Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Cooperative Education Student Learning Agreement?
The Learning agreement for Cooperative Education work-learning experience is a set of specific planned statements of expectations that guides the outcome and documentation or anticipated final results from learning activities taking place while participating in productive work.

Does the university visit and / or supervise the student on-the-job?
Yes, students will be visited while on the job each term.  During early visits, the Learning Agreement may be finalized and evaluated. The Faculty Advisor is charged with supervision of the Student Learning Agreement.

Is the Co-Op calendar the same as the university’s academic calendar?
Both calendars are fundamentally the same, but differ in two areas.  First, the periods from August to January, January to May, and May to August are considered to be a semester or Co-Op term for the program.  The second difference is based on employer’s need for employment continuity to facilitate accurate workload scheduling; therefore, often no free time is scheduled between Co-Op terms.

May Students participate in the Cooperative Education Program for more than two consecutive terms?
Yes, students and/or employers may wish to make use of two consecutive terms for the Co-Op experiences with Faculty Advisor approval.  In addition, many employers prefer a longer Co-Op term to provide greater continuity and broader scoped learning experiences.  It should be remembered that one of the values of Co-op is found in its alternating patterns (see individual College policies for details).  These arrangements may not include a Spring and Fall, but can combine the Spring or Fall with a Summer.

Does the Co-Op student have any time off for vacation after he or she enters the program?
Yes, students not on work assignments have the same time as all other students of the university, while students on work assignments usually have the same holidays other employees of the company or organization enjoy.

How do I quality for the Co-op Program? 
Three minimum qualifications are necessary for Participation in the program. You must have completed 30 hours. You must have a 2.5 or higher GPA. You must also have declared a major.

Are transfer students eligible for the program? 
Yes, as long as they have a minimum of 1-1/2 years remaining at UALR and meet the minimum academic requirements.

What is the first thing that I must do?
Once enrolled at UALR, the first step in becoming a Co-op student is to attend a Co-op orientation session.

Where do UALR Co-Ops and Interns work? 
The majority of UALR students work in Little Rock and other Central Arkansas locations.  There are no restrictions, however, depending upon work availability.

Will I earn enough money to pay my expenses while in school?
That depends.  Salaries vary depending upon location and field of study.  In any case, you should not plan on a Co-op/Internship work assignment supporting all your college needs.  Cooperative Education is designed to emphasize academic and professional experience rather than provide financial aid.  What you save is directly proportional to your willpower.

Am I obligated to work for my Co-Op employer after graduation?
No!  Your Co-op employer is also not obligated to offer you permanent employment.

Do I need prior work experience in order to participate?
No!  Co-op is a program designed to help students gain Career Related experience whether or not they have worked previously.

Am I guaranteed a position?
The Cooperative Education program cannot guarantee a placement for each student. The employers specify qualifications and students are referred accordingly.  Employers determine whom to interview and hire.  Co-op, however, will do its best to assist students in obtaining a placement.

How long does a Co-Op position last?
Co-Op positions vary in length, depending upon the arrangement agreed upon in advance between the student and employer.  Most are ongoing in nature, lasting for as long as it is mutually beneficial for both the student and the employer (minimum time is usually one semester or summer).

Does my participation in Co-Op end once I am hired?
No!  Your Coordinator will stay in close contact with you during your Co-Op experience through phone calls, individual meetings, on-site visits and placed student seminars.

What is a typical work schedule?
Generally, work hours are within the 9-5 time frame.  Schedules are coordinated around the student classes. Most employers prefer 20-25 hours per week in full day or half-day blocks of time.

Do I have to enroll in the Co-Op course in order to go through the Co-op office? 
Yes, this will enable you to get the academic credit.  We do not charge a fee for our services so the tuition you pay for the course will be the only fee you pay.

Do you have a list of jobs I can look through to see what I might be interested in? 
We do not have an actual “list” of positions, when we get the job description from the employer, we send through an approval chain to ensure the quality. After it is approved, we will fax student’s resumes directly to the employer based on the major he/she requested. The employer will decide whom he/she wants to interview and will contact the student directly.  At that time, it is up to the student to accept or decline the interview.  I encourage the student to accept the interview so he/she can be educated about the position. The student will be able to make a more informed decision if a job is offered.

What if my major is not listed on the Co-Op application?
If your major is not listed then check to see if your minor is listed.  Sometimes students can go through the department of their minor if they have enough classes in that area. Come and talk to a Co-Op professional on an individual basis to find out more details.

I don’t really care if I’m paid; I just want the work experience.
If you go through the UALR Co-op Office, your Co-op will be a paid position.  Since we are trying to prepare you for the “real world”, it’s important that you understand the importance of compensation.

Can I obtain Co-op credit for a job that I am currently in? 
If you can get to us within the first 30 days of your current job, we may be able to get your position approved for Co-op.  Time is important in this scenario.  We will need to obtain a job description from your supervisor.  You cannot get Co-op credit for a job that you have done for a long period of time. The objective for a Co-op student is to learn new information in their field of study.