The 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.

Students are paid as an employee at the work site, and students are typically eligible to do a co-op during the summer. Students doing a co-op are usually freshman, sophomore, or junior status. Safety Sciences faculty make no assignments for the Co-op student and do not evaluate the student's work.

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 résumés, 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.
  • Should complete a student evaluation form at the end of the Co-op experience. Employers may use this link to do the Co-op Evaluation Form.  Save as a Word document to your computer. Please complete and return this form as an email 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 provides 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 Handshake, IUP's job opportunity page. 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.