Cooperative Education

What is Cooperative Education?
Is Cooperative Education a required course for the LT Certificate?
When may a student first enroll in Cooperative Education?
What is the difference between COOP-170 and COOP-180?
What determines the number of units earned?
What kind of work qualifies?
What are the steps to a successful Cooperative Education experience?
Is there help available to arrange for the work situation?
In what ways does a student benefit from Cooperative Education?

What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education at DVC is an academic program in which a student learns in an off-campus "classroom." Knowledge is gained through hands-on experience in a library where the student is already employed or as a volunteer in a library where the student works with a librarian on a project. The primary objective of the program is to give students practical working experience while they are in school. As the name implies, cooperative education is cooperation among the community (employers), students and the college.

For more information contact the Cooperative Education Office at 925-969-2613 or visit the Cooperative Education website at www.dvc.edu/coop.

Is Cooperative Education a required course for the LT Certificate?

Yes. To qualify for the certificate of achievement in library technology, a student must have received a passing grade for 2 units in either COOP-170 or COOP-180.

When may a student first enroll in Cooperative Education?

The LT program has three official prerequisite courses: completion of L-100, L-104 and L-108. Exceptions can be made with prior approval of the library technology department chair, Dan Kiely. Contact him at 925-969-2583, or by email at dkiely@dvc.edu.

What is the difference between COOP-170 and COOP-180?

Students doing paid work for their Co-op credits take COOP-170. Students doing unpaid work for their co-op credits take COOP-180.

What determines the number of units earned?

The number of units earned is determined by the number of Cooperative Education hours worked during the semester.

Units Earned
Per Semester

Minimum COOP Hours Worked Per Semester (See www.dvc.edu/coop for hours per week required in summer semester.)
Paid Work Unpaid Work
2 150 hours (10 hours/week) 120 hours (7 hours/week)
3 225 hours (15 hours/week) 180 hours (10 hours/week)
4 300 hours (20 hours/week) 240 hours (13.5 hours/week)


The following criteria are followed to determine what kind of work qualifies:

  • The work experience must relate directly to library technology.
  • The student must be involved in new or expanded library technology responsibilities that will develop or improve the student's skills or abilities.
  • The work supervisor must be willing to supervise and evaluate the student's work. If this is not possible, the Co-op instructor's approval is required.
  • Either paid employment or unpaid volunteer work is acceptable. 

 

What are the steps to a successful Cooperative Education experience?

The semester before you intend to do your Co-op Education:

  1. Read everything on this webpage to get an overview of the requirements and procedures for Cooperative Education within the LT program. (jump to top)
  2. Go to the Co-operative Work Experience page at www.dvc.edu/coop and follow the instructions.
  3. Read and understand the Co-op Handbook prior to asking someone to be your Co-op supervisor. Your Co-op supervisor will be the person overseeing your day-to-day work (paid or volunteer) on the job and must agree to let you use the experience for Cooperative Education.
  4. Begin investigating where you want to do your Cooperative Education project. If you need help finding a place to do your Co-op, look at our section below on locating a Co-op position.  It is essential that you have everything in place for Co-op before the beginning of the semester in which you plan to do your Co-op. 

Before the beginning of the semester in which you intend to do your Co-op Education:

  • Arrange for a Co-op position.
  • Go to the Co-operative Work Experience page at www.dvc.edu/coop and submit the online application.
  • Attend a mandatory orientation. The orientation schedule is found at www.dvc.edu/coop.
  • Register for the COOP class at the Admissions Office or through WebAdvisor.

 

When classes start for the semester in which you enrolled in Co-op Education:

  1. Attend your Co-op orientation. You will be assigned your Co-op instructor at orientation and, in most cases, you will be given an appointment for your first meeting with your Co-op Instructor. Your Co-op instructor is a DVC faculty member who handles the DVC end of your Co-op Education experience.
  2. Working with your Co-op supervisor, use the Practice Objectives Sheet in your Handbook to develop the objectives for your Cooperative Education work experience. This form will be due to your Co-op instructor at your first meeting. Your Co-op instructor will take your objectives and put them into a Cooperative Work Experience Education Agreement and Objectives Form that you, your Co-op Instructor, and your Co-op supervisor will all have to sign.
  3. Start working and recording your required Co-op hours as soon as the semester begins. 

Is there help available to arrange for the work situation?

We have compiled a list of recent locations where LT students have done their Co-op. You might consider contacting one or more of these organizations about doing your Co-op with them.

Not sure what kind of project you should be looking to do in your Co-op? Take a look at these examples of Co-op Objectives Forms that previous students have used.

Additionally, there is an online job site run by Career and Employment Services where you may be able to find a Co-op position.

Students may also talk to their instructors or contact Dan Kiely for further help.

 

In what ways does a student benefit from Cooperative Education?

There are many benefits from a Cooperative Education experience.

These COOP units:

  • are transferable to the California State University,
  • are counted toward the A.S. degree (as electives),
  • apply to your GPA (letter grade units),
  • fulfill requirements for the LT certificate,
  • are applicable for Social Security benefits,
  • may be applicable for Veteran benefits (call Veteran Services at 925-969-2121 to verify),
  • are valuable real world work experience,
  • will help students build an employment history.

 

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