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Co-op Policies

The following guidelines will help you set expectations for your co-op students.

Safety Training

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.

Jury Duty

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.

Attendance

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 tardiness.
  • Lack of productivity while at work with little or no work completed.
  • Listlessness, lack of energy or falling asleep while at work.
  • Marked changes in personal hygiene or weight.
  • Marked changes in behavior from previous interactions.
  • Repeated requests for special consideration.
  • Behavior that regularly interferes with the work environment.
  • 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 with questions.

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 several reasons:

  • Students need to hear feedback about their performance to further improve and grow professionally.
  • 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.