Co-op Coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Employers

Here are some questions you may have as an employer about co-op. Please contact the Office of Career Services and Co-op with any additional questions or concerns at 585-475-2301, or 

If an employer must withdraw an offer of employment, please contact the Office of Career Services immediately at 585.475.2301 or email us at

We recognize this is an unusual situation due to the effects of COVID-19, so if the student's work load has changed, please be creative and think of other projects or work they may be able to assist with that enables them to apply their knowledge and skills. Please explain to students that their work assignments may change due to your organization’s circumstances. Co-op is an academic requirement and we encourage you to be flexible so students are able to complete their degree requirements on time. 

However, if circumstances require you to alter your commitment, please let us know immediately. You can reach the Office of Career Services immediately at 585.475.2301 or email us at

Yes, students on co-op are treated as full-time employees of the organization and should follow the required procedures and policies of that organization. 

We expect RIT students to honor their commitments unless it puts the student's welfare at risk. Understandably, some students may be nervous about travel or relocation. We are available to provide them with support and guidance. 

Career services coordinators will work with employers to determine how to best proceed. We have counseled students to reach out to our office if they have any concerns with regards to co-op employment.

Yes, but cooperative education requires that students are in significant meaningful college-appropriate work assignments.  Contact Career Services and Co-op to discuss.

Cooperative education is for a limited time only and with established start and end dates. Eligibility for unemployment compensation is governed by state law, and in most circumstances, co-op students are not eligible for unemployment compensation at the end of their co-op experience. In the event that a student is terminated from a co-op position prior to its originally scheduled end date, eligibility for unemployment compensation, if any, will be determined by the specific facts of the termination and applicable state laws.

Currently, 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.

For more information visit the U.S. Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources or the NYS Department of Labor Information on Novel Coronavirus

RIT co-op students maintain their full-time student status which normally allows students to live in RIT housing. Due to Covid-19, RIT has made the decision to close housing for health and safety reasons. Students residing in university housing must vacate their assigned space NO LATER THAN APRIL 5, 2020. Those with extenuating circumstances, who cannot return home or don't have a safe place to go, should submit a Spring Residential Plan with RIT Housing in order to make housing arrangements. Any students now on campus and residing in university housing must ensure their Spring Residential Plan is updated on the mylife portal.

There is information on RIT’s site about housing for students as it applies to co-op students: