2021-2022 Curriculum Catalog

Cooperative Education Courses

Our era is being shaped by massive demographic, economic, linguistic, and digital disruptions that are challenging long-held assumptions about the employment landscape of the 21st Century. To lead lives of significance and service in this emerging world, students must develop different skills and capacities than those of previous generations. Beyond the deep content knowledge that has always been central to Antioch’s rigorous liberal arts approach, co-op students are encouraged to develop robust collaborative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary capacities in order to effectively respond to challenges affecting communities at home and abroad.

The Cooperative Education experience is underpinned by required co-op coursework, which ensures that student action in the field is coupled with reflection in order to promote critical awareness of social circumstances and to maximize the potential for transformation. Co-Op courses lead students to take stock of the skills they are developing and consider how their abilities may be put to use in addressing complex issues in other contexts. They also give serious attention to the disciplinary interests of our students, the methodologies that underpin their self-designed majors, and the evolving fields in which students desire to gain experience.

Cooperative Education courses have the following characteristics:

  • Co-Op Courses are experience-based courses for which the "text" examined generally consists of students’ own highly individualized experiences during cooperative work terms as well as their efforts to make meaning out of these experiences. Texts as such can be supported by additional readings, but the major source of content is the student’s own experience.
  • Co-Op courses emphasize reflection in the sense of encouraging self-awareness as well as understanding of how the integration of the theoretical and the active components of field-based learning promote student agency, effectiveness, and ability to reflect on place-based programming.
  • Co-Op courses are a form of high-impact learning that contribute to the assemblage of a body of work that, following the tradition of the arts, is generally subject to peer critique and shared with an audience beyond the course instructor and members of the class.
  • Co-Op courses emphasize the development of skills that are grounded in a disciplinary framework and can be mapped generally to communities of practice.
  • Co-Op courses function well when they build upon the methodological coursework offered on campus before co-op and intentionally exercise students’ methodological skills.

In terms of learning outcomes, all courses offered through the Cooperative Education Program promote integrative learning, which is defined by the co-op faculty as the iterative process through which students engage the world while making connections across ideas and experiences. Students are expected to build upon their prior knowledge, synthesize ideas, and transfer insights to the complex situations they encounter through co-op, campus-based learning, and participation in diverse communities. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to identify and develop their interests, knowledge, abilities and skills and deliberately link them to purposeful, self-determined pathways at Antioch and beyond.