Co-op Education Enriches Classrooms
Co-op Education Enriches Classrooms

This notice is from the archives of The Notice Board. Information contained in this notice was accurate at the time of publication but may no longer be so.

January 1, 2007


Students often comment on how beneficial their co-op work terms are when they enter the workforce, but these experiences can also be very advantageous to students’ in-class studies.

“Co-op students add value to a class when they discuss their experiences or ask questions based on their co-op experiences,” says Dr. Lori Kopp (Management). 

Dr. Helen Kelley, director of the Master of Science (Management) Program, says students with co-op experience have enhanced her classes in many ways. Kelley recalls a course in which she was addressing the effects of change on an organization. A student who had just returned from a co-op work term with a company implementing a new information system (IS) described how the change affected the entire organization.

“Students can experience the integration of departments through their co-op work terms and realize that decisions are not made in isolation with one area of focus. Implementing a new IS may impact accounting, human resources and/or other departments within the company,” says Kelley.

In another course, Kelley asked a co-op student to make a presentation about his work term experience at the beginning of the semester. Throughout the course, she referred to that presentation to help students relate the theories they were studying to a real-life experience of one of their classmates.

“Students gain a better understanding of the concepts when they have a practical experience they can relate to, and they seem to have a strong connection to other students’ experiences,” says Kelley.

Arts and Science co-op student Jamie Huckabay believes co-op experience is beneficial regardless of students’ fields of study. “I’m participating more in my courses and providing more value to group collaborations by sharing my co-op experiences,” says Huckabay.

Former management co-op student Sean McCracken (BMgt ’06) says, “The work experience makes the theories and concepts more meaningful and, therefore, more memorable because I have a frame of reference in which to understand them.”

Kelley continues to encourage her students to get involved with the co-op program.

“I think the co-op program not only adds value to students’ learning, but it also strengthens the reputation of the U of L Faculty of Management’s programs. When our co-op students go into their job interviews and future careers well prepared due, in part, to their co-op experiences, they make great impressions,” says Kelley.

Lynette LaCroix is the program advancement officer for the Faculty of Management co-op program.

U of L Communications and Public Relations Contact:
Communications and PR Officer (403) 382-7173

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