Northeastern University co-op program praised as a model for career preparation

16 Sep 2016 - Lindsay Bennett

Northeastern University’s co-operative education (co-op) program has helped students gain valuable work experience during their degree studies for more than 100 years. It allows students to alternate academic study and full-time paid work semesters, giving them unparalleled career preparation well before they graduate. International students can also take advantage of Northeastern’s co-op program, and get the same benefit of working for US companies.

A program available to every student

Northeastern’s co-op is considered one of the most extensive programs in the USA, with connections to more than 3,000 employers.  As reported in The Washington Post, 94% of Northeastern students complete at least one 6-month co-op job before they graduate. No additional tuition is charged for co-op, and international students on F-1 visas are eligible to work off-campus once they have completed a full academic year at the University.

Setting the standard for work experience education

Northeastern is a leader in building strong work experience programs. “More colleges should embrace the idea of cooperative education” the Wall Street Journal stated in a recent opinion piece. It pointed to Northeastern’s co-op as a great example of a program where students learn first-hand how to deal with the complex realities of today’s workplace.

Providing better career preparation

To assess the effectiveness of its co-op program, Northeastern University surveyed 1,001 employers in 25 industries across the USA. The data showed that, compared to recent graduates from other universities, Northeastern graduates ranked as more highly qualified in almost every area, including creativity, leadership, work ethic, teamwork, communication skills, critical thinking, and organization and planning. Northeastern concluded that experiential learning programs like co-op produce graduates who are better prepared for the workplace.

Through co-op, international students at Northeastern are able to gain real work experience in the USA, a valuable asset no matter where they decide to go after graduation. You'll learn how to manage your time and work with other professionals making you a highly employable graduate.

Douglas-Gabriel, D. (2016, May 14). Northeastern University’s workforce training could be a roadmap for improving internships. The Washington Post.
Selingo, J. (2016, May 26). College Isn’t Always the Answer. Wall Street Journal.
Northeastern University Preparation Index

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