The Cal Poly Construction Management Department's Cooperative Education (Co-Op) Program is a collaborative effort between students, construction industry businesses, and the Cal Poly Construction Management Department. The Co-Op program allows students to work in a full time paid position while receiving credit towards completion of a Construction Management Degree.
Additionally a Co-Op Experience can provide the following student benefits:
- Opportunity to earn required curriculum academic course credit (topics course) while working.
- Ability to construct a customizable enhanced work experience for the student.
- Enables students to retain (part) or full time student status while working full time.
- Assist in integrating and incorporating academic theory with work experience.
- Adding further relevance to prior classroom education and future course work.
- Improved industry contacts and working relationships through purposeful efforts.
- Increased likelihood of a quality field experienced with continuous communication between the Co-Op Director, the employer, and the student.
- Engaged-learning occurs through assignments which encourage academic reflection which increase educational and professional relevance.
- Possible completion and linkage of a curriculum required senior project with work experience.
- Provides a means of earning income to help cover increasing college expenses.
- Develops maturity and leadership which will enhance both professional and social skills.
- Confirms (or redirects) student career decisions as way to “test-drive” career choices.
- Improves employment prospects at graduation with transferable work experience skills.
- Often leads to higher starting salaries than others with similar educational
- Professional confidence is increased with proven successful performance in the
- Avoids a student from simply getting thrown onto a jobsite with no plan or support structure.
Provides a mechanism which allows for a “neutral third-party” feedback loop to both the employer and the student.
Phil Barlow, Co-Op Director
Roles of Co-Op Members
CM Co-Op Director
- Supervise and evaluate your overall Co-Op experience.
- Assist (as a student advocate) with preliminary co-op activities.
- Enhance potential engaged-learning experiences.
- Monitor your progress during your work assignment.
- Provide technical assistance and support as needed.
- Respond to work related problems or student concerns.
- Grade your Co-Op work assignment.
Industry Co-Op Supervisor
- Provide an initial orientation and assign work projects.
- Provide training and resources needed to complete the job.
- Oversee and/or supervise your work assignments.
- Respond to work related questions.
- Evaluate your overall work performance.
Cal Poly Co-Op Student
- Complete all academic requirements for the Co-Op program.
- Actively communicate with the CM Co-Op Director through progress reporting.
- Provide feedback to ensure the quality and meaningfulness of the work assignment.
- Represent Cal Poly in a professional manner.
Partial Funding for the Cooperative Education Program is provided by:
The Construction Employer's Association, www.cea-ca.org