Student Life

Cooperative Education Internships

A Cooperative Education Internship is a planned and supervised learning situation in an on-the-job setting which enables the student to gain work experience directly related to an academic major and/or vocational choice so that they are in a position to explore a chosen career.

Credit can vary from one to five semester hours using a credit-work ratio of one credit for 60 hours of acceptable learning experience per term. A maximum of 12 credits may be applied toward degree requirements.

Students in Cooperative Education Internships will be assigned various requirements and reports to submit to the Cooperative Education Office. The requirements are all designed to supplement the work experience and to help the student bring work experiences and class work closer together so that each one assists the other in providing relevance to the educational experience.

The Cooperative Education Internship grade is based on three factors:

A. FIVE PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES – Objectives which are identified at the beginning of each term primarily dealing with knowledge and skills obtained during the internship experience.

B. A FINAL EVALUATION – Attitudes and human relations skills which the student demonstrates during the internship experience.

C. PROJECT – An assignment mutually agreed upon by the student and the assigned instructor/ coordinator.


Students in Cooperative Education Internships are provided with three patterns of internships, each of which combines work and study, and neither of which is designed to exceed two full academic years.


The alternating plan provides for a student to work on a full-time basis. The student alternates by working full-time one term, and attending classes full-time one term.


The parallel plan is designed to assist students who must pursue their studies on a continuing basis with part-time employment, usually 15-25 hours per week.


The third pattern is called the extended day plan and is basically the same as the parallel plan, with the only difference being that the student works days (normally full-time) and attends classes in the evenings.

Procedures for Student Participation

The first step for the student is to submit an application and make an appointment with the Office of Cooperative Education to explore the possibilities for a Cooperative Education Internship. If it is determined that an internship would be of benefit to the student, referral may be made to the North Iowa Career Center for assistance in finding an appropriate employer for an interview.

If a student is already on the job and feels a Cooperative Education Internship would be of benefit, the Office of Cooperative Education must determine whether in fact the job meets the criteria for participation. Generally, the criteria for participation when students are already employed are:

A. That they are involved with activities, functions, and responsibilities which are sufficiently different from what they have already learned.

B. That the employer is in a position to provide supervision to the students for the purpose of pursuing internship objectives.

C. That the employer, with the student, identifies, develops, and submits in writing the list of objectives to be pursued during the term(s) in a Cooperative Education Internship.

A Cooperative Education Internship generally does not provide for regular class meetings. Students will be informed at the beginning of each particular term concerning the course requirements and other important projects for which they are responsible. The program director, along with the instructor/coordinator and work supervisor, is available to assist in any way to maximize the internship experience.

Employer Selection

A. The college may solicit the participation of an employer.

B. The employer may request to participate.

C. A student already employed may wish to be considered by the college for cooperative internship status, provided appropriate criteria are met by the employer.

Final approval of an employer is made when the college has reached a satisfactory agreement with the particular firm that the experience will be educationally valuable and well planned.

Cooperative Education Internship Syllabus

Week 1: Orientation

Week 2: Students meet with Instructor/Coordinator for the first time.

Week 3: Students Performance Objectives and Project Statement are submitted to Instructor/Coordinator for approval.

Weeks 4 thru 7: Students continue work experience and meet with Instructor/Coordinator on a regular basis.

Week 8: Students meet with Instructor/Coordinator to evaluate their progress on the project.

Weeks 9 thru 14: Students continue work experience and meet with Instructor/Coordinator on a regular basis.

Week 15: Project completed and submitted to Instructor/Coordinator for evaluation. Self evaluation of objectives due. Final evaluation, including objectives ratings, completed by employer.

For more Information contact:

Gayla Toebe
Career Guidance Coordinator
500 College Drive
Mason City, IA 50401
(641) 422-4117 or E-mail:

North Iowa Area Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, gender, national origin, marital status, age, physical or mental disability in granting admission to and participation in its educational programs, college activities and services, or in its employment practices.