UST Engineering Co-op & Internship Program

Overview:

  • Students from the Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Engineering programs participate in industrial projects which complement their respective academic fields of study.
  • Students are eligible to apply for the Co-op program after admission to the major (end of Sophomore year).
  • Students work for 12-20 hours per week during one semester, and 40 hours per week during the summer. The total work experience is 6-7 months in duration (either Summer/Fall or Spring/Summer academic terms).
  • Students earn 4 elective credits at UST upon completion of a 15-20 page term paper describing their work experience, and a 20-30 minute presentation to an audience of two UST faculty and their employment supervisor. Upon request, the two UST faculty involved in evaluating the Co-op will sign nondisclosure agreements regarding the information contained in these reports.
  • The course is graded pass/fail.

Benefits to Students

  • The Co-op program provides an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, to train and work with a company while considering your future professional choices.
  • The student will integrate academic learning experiences with lessons learned outside the university setting.
  • The students will be better prepared for real world applications of their learning.
  • Students may fulfill up to 4 elective credits.

Responsibilities of Students

  • Enrollment must be completed through the registrar’s office for the Experiential Learning course (ENGR 476/478 are the 2 and 4 credit options, respectively). Cost is equivalent to other courses. https://www.stthomas.edu/media/registrar/pdf/experientiallearning.pdf
  • Prepare a one page proposal containing a brief description of the project and contact information for the industry supervisor. This is due by the beginning of the Spring semester for Spring/Summer projects, or by the beginning of Summer for Summer/Fall projects.
  • Work for 12-20 hours per week during one semester and 40 hours per week in the summer to fulfil 4 credit option (2 credit option is approximately half of this commitment).
  • Write a 15-20 page term paper describing the main problem addressed in the work, the methods used to address the problem and the results of the work. The form and style of the paper should follow the instructions given on technical writing. (2 credit option includes 5 page paper only)
  • Give a 30 minute presentation to the Co-op faculty advisor, the industry supervisor and one additional UST faculty member. Student is responsible for scheduling this presentation. For students on the Summer/Fall program, this presentation will be scheduled in December. For students on the Spring/Summer program, this presentation will be in August.

Benefits to Employers

  • The Co-op program can be used as a recruiting tool. It provides an opportunity to train and work with junior and senior level engineering undergraduates while considering making an offer for a permanent hire.
  • Co-op students serve as a recruitment and marketing tool when they describe their work experience to other students.
  • The Co-op program promotes strong interconnections between the UST educational programs and the industrial community. Industry-academic relationships provide both parties with clear benefits. The employer contributes to the student’s educational program, and UST is able to better serve our students in preparing them for real world applications of their learning.

Responsibilities of Employers

  • Provide a work experience related to a student’s field of study. Support the student’s development and fulfillment of learning objectives specific to their program.
  • Provide a nurturing, mentoring environment that is supportive of young engineers
  • Provide employment for 12-20 hours per week during one semester, and 40 hours per week during the summer for a total employment duration of at least 6 months
  • Provide payment of a reasonable wage
  • Allow the collection of data on student performance for evaluation of the program
  • Permit a site visit by the UST Co-op advisor for review of the program
  • Provide a representative to attend a 30 minute presentation by the student at the University of St. Thomas at the culmination of the Co-op program experience. For students on the Summer/Fall program, this presentation will be scheduled in December. For students on the Spring/Summer program, this presentation will be in August.

 

How to Get Started:

Contact Co-op faculty advisor Dr. Katherine Acton, kacton@stthomas.edu, 651-962-5753.