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 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 post the co-op position on the job opportunity page on this website. The co-op should be posted 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.