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Steinbright's Response to COVID-19

A Co-op Opportunity

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Steinbright Career Development Center realizes that we must remain flexible and explore new opportunities to set Drexel students up for career success. This page outlines information and updates that are helpful for Drexel students, faculty and staff, alumni, and employer partners to be aware of during this time.

For more information about how the University is responding to COVID-19, visit Drexel's Response to the Coronavirus website.

Currently on Co-op or Preparing for Co-op

As a Drexel student scheduled for co-op, if you are employed and working at your employer's location, you need to follow their guidance related to COVID-19 and the workplace.

However, Drexel has created the following further guidance for you to consider:

  • If you are showing any symptoms (fever, cough, lethargy, loss of taste, etc.), do not go to work and, instead, reach out to your manager/supervisor for guidance.
  • If you have had close contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case or a presumed positive case awaiting COVID-19 test results, do not go to work and, instead, reach out to your manager/supervisor for guidance.
  • If you feel unsafe going to work for a COVID-19 reason or any other reason, contact your co-op advisor.
  • If your employer is requiring you to provide a negative COVID-19 test result before starting work, as part of your pre-employment screening, you need to plan ahead. Test results may take up to two weeks to be available. Testing sites in Philadelphia can be found on the City of Philadelphia's website. 

For more information on monitoring your health, please visit the Drexel's Response to the Coronavirus website.

As a reminder, all students with symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have had close contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case should contact the Student Health Center immediately by email at covid19health@drexel.edu, by calling 215.220.4700, or by using the Drexel Health Tracker app.

A staff member will make contact to provide information, facilitate testing, as appropriate, and assist students with isolation guidance. The Student Health Center will also investigate to try to identify where the student may have been exposed to the infection and work to identify additional contacts to minimize the spread of the virus.

Updates to Drexel Co-op

To ensure that Drexel Co-op continues to meet the needs of both students and employers, Steinbright's professional staff members are finding new ways to provide students with co-op opportunities. This includes inviting more of Drexel's faculty and staff members, as well as alumni, to consider providing co-op opportunities to students on a full-time or part-time basis (paid and unpaid). While all international co-ops for the spring-summer cycle have been canceled, remote and research co-op options may be a fitting alternative.

In general, co-op cycles will remain the same; however, we are looking outside the box to offer the following options for participants in the Drexel Co-op program:

  • There is now added flexibility for delayed starts, early finishes, or remote co-op options on a full-time or part-time basis.
  • While searching for co-op opportunities on SCDCOnline, students can now apply to 35 positions instead of 25 in addition to the availability to apply for positions within their own professional network.
  • Co-op employers have been encouraged to hold virtual interviews with students during this time and must comply with any associated state, region, or city mandates that impact the ability to interview in person.
  • Students can earn credit for co-op through one of our online modules, Strategic Career Planning and Development Module and Advance Your Career: Log-In and Level Up, and receive career preparation paired with individualized instruction focused on expanding their already existing skillset in this collaboration with academic units.
  • For most students, international co-op will not be possible for the 2020-2021 academic year. For more information about your particular situation, please contact your co-op advisor. The fluidity of travel bans in the U.S. and varying impacts of COVID-19 peaks in different areas of the world have forced us to take this unfortunate approach. 
  • Knowing that every student's plan is unique and not all options are available to all students, close coordination between Student Success Team members (the co-op advisor and academic advisor) is required and happening right now. These two Success Team members have been collaborating in support of each student's individual plan, whether that means going back to classes or changing co-op cycles.

Please Note: Co-op employers must adhere to any international, national, state, region, and/or city regulations as they relate to employment and associated travel. Because these regulations differ from place to place and students find co-op employment all over the world, our country, and our region, students should check with their co-op employer to find out what this might mean for them. If students have concerns about these conversations or subsequent requirements of the employer, they should contact their co-op advisor for support.

To learn more about these co-op options and additional opportunities, students are encouraged to contact their co-op advisor via DrexelOne.

New employer partners looking to hire co-op students should reach out to our Employer Relations team. Existing co-op employer partners should contact their assigned co-op advisor or email scdc@drexel.edu.

Student FAQs


Searching for a Co-op

Will co-op interviews be remote or in-person?

Steinbright is encouraging all employers to be mindful of current world events and conduct remote interviews when able. In some cases, an employer may not be able to conduct remote interviews. If a student is unable to travel for an in-person interview, they should first communicate directly with the employer. If a student cannot resolve the issue, they should reach out to their co-op advisor for further support.

I am concerned about my health or the health of people I live with. I do not want to work on-site for co-op. I will only consider remote co-ops. What are my options?

If a student is not comfortable working on-site, they can focus their search on remote jobs only. Students should understand that this will limit their options. When applying for jobs, students should check the job title and job description to see if the position will be remote. During interviews, students should ask employers whether the co-op can be completed entirely remotely or if the expectation is to report on-site. Additionally, students should speak with their co-op advisor to discuss job search strategies for remote work.

What guidance does Drexel provide to students completing a co-op on-site?

All Drexel students on co-op should follow the guidance of their specific employer relating to COVID-19 and the workplace.

Drexel has created the following guidance for students to consider:

  • If you are showing any symptoms (fever, cough, lethargy, loss of taste, etc.) do not go to work and instead, reach out to your manager/supervisor for guidance.
  • If you have had close contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case or a presumed positive case awaiting COVID-19 test results, do not go to work and, instead, reach out to your manager/supervisor for guidance.
  • If you feel unsafe going to work for a COVID-19 reason or any other reason, contact your co-op advisor.

For more information on health monitoring, please visit Drexel's Response to the Coronavirus website.

As a reminder, all students with symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have had close contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case should contact the Student Health Center immediately at covid19health@drexel.edu, by calling 215.220.4700, or via the Drexel Health Tracker App. A staff member will reach out to provide information, facilitate testing as appropriate, and assist students with isolation guidance. The Student Health Center will also investigate to try to identify where the student may have been exposed to the infection and work to identify additional contacts to minimize the spread of the virus.

I have found a co-op in another country. Can I travel to that country to work?

Students may only participate in co-op outside of the United States if it is in a student's home country. Students should speak with their co-op advisor as early as possible if they are considering working in their home country.

What if I can't find a co-op?

If a student has not secured a co-op position by the second week of the co-op cycle, they will be automatically enrolled in Steinbright's Strategic Career Planning and Development (SCPD) modules in Drexel Learn. These modules have existed long before the pandemic. They are 100% online, can be completed asynchronously, and count for full co-op credit for the duration of the time a student is conducting their job search. These modules contain weekly assignments that will help guide students through the process of continuing their self-directed co-op search. The weekly assignments are viewed and graded by their co-op advisor so that students and advisors can continue to be in contact throughout the cycle.

The goals of the modules are to:

  • Assist students with finding a co-op.
  • Ensure students can receive co-op credit while they are unemployed. As long as a student completes the assignments and receives a passing grade of 75% or higher, they will remain eligible to receive co-op credit and stay on track toward graduation.

Students can learn more by visiting the Strategic Career Planning and Development (SCPD) Learning Modules page on the Steinbright Career Development Center website.

Can I switch my co-op cycle if I cannot find a co-op?

Students cannot switch their co-op cycle. If a student believes they have extenuating circumstances not related to COVID-19, they may be able to submit a co-op appeal letter. Currently, the Appeals Committee is not reviewing requests to switch co-op cycles due to current world events; however, they do review requests for other circumstances (i.e., academic, medical or financial). Visit the Undergraduate Co-op Appeal page to learn about the appeal process. If a student chooses to submit an appeal, they must work with their co-op advisor.

Can I return to classes if I cannot find a co-op?

Depending on a student's academic program, they may be eligible to change from a 5-year, 3 co-op program to a 4-year, 1 co-op program or from a 4-year, 1 co-op program to a no co-op program. By changing their co-op concentration, it may then be possible to return to classes. Students will need to speak with their academic advisor as early as possible to see if their program allows this change. If so, students will need to initiate the change before the add/drop week of their co-op term as this process may take up to two weeks. We strongly recommend that students consult with Drexel Central to understand the impact of a co-op concentration change on financial aid and billing.

There are no jobs available because of the pandemic and I'm tired of looking for a co-op. Can I stop looking?

The job search process can be incredibly frustrating and draining. Students should reach out to their co-op advisor if they are feeling discouraged or have any questions.

In addition, as long as students are participating in and earn a passing grade in the "Strategic Career Planning and Development" or "Advance Your Career: Log-In and Level Up" modules, students can work with their co-op advisor to explore other ways to upskill or progress their career development during this time.


Delayed Starts and Cancelled Co-op Positions

What happens if my co-op is delayed?

If a co-op is delayed, students will be enrolled in "Advance Your Career: Log-In and Level Up." These are online, professional development modules in Drexel Learn. It is completed 100% remotely and asynchronously. The focus of these modules is to support students in creating their own Professional Development Plan, which is unique to their career goals.

These modules will:

  • Ensure students can receive co-op credit while they have a delayed start date. As long as a student completes the assignments and receives a passing grade of 75% or higher, they are eligible to receive co-op credit and stay on track towards graduation.
  • Help students grow a professional network, gain access to skill building resources, and give them the flexibility to design a program that fits their unique interests and career goals.

Please refer to the co-op registration deadlines chart below for more information regarding co-op credit.

Fall/Winter 2020-21 Co-op Registration Deadlines

October 1, 2020

Students will be enrolled in either SCPD or AYC (as needed)

November 16, 2020

Deadline to begin co-op to earn full Fall/Winter Co-op credit from co-op experience

February 1, 2021

Deadline to begin working to earn Winter-only Co-op credit from co-op experience

Can I start looking for a new co-op if my current co-op is delayed?

If a student's co-op is significantly delayed and the employer cannot confirm a start date, it is reasonable to begin looking for other opportunities. Students are encouraged to contact their co-op advisor if they have questions or need support.

What happens if my co-op is cancelled before my scheduled co-op term begins?

If a co-op is cancelled before the term begins, students will be advised to continue their search. Students should contact their co-op advisor as soon as they know their co-op has been cancelled in order for their co-op advisor to provide access to active jobs in SCDCOnline.

We also recommend scheduling an appointment with their co-op advisor to discuss self-directed job search resources and strategies.

What happens if my co-op is cancelled after my scheduled co-op term begins?

If a co-op is cancelled after the term begins, it is critical for students to contact their co-op advisor to ensure they are on track to gain co-op credit and progress towards graduation. The co-op advisor will enroll the student in one of Steinbright’s professional development modules (SCPD or AYC). As long as the student completes the assignments and receives a passing grade of 75% or higher, then they will be eligible to earn co-op credit.

Second, the co-op advisor will work with students to identify opportunities and resources to conduct a self-directed job search.

How will my cancelled co-op affect my ability to be released from my on-campus housing aggreement?

For more information, students should contact Housing and Residence Life at housing@drexel.edu.


Steinbright Modules for Co-op Credit

Do I have to pay for the professional development modules, aka "Strategic Career Planning and Development" or "Advance Your Career: Log-In and Level Up"?

No, there is no fee associated with these modules. Students are responsible for the University Fee that is billed during all active terms. This fee is not associated with co-op. Students should reach out to Drexel Central directly for any billing questions.

If I take the professional development modules, aka "Strategic Career Planning and Development" or "Advance Your Career: Log-In and Level Up", can I still take additional courses on co-op or does this count against the total 6 credits I am allowed per term?

These modules do not count towards the maximum of 6 credits per co-op term that a student is allowed. These modules are counted as Drexel Co-op Units (DCUs) and are different than academic credits. Visit the Classes During Co-op page to read more about additional guidelines.

Do the professional development modules, aka “Strategic Career Planning and Development” and “Advance Your Career: Log-In and Level Up”, count for a grade?

Co-op does not factor into a student's cumulative GPA, nor do the DCUs factor into their total academic credits required for degree completion from Drexel University. However, these modules will help them to fulfill the co-op requirements which are necessary to satisfy their degree requirements. Further information can be found on the Co-op on Student Transcript page.

What happens when I am hired for a co-op while enrolled in Strategic Career Planning and Development (SCPD)?

If a student finds a co-op and begins working, then they can discontinue the module once they have submitted all of their co-op registration paperwork. Students should speak with their co-op advisor if they have any questions regarding their co-op credit and late start date.

Employer FAQs

For questions or clarifications not covered by these FAQs, employers are encouraged to reach out to their co-op advisor directly.

What are other employers doing in response to COVID-19?

Employers vary by industry and size, as does their response to COVID-19. Some employers have delayed their co-ops and brought in students only when in-person work became available. Some shifted to remote work immediately. Other employers have even expanded their co-op participation to hire more co-ops due to new business demands. Employers should work with their individual co-op advisor to determine what best suits their organization during this time.


Dates of co-op, delayed starts, etc.

What are the official dates of the co-op cycle?

The fall/winter co-op cycle begins Monday, September 21, 2020 and concludes Friday, March 26, 2021.

More specific information, including recruiting deadlines, can be found on our Recruiting Calendars for Undergraduate Co-op Employers website.

I need to delay my co-op student's start date. Is this OK?

Yes, that is OK. Please provide regular updates to your student(s) and encourage them to maintain contact with their co-op advisor.

What is the latest date we can begin co-op employment?

Students can start their co-op September 21st or later. Students must begin working by November 16 to earn full co-op credit for the fall and winter terms. To earn partial co-op credit, they must begin working no later than February 2, 2021. Students with significant delays to their start date will be provided with professional development materials and enrolled in professional development modules to assist them in earning full co-op credit.

Employers should start their co-op student whenever it is appropriate and safe. Regardless, please communicate proactively with both students and your co-op advisor so changes and accommodations can be made as needed.

Best Practices for delayed co-ops:

  • Touch base with students bi-weekly so the student knows their co-op is on your radar.
  • Provide students with onboarding materials, such as training manuals, so they can familiarize themselves with the organization and department/role prior to starting.

Alterations to my co-op position — pay, cancellations, etc.

What if I need to cancel my position and let the student(s) go? Is this OK?

Yes - if at any point an employer needs to cancel or change their co-op position, they should reach out to their co-op advisor as soon as possible. Your co-op advisor would be glad to discuss avenues by which co-op employment might be augmented to allow students to continue to gain experience and how employers can continue to fill the needs of their organization.

Employers can reach out to their co-op advisor to recruit again in the future.

Can we change a co-op from paid to unpaid?

Employers may adjust their position from paid to unpaid, but it then becomes the student's decision to follow through with this opportunity, as terms of employment have changed. Many students use their co-op income to pay for living expenses, tuition, etc. If you are considering making this change, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions about Co-op page, which reviews the parameters of unpaid work, in addition to contacting your co-op advisor.

Can we change a co-op's number of hours per week?

The minimum number of hours that students must complete to obtain co-op credit is 20 hours per week. Employers may adjust the number of hours, but similarly to shifting a position from paid to unpaid, the student can decide whether to maintain employment. If you are considering making this change, please contact your co-op advisor.

Can we change the co-op job responsibilities?

Employers may adjust their position if need be, but it becomes the student's decision regarding whether to maintain employment.

What happens if our office shuts down during the co-op cycle and the student cannot work remotely?

Drexel intends to remain flexible in regards to changes in a student's co-op experience due to COVID-19. If your co-op student must take a break, please notify your co-op advisor as soon as possible.


Remote Work

Can co-op students work remotely?

Yes, Drexel allows co-op students to telecommute at their employer's discretion. It is Drexel's hope that this flexibility will allow our partners to continue to hire co-ops during this time.

How do I manage a remote co-op?

Please see our Onboarding and Orientation page, along with our Supervising and Mentoring Tips for additional information. Employers can manage remote co-ops successfully by setting clear expectations for the student, providing guidelines for communication, as well as scheduling regular check-ins as they integrate into the remote work culture. As always, our recommendation is that employers set expectations and first address concerns directly with the student. If problems continue to arise, please contact your co-op advisor as soon as possible for assistance.

How do I track students' time remotely?

Co-op students should be treated as all other employees at your organization in this way. Drexel does not require employers or students to report time to the Steinbright Career Development Center. It is expected that students are working at least 20 hours/week. Please start by working with students directly to discuss their time and their workload. As always, our recommendation is that employers set expectations and first address concerns directly with the student. If problems continue to arise, please contact your co-op advisor as soon as possible for assistance.

What if a student is exposed to COVID-19 while on co-op with my organization?

Employers should refer to the current CDC guidelines for more information. Drexel has developed a protocol for students on the Drexel Response to Coronavirus webpage.

All students with symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have had close contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case should contact the Student Health Center immediately by email, by calling 215.220.4700, or via the Drexel Health Tracker App.

Will Drexel notify me if they become aware that a co-op student tests positive for COVID-19?

No. Per HIPAA regulations, Drexel will not share student health information, of any kind, with Co-op Employers.

Career Preparation Resources

During this challenging time, the Steinbright Career Development Center would like to remind students that they offer guides for career exploration and planning as well as tips for utilizing LinkedIn to both network and get a leg up on the job search.

Handshake is also a helpful online tool filled with full-time positions posted by a range of employers. Whether students are just beginning their job search or have already been sharing their résumé, Handshake allows students to access a large pool of employers and their job postings as well as networking and professional development features — all right at their fingertips.

More resources are always available at the Career Navigator.

Steinbright In the News

To learn more about Steinbright and how we are adjusting Drexel Co-op to prepare our students now and in the future, we encourage you to read the articles below: