The Co-op faculty takes a collective approach to helping students consider their various options and pursue the opportunities they hope to attain. Each student is assigned an advisor who meets with them one-on-one; however, Co-op faculty members also work together to understand students’ abilities, promote their skills, and encourage them to communicate their ideas. Although it is ultimately up to an employer to decide whether or not they can offer someone a job, students know that they have the support of a professional team of educators who are actively engaged in a variety of fields and expanding options for students in strategic regions.
Participating organizations who agree to work with the College typically want and expect an Antioch student on a regular basis. As partners in the cooperative work program, they rely on Antioch College students to perform jobs and complete tasks that are essential to their organizational objectives. It is the responsibility of the Co-op advisor to develop and maintain relationships with employers, to advise students on opportunities that might be available, and to understand students’ abilities and aspirations as they endeavor to gain traction in their careers.
Students who are interested in a given experience are generally advised to prepare a cover letter and résumé for the sponsoring organization or employer if they meet the minimum qualifications required. Co-op advisors help students develop their application materials, establish communications with the employer, provide a recommendation if appropriate, and then coach the student on how best to prepare for the interview process. Most employers require a phone, video-link, or in-person interview with the applicant before making a hiring decision. Timely planning and prompt follow-up on communications at this stage is required as students must present themselves well in order to secure a job.
Co-op advisors work hard to ensure that all students have the best possible chance of success by giving individualized attention to every student as they prepare. Over the course of four years, they encourage students to position themselves for progressively challenging co-op opportunities by facilitating involvement in focused coursework, applied research efforts, interdisciplinary projects, and various community initiatives. Moreover, the Program’s Career Communications Coordinator assists students with the development of long-term career strategies so that they can steer themselves toward the career opportunities, graduate schools, or communities of practice with which they hope to engage as they prepare for post-baccalaureate life.
STANDARD STUDY/WORK SEQUENCE:
Student Financial Responsibility during Co-op Terms
While students are engaged in their co-op terms, they are responsible for the payment of tuition to the College as well as for their own room, board, and other expenses—just as they are during study terms. Students are also responsible for costs associated with their travel to and from their jobs, as is the case for travel between campus and home during breaks.
It should also be understood that international co-op experiences rarely offer paid work, although at times room and board compensation can be secured. A number of fellowships are available on a limited basis to support international co-op experiences; however, students hoping to co-op abroad should expect to incur a number of costs for which they would be responsible.