What is a cooperative education program? 

A cooperative education program is a program with elective classes that permits a student to be released from the high school campus to work part-time in a job. It is truly “cooperative” because four contractual parties are responsible for the success of the program and must sign an agreement: the school and the teacher/coordinator, the employer, the parent/guardian, and the student. The student must be compensated for work performed while in a cooperative education program. 

What are the benefits of cooperative education programs? 

The benefits of cooperative education programs are: elective high school credit(s), valuable experience in the workplace which gives students a head start on their career, employee training provided by the employer, financial earnings, and freedom and flexibility in the school day with release time from campus. 

Why is the school responsible for students while they are off campus in cooperative education programs? 

Students in a cooperative education program represent their school at all times, even though they are not on the school campus. Students are expected to demonstrate responsibility, dependability, ethical behavior, and maturity when they are at their job site. 

What is a “Training Station”? 

When a student is placed in a cooperative education job experience they are employed in a part-time job. A “Training Station” is what the job site is called because new skills and job tasks are learned each day the student is at the part-time job. The job site becomes the “classroom” where valuable information and skills are learned daily. 

What is OJT? 

On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a common term that is used for the student’s release time from the school campus—when a student is authorized to leave school early and report to his/her job site. It is a component of a cooperative education program that enables students to apply classroom instruction to actual job experiences. Some schools may require that students have ID cards to leave campus early each day. 

When can the student work? 

When the student is hired, the employer will set the work schedule according to the hours the student is needed at that job site. The student will sign in at the job site as the employer requires. However, the student must also complete a separate time card for the school listing the hours, days, weekly totals, and/or monthly totals that were worked. This time card is the official audit record for the “student grade” at the school. No grade can be given if this time card 25 record is not completed and on file in the school audit file. The teacher/coordinator will have information and requirements for the student regarding the completion of this critical document.