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Cooperative Education Program

Cooperative Education Program (Co-op Program) administered by the Safety Sciences Department provides real-world safety experience for the students by having them work with safety professionals in industry. Students receive no academic credit for the Co-op experience. They receive a passing or failing grade, based on a performance evaluation by the site supervisor.

This is a minimum of a 12-week, 40-hour-per week program. The student is paid as an employee at the work site ($10-15/hour average). Safety Sciences faculty make no assignments for the Co-op student and do not evaluate the student's work. See Job Opportunities.

Responsibilities of the Employer

Responsibilities for organizations that participate in the Co-op Program are generally the same as those of any employer-employee relationship. The employer, as a participating agency:

  • Reviews resumes, interviews, and selects a Co-op student.
  • Supervises and orients the students to the work environment and the conditions governing their employment.
  • Makes every effort to maximize the student’s learning from their experience.
  • Must have a full-time safety director to mentor the student.
  • Must be willing to pay travel expenses for a Safety Sciences faculty member to visit the site and work with the faculty member to develop four specific assignments in occupational safety, industrial hygiene, fire protection, and ergonomics/systems (for full-time internship only).

Employers who are participating in the Co-op Program must complete a student evaluation form at the end of the Co-op experience. Employers may use this link to do to the Co-op Evaluation Form. Save as a Word document to your computer. Please complete and return this form as an e-mail attachment to, or fax it to 724-357-3992.

Benefits to the Employer

Through the Internship and Cooperative Education Programs, the participating employer benefits in the following ways:

  • A year-round flow of qualified students provide an excellent source of temporary employees.
  • The integration of bright, eager people direct from an educational environment into an organization can provide different perspectives with fresh input.
  • When a student is employed, higher level employees are relieved of daily, routine activities and can devote more time to special assignments.
  • The participating employer has the opportunity to retain students upon graduation, thus employing a safety professional who is already familiar with the organization.

Selection Process

Students who meet university qualifications may be interviewed by participating employers. Employers should contact the Safety Sciences Department for resumes of students seeking assignments for the upcoming semester. This contact should be made three to six months before the start of the Co-op. Interviews may be held on the IUP campus, at the Career Fair, or conducted by telephone. The final selection of Co-op student is made by the employer.

  • Safety Sciences Department
  • Johnson Hall, Room 117
    1010 Oakland Avenue
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-3017
  • Fax: 724-357-3992
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.