Antioch College offers a unique model of liberal arts learning that integrates meaningful work experience into every student’s degree program through the Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) and Antioch College Works campus jobs. All students are required to complete a minimum of three 11-week quarters of full-time co-op engagement in local, national or international settings. The program expands the boundaries of the liberal arts learning environment by immersing students in full-time work, service, cultural immersion opportunities, collaborative research, or other forms of socially-engaged experiential learning.
Co-op Program partners offer unique sites for student learning and engagement. They serve as mentors within a variety of professional fields providing active training, guidance, and supervision for students who are learning about the world of work. Co-op employers typically expect applicants who can meet their needs and add value to their organizations. They rely on Antioch College students to complete projects and fulfill responsibilities, while also infusing youthful dynamism into their organizations.
Students who are interested in a given opportunity are generally advised to prepare a cover letter and résumé for the partner organization if they meet the required qualifications. Co-op faculty 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 virtual, telephone, or in-person interview with the student applicant before making a hiring decision. Timely planning and prompt follow-up on communications at this stage is very important as students must present themselves well in order to secure a job. Ultimately, it is up to the partnering organization to decide whether or not they can offer a particular student a co-op experience.
All of these rich curricular and co-curricular offerings are intended to help students develop and pursue long-term career goals. Co-op is a crucible in which a student’s accumulated skills and abilities find form. It also serves as a springboard from which students launch themselves into engagement within dynamic communities of practice, future employment opportunities, graduate school experiences, and other ways that they will further distinguish themselves in post-baccalaureate life.
THE STANDARD STUDY/WORK SEQUENCE:
Co-op or Study*
Co-op or Study
Co-op or Study*
Co-op or Study*
* Students have the flexibility of choosing which quarter they would like to do their third required co-op during their third year as well as the option of adding an optional fourth co-op in the fall of their fourth year if they are on track with degree requirements.
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.