The following guidelines will help you set expectations for your co-op students.
The Steinbright Career Development
Center expects that employers will
comply with all federal, state and
local workplace safety regulations.
Co-op students should undertake
the same safety training as full-time employees.
If a student employee is selected for jury duty during the co-op
work cycle, the student should be treated
in the same manner as other employees with respect
to compensation and permission to be absent from
work. Employers are responsible for complying
with the laws that apply in their jurisdiction.
While students are on co-op, they should abide by
co-op employer policies, procedures and holiday
calendar. Students do not follow the Drexel calendar
during the co-op work period. It is important to
clearly communicate to each student all expectations
of work schedules and outline any company policies
and procedures during the orientation period.
Drexel co-op students are required to work for the
full six-month period unless alternate arrangements
are made with the co-op employer (i.e., some
study abroad programs may overlap by a couple of
weeks with the standard co-op work cycle). Co-op
students are not entitled to vacation time (including
spring break or holiday break), unless arrangements
are made with the co-op employer in advance.
For questions or concerns regarding a student's
work schedule, sick time or requests for time off,
employers should contact their Co-op Advisor.
Vacation and Time-Off Requests
Students are informed that while on co-op they must abide by their employer partner's calendar, not Drexel's academic calendar. Students are not entitled to break weeks or other time off while on co-op. Time-off requests must be approved by a student's co-op employer partner; Steinbright leaves these requests up to the discretion of each employer partner. If a student requests a significant amount of time off, you should communicate this to your co-op advisor, as it may affect the student's ability to earn full academic credit for the co-op.
Classes During Co-op
Students are permitted to take
one course each quarter while on
co-op, providing it does not conflict
with their regular work hours. If
students inquire about taking a
class that conflicts with their regular
work hours, it is up to employer
discretion. Students know that
during co-op their priority must
be their co-op position. If a student
requests registration for a daytime
class, the student must obtain employer
permission and email
verification that the class does not conflict with regular work hours to the co-op advisor.
Students in Distress
If a student is exhibiting signs of psychological or
emotional distress, employers should contact their Co-op Advisor, who may refer the student to the
Drexel Counseling Center.
Signs and symptoms of a student in distress include, but are not limited to:
- Excessive procrastination and very poorly prepared
work, especially if inconsistent with previous work.
- Infrequent work attendance and/or consistent
- Lack of productivity while at work with little or no
- Listlessness, lack of energy or falling asleep while
- Marked changes in personal hygiene or weight.
- Marked changes in behavior from previous
- Repeated requests for special consideration.
- Behavior that regularly interferes with the work
- High levels of irritability, including unruly,
aggressive, violent or abrasive behavior.
- Inability to make decisions.
- Emotions that are displayed to an extreme degree or
for a prolonged period.
How employers can help:
- Contact the Steinbright Career Development Center.
- Refer student to the company's Employee Assistance
Program (if available).
- Consult the company's human resources department
for assistance in providing student with resources.
- Assist the student in locating additional resources, if possible.
Harassment and Discrimination
Steinbright expects all Drexel University co-op
students to be held to the same standard and afforded
the same protections as an employer's regular full-time
employees. If a student is accused of or a victim of harassment
or discrimination while on co-op, Steinbright should
be informed immediately to address the matter. If a
student is the victim of harassment or discrimination
— as reported to employers or as reported to our office
— Steinbright consults with Drexel University General
Counsel and the Office of Equality and Diversity.
Students with Disabilities
Drexel co-op employers are expected to make
reasonable and appropriate accommodations for
students with documented disabilities.
Drexel's Disability Resources
collaborates with and empowers individuals who
have documented disabilities by working together
proactively to determine reasonable and appropriate
accommodative measures. They can provide
guidance regarding interview and workplace
questions about accommodations. In efforts to
ensure compliance with current legislation and
eliminate attitudinal barriers against people with
disabilities, Disability Resources also provides
guidance and education to Drexel co-op employers
with information on the website.
Employers should contact their co-op advisor
Spiritual and Religious Accommodations
Drexel co-op employers are responsible for reviewing and making decisions on any scheduling accommodations/time-off requests that a student presents. Employer partners are expected to make reasonable and appropriate accommodations for
students requesting spiritual and religious accommodations. Employer partners should notify their co-op advisor if a Drexel co-op student has a spiritual or religious accommodation that the company cannot grant.
Performance Issues and Concerns
Your first point of contact should always be your assigned Co-op Advisor. As partners in the co-op experience, it is important for the co-op advisor to be aware of any problems early in order to be able to offer support to both employer partner and student. Co-op is a learning experience for students. Before any action is taken by an employer partner to terminate a student's employment, Steinbright asks that employer partners communicate with their co-op advisor about concerns and any steps that have already been taken to resolve problems. Students should be treated as any other employee and we encourage employer partners to follow their policies for documenting performance issues and taking steps to address problem behaviors as they occur. Although not occurring frequently, in cases in which a student is terminated from a position, we ask the employer partner to provide feedback, which is used to help the student learn from the experience.
Performance Evaluations of Students
At the end of every co-op cycle, Steinbright asks
employers to review the work performance of co-op
students. Evaluations are critical to the success of
the students and our program. Students are evaluated
on work ethic and criteria that the University has
identified as important for all students and graduates
(Drexel Student Learning Priorities), as well as skills
and competencies that have been identified by each
of Drexel's colleges or schools.
Completing the Employer Evaluation form through
SCDConline is meaningful and important for
- Students need to hear feedback about their
performance to further improve and grow
- Steinbright reviews the evaluations to determine if
students are well prepared and to seek out areas where
Drexel can improve in serving employers.
- Each academic department reviews suggestions
for curriculum improvements and may utilize
feedback to adjust the curriculum.
- Several academic departments utilize feedback of
student performance for accreditation purposes.