Skip to main content

Cooperative Education

Provides work-based learning opportunities in which students apply an academic (classroom) experience to local community employment needs. Two popular forms of Applied Learning are co-ops and internships.

What is the difference between a co-op and an internship?

Co-ops are more formal and require you to perform specific job responsibilities related to your career plans, and are paid. Internships, on the other hand, are generally unpaid, but allow you to explore career fields of interest. A good example of a co-op is a student working in the retail field, while a student working with a financial planner is a good example of an internship.

What are the requirements to participate in a co-op or an internship?

A co-op student must enroll in and complete a career related seminar for one semester, and work a minimum of 180 hours during that semester. Enrollment is possible only for students who have a minimum GPA of 2.0. If successful, students will earn 4 credits. An internship is intended to serve students who possess a 2.5 GPA. Interns will be expected to participate in a work experience totaling 135 hours. An internship candidate must present a resume and offer strong reasons why she or he wishes to engage in a particular internship placement. If successful, the intern will earn 3 credits.

At what point in my degree program may I enter a co-op program or an internship?

Required co-ops at MCC have a definite start time. Automotive Technology students start as early as first semester, while students in Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning generally begin third semester, but with permission, you may start earlier. Hospitality and Business students are required to do their co-op at the end of the program. Sports Management requires that you have 30 credits before beginning a co-op. Generally, all other co-ops should be postponed until after you have completed at least two semesters. An internship candidate must have completed two semesters of academic work (or a minimum of 24 credits).

If I am interested in pursuing either a co-op or an internship, where should I begin?

Your first step will be to prepare a resume. If you need help with the resume, please contact Career Services (building 3-108). Your next step will be to meet with the co-op and internship coordinator in Career Services. The purpose of the meeting will be to review your credentials and also to discuss placement possibilities. An important feature of this meeting is that the coordinator will assist you to locate a placement site.

Should I begin my search for a co-op or internship before meeting with the co-op and internship coordinator?

Excellent idea! The key to a good internship is preparation. Call it pre-experience readiness. The idea is to research careers of interest to obtain specific information (e.g. majors, employment opportunities, academic requirements, starting salaries). You could begin your search by talking with a faculty person in your career field at MCC. Also talk with family, friends, and relatives who are in career fields of interest to you. In addition, proceed to the following MCC websites: Career Coach; or Handshake. These websites will give you free access to internships, jobs, and companies. One more good reference would be the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Once you have done your homework, you are ready to meet with the co-op and internship coordinator in the Career Services Office.

Experience Based Learning (EBL)

This is a career work experience (most likely unpaid) that can help you identify a future career. You may enroll in the course, EBL 101, for one semester and earn 3 credits, fall, spring, or summer. This course is a perfect alternative to more formal ways of seeking a career work experience such as a co-op or internship. If you wish to participate, seek out a business or organization interested in sponsoring you. At the conclusion of a successful work experience (113 hours), and the successful completion of a weekly summary journal, a personal reaction paper and an employer evaluation, you will be awarded three elective credits. A major advantage of this program is that it will assist you to acquire a record of work experience for your resume. This work based learning option may not be repeated for credit.

Walt Disney College Program

Does your heart beat when the word Disney is mentioned? If you are one of the lucky 6,000 students selected each semester from over 20,000 applicants nationwide, you can participate in an internship with one of the most successful entertainment companies in the world - the Walt Disney Company. MCC is one of 400 colleges who sends students to Disney World or Disneyland each fall and spring semester with the opportunity to extend your stay over the summer months.

Selection into the program is limited to those who have a passion, personality, and desire to participate with Disney to create magic for the thousands of people who visit Florida or California each year. All degree programs qualify you to apply. Selection comes after a rigorous selection process: prepare an application that is thoroughly reviewed for background information, do a computer interview to determine if you fit into the Disney environment, and then participate in a telephone interview to let Disney know that you have what it takes to help make the magic that draws people to the theme parks.

You must meet MCC’s academic and attendance requirements to apply for the internship, namely a C average among your academic courses prior to applying (some exceptions), and be in attendance at MCC for at least one semester. If, for example, you are a freshman coming to the college, you can apply the first semester to participate in the internship starting in your second semester. Students who successfully complete the program, receive a Ducktorate Degree from Disney, and six elective credits from MCC. Your Ducktorate degree is earned by taking a formal course while on the Disney internship that has been approved by the American Council on Education (ACE), a national accrediting association.