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The Best Of Both Worlds: A New Look At Cooperative Education

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.509.1 - 4.509.9

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Paper Authors

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Rudy Wojtecki

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Charles P. Wentz

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1664


Charles P. Wentz, Rudy Wojtecki Kent State University Trumbull Campus


$Probably no social partnership holds more potential for both immediate and long-term impact on America s future . . . than the budding cooperation between schools and some businesses . . . #1

$Norman Augustine, Chairman and CEO of Martin Marietta Corporation, !suggested that with the end of the Cold War, engineering education needed a new set of guiding principles and that !engineers now faced a world of intense international competition. To confront this challenge, there needs to be a focus on partnerships. #2

$ Partnerships must build closer ties to industry. #3

The many advantages of cooperative education are well established. It provides not only an almost essential link between theory and real-world application, but also it offers an income opportunity to assist the student in funding his or her education. For the traditional student co-op is a program of either alternating terms of course work and professional experience or part-time of both. For the non-traditional student it is typically a repeatable course with specific objectives, frequently tailored to the needs of both employer and student. Nevertheless there remain shortcomings in cooperative education for both the traditional and non-traditional student. A co-op program is envisioned that combines the advantages of the traditional program with those of the non-traditional course while addressing many of the shortcomings of both.


To design such an $ideal# co-op program, one must take a critical look at the shortcomings and needs of both the traditional and non-traditional approaches.

Shortcomings of the Traditional Program

The traditional co-op program is well-suited for the full-time or part-time student who does not need to work full time. Consequently, it cannot be taken by the working (full- time) student who cannot afford to go to school full time. This is the non-traditional student who has family obligations and works forty hours a week pursuing a career. Obviously, this person s co-op aspirations are met by the co-op course, provided that such a course is offered at his or her school. In short, the traditional co-op program

Wojtecki, R., & Wentz, C. P. (1999, June), The Best Of Both Worlds: A New Look At Cooperative Education Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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