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Co-op Responsibilities and Ethics

The following requirements have been established by the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education in conjunction with your academic department in order to facilitate your participation in the RIT cooperative education program.

Co-op employers expect RIT and its students to operate according to accepted business ethics and standards. Further, RIT expects your behavior at all times, whether on or off campus to be in accordance with the standards articulated in the RIT Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook and the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Educations' Co-op Student Agreement.

RIT Co-op Student Expectations

  1. Register your intent to participate in co-op by completing a profile and submitting a resume through our student site. Go to the RIT Job Zone – area on the student main page.
  2. Accept primary responsibility for obtaining an acceptable co-op position.
  3. Agree to allow the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education to release a copy of your resume and/or unofficial academic transcript to appropriate employers who desire candidates that meet your qualifications and background.
  4. Regularly (i.e. at least twice a week) check job posting and on-campus interviewing information listed under the RIT Job Zone.
  5. Give serious consideration to appropriate co-op employment when offered by employers even though the position may not be your first choice for either type of work or geographic location of the assignment.
  6. Notify the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education of any co-op job offer you agree to take within three days of accepting it. Register your assignment with our office using the Report Your Job on the student main page of our site.
  7. Register for the appropriate co-op course as identified by your academic department. Depending on the college this may require you register through the Student Information System (SIS) or through your academic department.
  8. Obtain approval in advance by both the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education and your academic department should you wish to participate in a co-op assignment longer than two consecutive terms. You may not register for a third consecutive quarter without this approval.
  9. Complete the total amount of co-op work required or expected by your academic department. All co-op work assignments must be completed prior to your final academic term of enrollment at RIT.
  10. Honor your commitment once you accept a position and work as long as your services are required during the agreed upon period. Accepting an offer of employment is a contract between you and the employer. You may not back out of or renege on an offer of employment once accepted.

  11. Acknowledge that wages earned while on co-op are subject to state and federal income taxes and that, in the State of New York, co-op students are not eligible by law for Unemployment Insurance Benefits resulting from their co-op work experience.
  12. Submit the appropriate application for co-op work experience credit report or form to your academic department for each work period completed. This report must be completed by the deadline date identified by your academic department.
  13. Conduct yourself in an ethical manner consistent with accepted business ethics and practices and the RIT Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
  14. Notify the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education of any change in your academic or employment status or of any problems associated with your job search or co-op work experience. Students on a Leave of Absence or suspended from the Institute may not participate in co-op.

Failure to comply with this Agreement may affect the awarding of your degree.

Your Ethical Considerations and Responsibilities

Co-op employers expect RIT and its students to operate according to accepted business ethics and practices. While RIT's co-op program is flexible enough to be of maximum value to all concerned, there are some basic regulations and responsibilities to insure success. In this section we will discuss your responsibilities (1) while interviewing (2) in accepting or rejecting a co-op job offer (3) after accepting a job and (4) while on the job. And near the end we discuss what we expect from our employers - important stuff for you to know as well.

Interview Ethics

  • Interview only when sincerely interested in a position with the employer.
  • Provide accurate information on your qualifications and interests. Never falsify data such as GPA, academic major, coursework completed or extracurricular activities on a resume or during an interview.
  • Notify the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, at least 24 hours in advance, if you cannot make an on-campus interview appointment or employer presentation. Our office phone number is 585.475.2301. An answering machine is on after 4:30 pm. Leave a message on the machine if you are unable to call during normal business hours.
  • Acknowledge invitations for on-site interviews promptly, whether you accept or reject them. Accept such invitations only when seriously considering a position.
  • Notify employers well in advance if you must postpone or cancel on-site interviews.

Ethics of Accepting / Rejecting an Offer

Once you accept a co-op job offer, even verbally, you must not back out, or renege on the job, to work for another employer. If you have any questions/concerns about this, discuss with your career services coordinator before taking action!

Good employer relations are vital to the success of our co-op program, and you, the student, are a critical link in this relationship. Therefore, consider carefully before accepting a co-op position.

  • Discuss offers thoroughly with employers so you understand the terms and reach a mutually acceptable date to respond to their offer.
  • Request extensions from employers if you need more time to consider other offers. Do not ignore deadline dates you have agreed upon.
  • Notify employers that you are accepting or rejecting an offer as soon as you make your decision - never later than the arranged date.
  • Once you accept a job offer, immediately inform other employers who have offers pending. Honor your acceptance of an offer as a contractual agreement with the employer.
  • Cancel any other scheduled interviews or on-site visits.

Responsibilities After Accepting a Job

Accurate records are as vital to our co-op program as are good employer relations. You are expected to comply with the following:

  • As soon as you make an agreement with an employer for cooperative employment, use the registration procedure for your major to "register" your job. Notify our office of your job through the 'Report Your Job' link on our main student portal page (found under the Co-op Info heading). If you locate a job on your own, it is wise to check its acceptability for co-op with your department or career services coordinator before accepting the position.
  • It is important that you let us know what your salary will be. This information is confidential and is used to compile average co-op salaries for your specific department and college. Aggregate data is available to you and to employers in helping establish competitive salaries for co-op positions.
  • If you are placed on academic suspension while working in a co-op position, that block and subsequent blocks cannot be considered as official co-ops. You are obligated to explain your change of status to your employer. Please be advised that the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education will inform your employer that you are no longer a student at RIT; its better if you do so first. No evaluation form will be sent for the work experience. See your department if you have questions regarding academic suspension.
  • If you are returning to your previous co-op job, you are expected to contact your co-op employer at least one month prior to the start of a scheduled work period to make all arrangements necessary for the start of a new assignment.
  • If you decide to change jobs, you are responsible for notifying your current employer well in advance of your scheduled return date.
  • If you are permanently or temporarily laid off, notify your career services coordinator immediately.
  • Most departments require you to prepare a Work Report or Application for Co-op Credit form for each work period. Your department or career services coordinator will provide forms or instructions. These forms must be completed and submitted by the due date to receive co-op credit.

Documentation Required for Employment

Federal law now requires all employers to check identity. When students report to work they should have at least the following:

  • An original social security card (to establish eligibility to work)
  • A state issued photo drivers license (to establish identity)
  • International students must go to the Center for Student Transition and Support prior to starting the co-op position.

Responsibilities on the Job

The following are some typical expectations both RIT and the employer have of your work behavior.

  • You must report to work regularly and punctually. Be an enthusiastic and productive employee. If you must be absent from work, call your employer prior to your starting time that day.
  • Be sure to abide by work regulations as defined by your employer.
  • You are expected to dress appropriately for the work environment and employer expectations.
  • You are expected to conduct yourself in a professional and businesslike manner.
  • Consult your supervisor if you are unsure of procedures or expectations on the job or about any conflicts or concerns related to the work place.
  • You are encouraged to periodically seek feedback from your supervisor concerning your job performance.
  • When you complete a project, advise your supervisor and ask for additional work.
  • If you need advice on how to handle a situation on the job, call your career services coordinator.

While You Are on Co-op

Stay connected with your Career Services Coordinator. Call or email us if you have any questions or concerns, or just to tell us how things are going!