COOP course gives transferable credit through concurrent employment

Students earn college credit while making money

By Salvador Godoy, Advocate Staff

Employed students who have restricted time taking courses at Contra Costa College may earn transferable units through the Cooperative Education Program (COOP).

COOP provides a significant amount of benefits to help raise the standard of job performance by providing an improved position for salary increases, challenging work, job satisfaction and more unique job assignments.

According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh, COOP students saw an improvement in their grade point average and a retention rate of 95 percent on engineering students who participated in COOP education.

COOP instructor Adeelah Baatin said the program is for students who are working with the community or volunteering and can earn elective credits by satisfying their general education requirements to transfer to a CSU.

“The program benefits students by enhancing employable skills and a student’s setup goals at the beginning of the semester,” Baatin said. “They agree with the supervisor by building up their current job competence.”

General Work Experience (COOP-160) is a supervised work experience course for students who work in any job position from paid or unpaid with a choice to enroll in 1-3 units.

Occupational Work Experience Education (COOP-170) requires students whose job or volunteer work relates to their college major or career goal with a choice to enroll in 1-3 units. “The COOP program allows students to take credits on what they are already doing.

The course is not stressful as long as they file the proper paperwork,” Baatin said. 

Early Childhood Education major Kilber Molina said he is a part-time student and wants to receive additional units for his major.

He recently learned about the program and plans to take a COOP class next semester. 

“I heard some positive feedback from students here at CCC about the (COOP) program. I might as well take it next semester and see how it goes,” Molina said.

Psychology major Sergio Corona said students often don’t have time to take courses on campus. Taking a COOP class is the only useful course to earn additional credits while working at the same time.

“I’ve taken the program and found it to have helped me in earning more credits towards my major,” Corona said.

For paid positions, at least 75 hours must be completed per unit. Students who are on unpaid positions must complete 60 hours and may earn a minimum of 1 unit and a maximum of 4 units per term.

Students enrolled in a COOP class must participate in a one-time semester meeting located in LISC-107 and are required to bring in the required forms and meet with the instructor.

“The majority of the students aren’t aware of COOP. Some counselors let students know the courses are available,” Baatin said.

COOP forms can be accessed through the Desire2Learn (D2L) website once students are enrolled into the courses.