RIT Dubai’s Cooperative education program is one of the most effective means for employers to identify and acquire key talent.
The cooperative education program is running in our main campus in Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA for more than 90 years. RIT's co-op program is the fourth oldest and one of the largest in the world. More than 3,300 students complete at least one co-op assignment each year and are employed by more than 2,000 employers throughout the U.S. and overseas.
I am interested to hire a co-op student. What documents do I need to provide as employer?
A Job Description and a contract/letter of employment agreement are the mandatory documents to be given to any co-op student.
The Job Description (JD) should include the duties you will give to the student during the co-op. It is helpful to be in the form of a list so the faculty advisor and the student can revise easily. The faculty advisor has the final decision to approve a JD or return it with comments for improvement so it will fit the student’s major and co-op requirements
The contract/letter of employment must include at least the following information:
- Start and end date of the co-op
- Working hours
- Company name, contacts and location of the co-op
- Salary and payment arrangements
- Evaluator/supervisor information and contacts. If not available, the HR/Talent recruitment information and contacts
- Any travel arrangements
- Details about termination of co-op
How do co-op students benefit my company?
- Co-op students produce immediate and valuable results at relatively low cost.
- Students bring fresh perspectives, ideas and knowledge to your workplace.
- Your employees, with the help of co-ops, can take on new tasks and assignments.
- You can recruit the most promising students to full-time assignments upon graduation.
- Co-ops act as goodwill ambassadors for your organization when they return to campus.
- Co-op opens the door for developing other valuable partnerships with RIT Dubai.
Before Hiring a Co-op Student
Does your position fit the definition of co-op?
Cooperative education at RIT Dubai is defined as full-time, paid work experience directly related to the student's field of study. Students work directly for the employer and are held to the same standards and expectations as other employees. Co-op is designed to be a learning experience for the student as well as a productive working assignment for the employer. Consequently, the experience should emphasize real-world tasks and responsibilities that grow with the student's increased knowledge, skills, and experiences.
How do I determine how and where a co-op student would fit into my organization?
- Outline some of the projects and activities with which a co-op student will be involved. These should be related to the student's academic major and career interests. Our office can help you with this.
- Try to develop a position that would involve a variety of tasks and projects.
- In order to broaden the student's perspective, it would be helpful to provide an opportunity for interaction with employees in various parts of your organization.
- Initial assignments are critical since they may be the student's first exposure to their chosen field and your organization. Their experiences go a long way in forming opinions and attitudes about your organization, your industry, and their career field.
Who determines the salary for the co-op student?
As the employing organization, you do. We provide guidelines of salaries paid to current co-op students and can assist you in determining an appropriate wage.
What are some important considerations in becoming a co-op employer?
- Plan for appropriate supervision and mentorship of the co-op student.
- Review potential job responsibilities to determine they are appropriate to your needs as well as the needs and abilities of RIT co-op students.
- Establish an appropriate pay and benefit structure, which may include assistance to the student in relocating to your area and obtaining safe and affordable housing.
- Remember that hiring a co-op student entails a commitment on your organization's part to a close and productive relationship with the student and RIT.
Do I need to sign a contract with RIT?
- No. Just provide a job description and RIT's Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services will post the position to our students.
- The hiring decision is always determined by each employer on a one-to-one basis with the student.
After Hiring a Co-op Student
What are the components of a successful co-op experience?
When you bring a co-op student into your organization be ready to provide appropriate orientation, supervision and performance evaluation as outlined below.
- Discuss and clarify employer and student expectations for the co-op experience.
- Treat the co-op student as you would with any new employee.
- Provide a thorough orientation to your department, tour of your facilities and overall organization.
- It may be helpful to assign a mentor to assist the co-op in the new work environment.
- Provide information on how co-op students fit into the organizational structure of your organization.
- Co-op students are subject to the same procedures, regulations, etc. that govern your other employees.
The co-op student will be able to work independently once the orientation/training period is complete. However, your student will need at least the level of supervision that you would provide for any employee:
- Assign a specific supervisor.
- Be accessible for questions, direction or assistance with problems.
- Contact the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services with any questions or concerns.
- Be sensitive and supportive to the goals of your organization's co-op program.
- Pay particular attention to adjusting the co-op student's workload as his/her skills grow.
How is the co-op student's performance evaluated?
Provide frequent feedback for the co-op student about performance. Please use the evaluation form provided to:
- Provide formalized performance feedback for your co-op student.
- Realistically assess your co-op's strengths and weaknesses.
- Make recommendations for the co-op's further professional and academic development.
The form needs to be submitted to the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services upon completion in order for the student to receive credit for the co-op experience. Print a copy of the evaluation to use with the student when discussing their performance during the co-op. You may also want to print a copy for your records.
To register as potential employer for RIT students please follow the below link http://careers.dubai.rit.edu