Co-operative Work Experience

What is Cooperative Work Experience (CO-OP)?

CO-OP is an academic course that allows you to earn elective credit for learning that takes place at your job or internship. There are three different CO-OP courses. Students can earn up to a total of 16 CO-OP units.

CO-OP Courses: 

COOP-160 (2-3 units): For students whose current job does not relate to their academic and/or career goal.

COOP-170 (2-4 units): For students whose current job relates to their academic and/or career goal.

COOP-180 (2-4 Units): For students working in a paid/unpaid internship or volunteer position that relates to their academic and/or career goal.

Choose the right course and unit amount based on number of hours worked

How to enroll in CO-OP:

There are three steps to enroll in a CO-OP course. Students must:

  1. Complete a CO-OP Employment Form
  2. Register for the course in WebAdvisor
  3. Attend one of the mandatory orientations listed in the table below.

The steps may be completed in any order, however, students who do not complete all three steps may be dropped from the class.


Got questions about CO-OP?

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why should I enroll in CO-OP? Recent data shows that 58 percent of students who participate in work experience education are offered full-time positions with higher starting salaries upon graduation. In addition to developing key employability skills, CO-OP is a great resume builder and is CSU transferable.

2. Do I have to have a job/internship before enrolling in CO-OP? Yes. A student's course number and objectives are specific to a particular job. If you need help finding a part-time, full-time or internship position, visit Career and Employment Services or register for our online job board to search for jobs posted specifically for DVC students!

3. Do I have to attend an orientation?Yes. Students who are new to CO-OP must attend an orientation session prior to the start of class. Returning students who successfully completed CO-OP with a "B" or higher in the term prior to the current term may be excused from orientation.

4. What if the orientation time conflicts with another class? No problem! Contact the CO-OP Office at 925-969-2042 so that we help you to determine an orientation time that meets your schedule.

5. What is the difference between the CO-OP courses? Great question! There are three CO-OP Courses offered at DVC. Which one you take depends on how your position is linked to your career/academic goals and also how many hours that you work each week. To sum it up:

  • COOP-160 is for students whose jobs DO NOT relate to their college major or career goal.
  • COOP-170 is for students whose jobs DO relate to their college major or career goal.
  • COOP-180 is for students in a volunteer position or a paid or unpaid internship that RELATES to their college major or career goals.

6. How many hours do I have to work? Another great question! The number of hours that you work dictates the number of units that you can receive. Not all CO-OP courses are offered for the same number of units so it really does depend on which course you are eligible to take. Click here to determine the hours that you are eligible for.

7. How do I write objectives? Your questions just get better and better! Your objectives are realistic and specific goals that you set out to accomplish during your CO-OP course. You will work with your faculty member and also your site supervisor to determine objectives that will help you meet the requirements for the course. If you are already working at your CO-OP site, we encourage you to start thinking now about what projects you might want to take on, training that you would like to receive, or other ideas that you have to make your workplace more efficient.

8. My employer has questions about CO-OP. What should I do? Please encourage your employer to contact Cooperative Work Experience Education at 925-969-2042 or email

9. More questions? Download the  CO-OP Handbook and Syllabus