2021-2022 Curriculum Catalog

Co-op Course Requirements: Experience, Inquiry, Reflection and Dialogue

Field experience lies at the heart of cooperative education; however, developing a sense of inquiry, reflecting on lessons learned through experience, and engaging in dialogue on the ideas that emerge are essential components of the co-op learning cycle. In order to meet the co-op requirement necessary for graduation, all students are required to complete three approved co-op field experiences and pass them with a grade of “C” (twelve credits each). Students enroll in these by registering for the appropriate Cooperative Education course that is offered at the time they engage in their co-op term, as determined by fulfillment of both the co-requisite and any prerequisites identified. They thus are expected to earn a minimum of thirty-six Cooperative Education credits required for graduation.

As with courses on campus, active student participation in Co-Op Field Experience courses is necessary for success. Course attendance in these courses is considered in the following ways:

  • Fulltime Experiential Engagement – Co-Op students are required to work or engage at least 30 hours per week in an approved co-op job or other approved experiential learning opportunity for a minimum of 30 hours per week throughout the 11-week academic term. Leaving a position before completing the 11 weeks must be approved by the instructor and a plan for completing the experiential requirement must be formalized.
  • Earnest Engagement in Inquiry, Reflection, and Dialogue - Regular communication and timely submission of assignments is required to demonstrate attendance and fulfill the expectations of the inquiry, reflection, and dialogue activities that form an integral part of Co-Op Field Experience courses. The most common way for a student to demonstrate this engagement is to log in to their online learning platform, participate in discussion threads, select the tools they will use and commit to learning them, upload assignments on time, and fulfill other expectations outlined in the course syllabus in a timely fashion.

In some senses, Co-Op Field Experience courses can be considered to be partially “asynchronous” in that they take place in an individualized setting and some of the activities are facilitated in an online environment via an electronic course management system. Students work at their own pace within the guidelines of the assignments, the schedule of the instructor, and the due dates indicated on the syllabus. Although there is a wealth of interactions and face-to-face contact is encouraged, these courses are mediated by the student in terms of time and space, in coordination with the course instructor. In another sense, Co-Op courses can be considered to be “face-to-face”, in that students are working directly, and often in close personal contact with members of various communities of practice.

The co-op faculty recognizes that students operate within a wide variety of environments and face differing circumstances over co-op. Commute times, Internet access, living situations, and other factors influence their ability to perform. If a student is unable to access the online learning platform, they should communicate with their field experience instructor the first week of the course either by email, telephone, or U. S. mail. Their instructor will consider the logistical issues and arrange to talk with the student about how they can fulfill the terms of the course in the event that they do not have regular access to the Internet, phone, or other forms of electronic communication. If the student expects that they will face difficulties in communicating for whatever reason, they should print out a copy of the syllabus as well as the details of all assignments at the outset of the co-op term. It is not uncommon for a student working in a remote setting to complete course assignments longhand and submit them through special arrangement with the instructor.

It is imperative that students enter into communication with the instructor during the first week of the co-op term so that they will be counted as participating in the course. Students who have not demonstrated participation in co-op courses during the first two weeks of the quarter will be dropped from enrollment by the registrar, which may have an impact on the awarding of financial aid for the term.

Students should remain in close contact with their co-op Course Instructors and Advisors throughout the co-op experience. The co-op team supports a student’s right to work in a safe and supportive environment. Co-Op faculty members are prepared to assist students who for whatever reason feel they must leave a co-op before the completion of the term. In such instances, students have the right to propose an alternative experience so that they have the best possible chance of successfully completing the co-op requirement.

Co-Op partners are asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing the cooperative relationship and allowing the College to advertise available positions. Nothing contained within the MOU prevents an employer from terminating a student’s employment if they find cause to do so, as long as they operate in accordance with local, state, and federal laws. Students are informed that Antioch College is not in a position to provide legal counsel to resolve legal disputes between a student and an employer.