Cooperative Education Program (Co-op)

Cooperative Education Program (Co-op)


Thank you for your interest in our Co-op program. The following are  documents that will be helpful in participating in the Co-op program at Hostos Community College


Employer Role

Cooperative Education is an academic program aimed at creating the foundation of a positive working relationship amongst students, employers, and Hostos Community College. The Career Services Office looks forward to working with employers to provide professional development opportunities for students.

Please read the following information before submitting position descriptions.

Submitting Job Descriptions

Employers interested in posting a co-op position with the Career Services Office should submit job descriptions to Cooperative Education Coordinator, Yolanda Soto via:

Creating A Job Description

Write a one-paragraph job description and be as specific as possible in describing the co-op student responsibilities. We would suggest you divide the description into parts:

The actual duties student will perform:

  • Summary of co-op student daily responsibilities
  • Special Knowledge
  • List any prior knowledge or skills student must possess prior to beginning co-op
  • Some examples include: help desk support; use Microsoft Office (Word/Excel/Access) 
  • Desired Characteristic
  • List traits you would like the student to exhibit during co-op

Paid versus Unpaid Internships: U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act on Internship Programs
If your organization supports unpaid internships, Hostos Community College’s Career Services Office recommends that all organizations review the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act on Internship Programs.

It is strongly preferred that organizations pay interns for work performed.

If your organization is unable to offer a paid internship, please consider helping the student with a stipend or expenses related to their internship such as transportation costs, meals, etc.

Unpaid internships will not violate the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act if it is a training program which meets the following criteria:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

For additional information, please refer to the Department of Labor's Guidelines »

Hiring Process

Before students apply for positions they are pre-screened through individual sessions with the Field Experience Counselor or Cooperative Education Coordinator, Yolanda Soto.

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Work term begins February


    • Submit job descriptions to Cooperative Education Coordinator.
    • Co-op Coordinator will post descriptions approved by Faculty.
    • Schedule meeting with Co-op staff.
    • Sign Co-op Contract.

September –December

    • Interview Period.
    • The Cooperative Education Coordinator will arrange interviews.
    • Submit interview schedule by email to

November –January

  • Job offer.
  • Inform Co-op Coordinator of your hiring decision after selecting a candidate.
  • Submit job offer by e-mail: or phone: 718-518-4403.
  • Placements confirmed within one week of offer receipt.
  • Co-op supervisor must sign and return Learning Objectives Agreement to Co-op Coordinator.

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  • Designate an individual to supervise student and serve as liaison between employer and college.
  • Complete a preliminary evaluation during the second or third week of co-op and a final evaluation at the end of co-op. These evaluations will constitute a percentage of the students' final grade.
  • Provide training experiences for student through structured learning objectives.
  • Contact the Cooperative Education Coordinator if students are absent from work at any time; are not meeting your performance standards, or if you need to discuss any aspect of students' work performance.

Once employer, student, co-op faculty, and Co-op staff member have signed the contract, the student may begin co-op (F-1 Visa students must contact the International Student Advisor for approval of their I-20 before beginning co-op placement). Students are expected to complete minimum co-op hours, evaluations, and all corresponding academic assignments. Once assignments and evaluations are submitted the co-op faculty will issue a final grade.

Role of Employer During CO-OP

In the beginning of work assignment, co-op students will need clarification concerning their specific responsibilities, as well as, feedback from supervisors regarding their performance. We ask that supervisors guide students and make themselves available for any questions students may have about their job duties. Employers are encouraged to integrate work assignments that blend academic requirements with company goals. Work environments that provide co-op students with relevant learning experience are win/win for both employers and students.

If you experience any challenges with a co-op student performance or have any questions contact Yolanda Soto, Cooperative Education Coordinator at 718-518-4403.

Thank you.