Sac State University Policy Manual

Cooperative Education Guidelines

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Authority: AS 94-61
Effective Date: October 19, 1994
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: FSC00040.htm


  1. Do Co-op units applied toward a major affect the viability of the degree in the major?

    The Cooperative Education Program is a comprehensive educational strategy integrating classroom curricula with academically related work experiences. It reinforces and expands critical thinking skills by combining traditional academic curricula with practical applications.

    If so, what could be the total number of Co-op units that might be applied towards the major and still maintain the viability of the degree?

    Undergraduate Programs

    It is recommended that up to 12 Co-op units may apply toward the total number of units for graduation for an undergraduate degree. how these units may apply (major, major elective, general elective) is at the discretion of the department.

    Graduate Programs

    Departments may allow the application of Co-op units toward requirements for a graduate degree to a maximum of 20% of the units required for the degree.

  2. What other, if any, guidelines should be followed to insure that Co-op curricula is educationally sound?

    1. Maintain the existing minimum* student requirements:

    Upper division students with 2.5 GPA or graduate student with 3.1 GPA. These minimum GPA standards must be maintained during their Co-op placement.

    Students submit a Co-op application, statement of purpose indicating why they are interested in pursuing a degree-enhancing experience beyond the classroom and their degree plan; and a faculty recommendation in their major.

    • School of Business requires the completion of a minimum of 15 upper division units; individual departments have varying requirements beyond the Co-op minimum requirements.
    1. Departments approve Co-Op placement sites:

    Departments approve the placement sites prior to the Co-op staff engaging in matching students and employers. This would ensure the quality of an academically enhancing Co-op experience.

    Graduate Programs

    A department's graduate coordinator and/or graduate committee approve any graduate student's Cooperative Education work site and type of work.

    1. Supervision by Departments :

    Supervision by faculty includes signing placement expectations of employer and student; site visits by faculty or approved designee, participation in Co-op seminars and grading a research paper.

    Graduate Programs

    Departments should require regularly scheduled site visits to examine graduate student Cooperative Education work and require a written report on each visit.

    1. Student Expectations :

    Students are required to sign a student/employer agreement of understanding; attend Co-op seminars; submit a required research paper and an evaluation of the co-op experience.

    Graduate Programs

    The work accepted for graduate-level Cooperative Education credit be such as will advance the knowledge and skills of graduate students and so contribute to their academic progress.

    1. Common Course Numbers

    It is recommended the University adopt common course numbers 19x for undergraduate courses and 29x for graduate courses (where X is the same number for both), for Cooperative education course work.