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Hiring & Managing Co-op Employees at Drexel

The frequently asked questions outlined below are specific to co-op positions created and co-op employees hired to work at Drexel University, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, and Drexel University Online.


Q: How much should we pay the co-op employee?

A: All job descriptions for potential co-op positions must be reviewed by Compensation prior to employing the co-op-student to determine pay rate. Additionally, Steinbright Career Development Center publishes a co-op salary guide to help employers understand the co-op marketplace here:

Q: Why are stipends prohibited as a method of payment?

A: Stipends are limited to full-time exempt employees, as payment for additional work completed outside of their normal duties and paid on a monthly basis. Co-op employees are temporary, non-exempt employees who are paid on a bi-weekly basis.

Q: Can I use my work-study funds to pay a co-op employee?

A: Consult with Drexel Central to determine eligibility of a co-op employee for work-study funds and process. (

Q: I was not selected for research co-op funding. Can you tell me why?

A: The decisions on which research co-op Drexel funds are made by the Office of the Provost in consultation with the Steinbright Career Development Center. Therefore, questions related to those decisions should be directed to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

Q: Can a co-op position be unpaid?

A: The Department of Labor has specific parameters for an unpaid co-op position. Compensation will help make that determination when reviewing the co-op job description. Also keep in mind that over 80% of co-op students are paid, and it is Steinbright’s expectation that full-time co-op students are paid. If a co-op student is unable to be paid, then Steinbright only requires them to work 20 hours per week to receive co-op credit. For unpaid co-op positions, departments must follow our Volunteer/Unpaid Intern Process.

Q: How are co-op employees hired?

A: A Drexel co-op receiving compensation must be hired/rehired using the Drexel University Internal Co-op Hiring Request form.

A Drexel co-op who will not receive compensation must be hired/rehired using the Volunteer and Unpaid Intern Assignment form.

After participating in the Steinbright Career Development Center online recruiting process with the guidance of your co-op advisor, the department must first submit the Co-op Hiring Request Form or Volunteer Form. The form will go through the appropriate HR approvals, and the Talent Acquisition Specialist will initiate the pre-employment requirements.

All new, paid, Co-op employees must complete the Temporary New Hire Packet, provided by Talent Acquisition. Co-op employees must also complete the i-9 employment eligibility verification and are subject to a pre-employment background check. Additionally, co-ops who have contact with minors as outlined in the Background Check Policy are subject to the PA Enhanced Background Check process. Talent Acquisition will facilitate all background check processes.

Please review the full hiring process on the Hiring Guides on the HR SharePoint and consult with Talent Acquisition with any questions.

Q: How do co-op employees get paid?

A: Co-ops are paid on a bi-weekly basis according to hours worked (see Payroll schedules). Timesheets must be submitted through the DrexelOne system by the co-op employees. The manager must approve all timesheets submitted by their co-op employees.

The Direct Deposit form must be completed in order to have pay processed electronically to a specified bank account; otherwise paychecks are mailed to the home address on record.


Q: Is a co-op employee eligible for sick time?

A: Temporary employees that work more than six months (in a 12-month rolling period), are eligible to receive one hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked. Please refer to the Sick Leave Policy on the HR website. Contact your HR Business Partner with specific questions.

Q: Is a co-op employee eligible for vacation time?

A: Co-op employees at Drexel are hired into the Temporary Employment category, which is not benefit-eligible and thus ineligible for Vacation Leave. Vacation leave applies to benefit-eligible employees only. Contact your HR Business Partner with specific questions.

Q: Is a co-op employee eligible for paid holidays/winter break?

A: Co-op employees at Drexel are hired into the Temporary Employment category, which is not benefit-eligible and thus ineligible for paid holidays and winter break. Holidays and winter break apply to benefits-eligible employees only. Contact your HR Business Partner with specific questions.


Q: What tools and resources are available to Drexel faculty and professional staff who manage co-op employees?

A.  The Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusive Culture, Disability Resources, and your HR Business Partner are always available resources.  A variety of additional resources are available on the HR website – Management Tools section.

Please be sure to review all University Policies that are applicable to Temporary employees.

The Employer Relations team of the Steinbright Career Development Center can also provide additional information.

Q: What are the guidelines for terminating a co-op employee?

A: The Human Resources Business Partner should be consulted when termination is considered. Co-op employees are subject to the Performance Improvement Plan policy and process to address unsatisfactory performance, attendance and/or behavior.

Prior to a termination decision, Steinbright Career Development Center should also be included in any conversation, as ultimately it will be Steinbright, in consultation with the Drexel University, as the employer, who determines whether or not the co-op employee earns credit for their experience.