ProTrack & Co-op FAQ
1. Will I get credit for co-op? It depends on your co-op job. If your job is over 500 hours per semester, you will receive 3 credits. If your job is between 200-499 hours per semester, you will receive 2 credits. If your job is less than 200 hours per semester, you will receive one credit. Graduate students receive 0 credits for co-op jobs. *Please note: exceptions may be made depending on the student’s situation.
2. How much does the co-op cost? There is a $100 fee for the co-op course.
3. What is the difference between a co-op and an internship? Co-op is the integration of classroom theory with applied learning in appropriate fields of business, engineering, science, technology, education, and other professions. Students can earn academic credit for most co-op jobs. Co-op jobs typically last more than one semester. An internship is sometimes mandatory for certain majors and lasts for typically one semester.
4. What are the eligibility requirements for participating in the co-op program? Students must be full time and degree seeking, maintain a 2.5 undergraduate GPA or a 3.0 graduate GPA, have completed at least 24 semester hours at FIT, or one semester at FIT if a transfer student (if a graduate student, have completed one full time semester at FIT). International students must be enrolled in a program of study and must have maintained lawful F1 or J1 student status for two consecutive semesters, and have completed a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) workshop offered by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. All students must complete the Co-Op Application Packet.
5. Will my co-op job be paid? Most co-op jobs are paid, but it depends on the company. The average salary for engineering jobs is $15-$38 an hour. The average salary for non-technical co-op jobs is typically less than $15 an hour. Graduate co-op jobs usually pay more than undergraduate co-op jobs.
6. Can I get academic credit for jobs I’ve held in the past? No, academic credit is not awarded retroactively for co-op. Credit is also not awarded for hours the student has worked prior to registering for co-op.
7. Do I have to enroll in a co-op course if I am an international student? There are three ways international students can obtain Curricular Practical Training (CPT): co-op, thesis/dissertation, or a required internship for their major. CPT may be authorized by the institution (NOT by USCIS) for F-1 students participating in curricular-related employment such as cooperative education, alternate work-study, practicum, and internship programs. This work experience must be deemed an integral part of an established curriculum in the student’s course of study. International students should discuss their options with their academic advisors and International Student and Scholar Services.
8. Can I register for a co-op course on my own? No, you must fill out the Co-Op Application Packet and turn it into the Co-Op Advisor. The Co-Op Advisor will then register you for a co-op course. International students may have additional paperwork provided by International Student and Scholar Services.
9. Can I enroll in a co-op course if I am an online, extended studies, or continuing education student? No, co-op is only available to students attending the FIT main campus. Please contact your academic advisor regarding co-op information if you are an online, extended studies, or continuing education student.
10. Do I get financial assistance if I have to relocate for a co-op job? That decision is made by the student’s employer. Please contact your supervisor regarding financial assistance for relocation.
11. Why should I participate in the co-op program? You will put classroom knowledge to use in real-world problem-solving scenarios. You will get ahead financially, both now and in the future (students graduating with co-op experience typically earn higher starting salaries). You will gain insight into your professional strengths, making you better able to assess and pursue your career goals. You will have the opportunity to build valuable workplace experience, hone transferable professional skills, and expand your professional network with important industry leaders. You will graduate with your co-op employer's name and record of co-op completion on your official university transcript.
For additional co-op questions or concerns, please contact:
Mrs. Stephanie Lynch, Co-Op Advisor
Career Management Services
Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Blvd.
Melbourne, FL 32901