationship with a student who may one day become a full-time employee; and 3) enjoy the technological know-how of students, as students typically are on the cutting edge of technology and its applications. 

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What is the educational background of Saint Joseph’s Co-op students?

Saint Joseph’s Co-op students are all business majors from the following majors:  Accounting, Business Administration, Business Intelligence, Family Business & Entrepreneurship, Finance, Financial Planning, International Business, Leadership, Ethics & Organizational Sustainability, Managing Human Capital, Marketing, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketing, Risk Management & Insurance, Sports Marketing.

 

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What is expected of Co-op employers?

The Co-op Program asks for four fundamental areas of commitment from employers:  1) to engage in a fair and professional interview process, to offer a supervised work assignment and to assure a safe and professional work environment; 2) to provide meaningful, skill-appropriate and sufficient work that connects to the student’s major and interests; 3) to compensate students fairly through the company’s payroll process; and 4) to complete a face-to-face, written performance evaluation for each hired student, which is subsequently submitted to the Co-op Program by the employer for placement in the student’s file (the Co-op Program provides this form).   The Co-op/Employer agreement expands upon these expectations, but the expanded roster of expectations generally falls under the three points listed above.

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What types of work would be appropriate for a Co-op student?

The first-round of Co-op students (mid-semester sophomores) expect general tasks that acclimate them to the world of work and to the demands of a given office or profession.  The second-round of Co-op students (end-of-year juniors) bring to the job background from their first work experience as well as knowledge from additional coursework, so more specialized (even entry-level professional tasks) are appropriate.  In both cases, supervisors should provide meaningful work and increasing levels of responsibility.  Saint Joseph’s Co-op students report the greatest satisfaction with employers who challenge them, keep them busy and allow them to see the greater organizational purpose of their work and projects. 

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What is the current pay range?

Co-op students earn between $10 and $20 an hour.  Employers set the wage based upon their budgets, field of work, intensity of the work and the background of the Co-op student.  The bulk of Co-op students earn between $14 and $18 an hour.

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How do employers reach Co-op students with job opportunities?

Employers submit a written job description for each job opportunity.  The job description can be uploaded to the University’s career web site directly by the employer (each Co-op employer is granted access to this password-protected site) or the description can be sent to the Director of the Co-op Program for posting.

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When does hiring take place—and where do interviews take place?

First-round Co-op students (mid-year sophomores who work from September 1 to December 15) will engage in interviews in June and July—with an ideal hiring date of no later than August 1.  Second-round Co-op students (end-of-year juniors who work from January 15 to August 1) will interview in October and November—with an ideal hiring date of no later than December 1).

Interviews can take place on campus or at the employer’s location.  Employers who want to interview on campus can do so by scheduling an interview room with the Director of the Co-op Program.

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Does the Co-op Program mandate that an employer hire a Co-op student?

An employer is not obligated to hire a student, and Saint Joseph’s Co-op Program does not place students.  At the onset of each interview period, each employer receives an electronic link to review the resumes of all Co-op students whose backgrounds match the employer’s needs.  The company’s listed primary contact (and any designees) will receive this link. The employer then selects candidates for interviews.  Following interviews, the employer makes an independent hiring decision and notifies the student(s) and the Co-op Program of this decision.  The process is very similar to most companies’ existing hiring processes. 

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What can employers expect from the Co-op Program while employing a Co-op student?

The Director of the Co-op Program likely will make one site visit to each student’s employer during his/her work term.  This is an opportunity for the Director to meet with the student’s supervisor, see the work environment and the student’s colleagues—and to discuss any issues in person.  Employers should not hesitate to contact the Director any time questions or issues arise. 

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What is the contact information for the Co-op office?

Todd Krug, Ph.D.
Director
Cooperative Education Program
Mandeville 314
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA  19131
(610) 660-1103 – Telephone
(610) 660-1177 – Fax
Krug@sju.edu

Jackie Batchelor
Administrative Assistant
Cooperative Education Program
Mandeville 314
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA  19131
(610) 660-1934 – Telephone
(610) 660-1177 – Fax
Jbatchel@sju.edu

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