CEIA was founded in September 1963. The original mission: To provide professional development and resources to the field of cooperative education.
CEIA is a not-for-profit 501C(3) organization, incorporated in the State of Indiana. At the first annual business meeting in 1963, the constitution and bylaws were adopted. The first annual conference was held in September, 1963 at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Donald Hunt of the University of Detroit was elected the association's first president.
The association was managed in its early years by an executive secretary, who served in a voluntary capacity. Upon the retirement of the first executive secretary, the Association hired a management firm to handle such activities as arranging board meetings, billing, maintaining the membership database and handling conference registration. In 1986 the Association hired its first paid executive secretary. This position was replaced by that of an executive director. In 2001, the executive director retired and the current day-to-day management tasks are handled by an association executive.
CEIA remains the leader in providing professional development and resources to practitioners in the fields of cooperative education and internship program management. The original mission of the organization as envisioned by its founders in 1963 is carried out through an expanding number of training activities, an annual national conference, and support and encouragement for on-going research and publications.