History

History of Cooperative Education and Internships

  • Late 1800’s the Industrial Revolution was underway with new innovations and technologies creating a demand for specialized knowledge and training in the workplace.
  • The Morrill Act of 1861 (Land Grant Act) provided funds to establish colleges devoted to agriculture and mechanical arts.
  • Colleges responded with new courses of study – practical education – education for a specific field now became acceptable.
  • The philosophical foundation for cooperative education was also taking place.
  • William Dewey – “There is an intimate and necessary relation between the process or actual experience and education.” Dewey believed that people learned from experience and doing.
  • 1872 Herman Schneider, co-op founder, is born in Summit Hill, PA.
  • Herman Schneider – “if you want to educate a student to become and engineer, then you should provide that student with the opportunity to practice being and engineer.”
  • 1899, the cooperative system of education is proposed at Lehigh University in PA.
  • 1903, Herman Schneider arrives at UC from Lehigh University to serve as Professor of Civil Engineering.
  • September 24, 1906, Dean Herman Schneider, University of Cincinnati, Co-op is founded.
  • Structured method of combining academic education and practical work experience.
  • Cooperative education is a structured method of combining classroom-based education with practical work experience. A cooperative education experience, commonly known as a “co-op”, provides academic credit for structured job experience. Co-op experiences are either full-time (40 hours per week) alternating periods (semester, quarter) of work and school or part-time (20 hours per week) combining work and school during the same time period. Co-op experiences are paid, supervised by a professional who has followed the same career path of the student and students complete more than one assignment (2 or more) with progressive levels of responsibility.
  • Internship is an experience involving student’s working in their expected career field, either during a semester or over the summer. Internships may be paid or unpaid and may or may not carry academic credit. Internships are typically one time experiences. Internships are typically connected to an academic program with course requirements designed and monitored by faculty. Internships generally have related learning outcomes and academic assignments required.
  • Originally alternating work and school weekly.
  • First co-op class had 27 students and 13 companies.
  • First wages in 1906 were 8-10 cents an hour.
  • Co-op was proven applicable to fields other than engineering:
  • University of Cincinnati – Nursing – 1915
  • Ohio Mechanics Institute – 1920
  • Antioch developed liberal Arts Co-op
  • First women co-op at the University of Cincinnati
  • Association of Cooperative Colleges founded in 1926 –first professional association for cooperative education – First meeting at the University of Cincinnati – Herman Schneider elected President.
  • 1929 become a division of the Society of Promotion of Engineering Education (later ASEE) – became the Cooperative Education Division (CED) of the American Society of Engineering Education – changed to Cooperative and Experiential Education Division (CEED) in 2009.
  • Upon graduation in 1934, wages were 35 cents an hour for a ten-hour work day, a sum of $13 per week.
  • The National Study of Cooperative Education was completed by Jim Wilson of RIT and Edward Lyons of University of Detroit, book published in 1961 “Work-Study College Program.”
  • Chaired by Clement J. Freund (ASEE’s President in 1948-49), a CED committee published, “The Cooperative System – A Menifesto.”.
  • Spelled out the primary principles of cooperative education including a formal definition and the objectives of this system of education.
  • First co-op program in Canada, University of Waterloo, now the largest program in the world.
  • 1956 – 50th Anniversary of Cooperative Education celebrated at the University of Cincinnati.
  • The National Commission for Cooperative Education (NCCE) was founded to promote co-op and to raise funds in its behalf. Ralph Tyler named chairman.
  • 1963 the Cooperative Education Association is established with Don Hunt and Frank Jakes taking the lead to represent the interests and promote the expansion of co-op, especially in non-engineering disciplines.
  • Northeastern University received a Ford Foundation Grant to establish the first co-op training center to help develop new co-op programs.
  • CEA held its first annual conference in Detroit, Michigan in 1964 under the leadership and guidance of Donald C. Hunt from the University of Detroit.
  • Research in the field of Cooperative Education became a key element to demonstrating the success of programs and the Journal of Cooperative Education was established in 1964.
  • Title VIII of the Higher Education Act of 1965 provided more impetus for the growth of co-op programs.
  • During the period of federal funding members of the co-op community spend significant amounts of time in DC and connecting with Legislative members to push the co-op agenda.
  • Title VIII helped programs expand into business, health and liberal arts as well as offering opportunities for non-traditional students to work in their career field while taking classes.
  • Programs were expanded to allow adult students the opportunity to co-op after the regular work day or on weekend as well as modifying their current job to learn new skills related to their area of study.
  • First programs began with alternating semesters of work and academic and expanded during Title VIII funding to parallel co-op programs of part-time work and academics concurrently.
  • The National Conference on Cooperative Education was held in 1971.
  • First World Conference on Cooperative Education held in London in 1979
  • The World Association for Cooperative Education (WACE) is formed in 1983.
  • The National Ad Campaign ($30 million) for Cooperative Education in 1985 brought cooperative education to the forefront of university and college administrators as well as employers. This public campaign drove a strong progress in establishing partnerships across the country.
  • Number of programs grew from 277 in 1971 to 1012 in 1986.
  • Employer and Educator Cooperative Education Training Centers opened in five regions of the country training over 30,000 practitioners, plus a National Center for Employer Training at the University of Cincinnati and also the National Commission for Cooperative Education (NCCE) Training Center.
  • Funding for programs and developing institutional support were hot topics for consideration in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s due to declining Title VII funding and the desire for colleges and universities to maintain their vibrant co-op programs.
  • Workshops were offered to educators and employers on How to Start A Co-op Program, How to Fundraise, Developing Effective Partnerships, Nuts & Bolts of Cooperative education, Gaining Institutional Support, Making your Program Comply with Accreditation Outcomes.
  • Coalition of CEA, CED, NCEE formed to provide mechanism for speaking with one voice on major issues or opportunities for co-op.
  • The DACUM Study for Co-op Office positions such as Director, Co-op Coordinator, Job developer was completed to help members of the co-op community build and enhance their existing programs through proper staffing
  • Today, approximately 1000 colleges and universities in 43 countries, with 76,000 employers and 310,000 students participating annually in co-op partnerships
  • Cooperative Education and Internship programs today vary from individual experiences to multiple experiences with increased levels of responsibility working part-time or alternation semester of work and school
  • Students and employer participants generally complete evaluations of their experiences to document the program success as well as the complete of other academic assignments depending on each programs requirement.
  • Co-op and internships are generally paid and in many programs academic credit or transcript notation is a component of a successful program.
  • Engineering and Business Program Accreditation brought with it the desire for co-op and internship professionals to assess program outcomes and establish success measures.
  • In the 1990’s technology comes to co-op and internship offices to help connect professionals, employers, students and to form list serves for ongoing communication and sharing.
  • College/Corporate relationships for co-op more difficult to maintain due to turnover and long standing programs being ended.
  • Budget begins to tighten in higher education making it very difficult to maintain and grow co-op and internship programs.
  • 1998 the Accreditation Council for Cooperative Education was established with 12 college and university programs accredited to date.
  • Internship is added to CEA making the organization new name CEIA
  • The National Academy of Work-Integrated Learning (NAWIL) of CEIA is founded to provide professional training to co-op and internship practitioners.
  • Consolidation of co-op and internships into Career Services to increase organizational efficient and budget management.
  • 100th Anniversary of Cooperative Education
    • 2006 University of Cincinnati
    • 2009 Northeastern University
    • 2009 Drexel University
    • 2009 Kettering University
    • 2011 University of Detroit Mercy
    • 2012 Georgia Institute of Technology
    • 2012 Rochester Institute of Technology
    • 2014 University of Akron