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Next Steps: Accepting a Co-Op

Congratulations on accepting a co-op position! Review the steps listed on this form to ensure your paperwork has been completed and necessary offices have been informed of your plans.

First Steps

  1. Notify the Co-op Office by emailing with the name of the company you will be working with and the semester/term you will be on co-op.
  2. Register for a co-op orientation meeting via Handshake Events. Attend an orientation session the semester prior to your co-op. For spring 2023 co-ops: I do not have any scheduled in Handshake at this time, therefore, email me so I can schedule a virtual appointment with you before your co-op begins. 
  3. Prepare for your orientation session by meeting with your faculty advisor to map out your graduation plan including all of the classes you need to complete in order to graduate and your co-op term. An example from a previous student, which may serve as a useful template, can be found here.
  4. Draft three learning objectives focused on what you aim to learn during your co-op. Consider creating at least one non-technical and two technical objectives. For guidance and criteria for writing learning objectives, please review this form.

The Co-op Orientation Session

What to bring

  • Your laptop (if you have one)
  • An electronic copy of your offer letter
  • The name and contact information for your supervisor while on co-op
  • The name of your health insurance provider (if you don’t have one, you will be able to purchase health insurance through University Health Services - more information provided during the session)
  • Your graduation plan that you have discussed with your faculty advisor
  • An electronic draft of 3 learning objectives for your co-op term

Information covered during the orientation

  • How to register for the co-op course in order to maintain your full-time student status
  • Co-op policies and university logistics (ie: housing, financial aid deferment, etc)
  • How to create a Handshake Experience form
  • Co-op course assignments and requirements
  • Professional etiquette
  • Health and counseling insurance options
  • Co-op learning objectives

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

All international students will also need to complete the Curricular Practical Training Paperwork. The first step is to obtain an offer letter with all of the required information. Please review the criteria and submit this form with your complete offer letter to allow the Co-op Director to begin your CPT paperwork.

Extending a Current Co-op

If you are extending your current co-op with the same employer for an additional sequential term, you will not need to create a new Handshake Experience Form, but will need to follow the steps listed below to allow your existing form to be properly updated:

  1. Forward an email from your supervisor confirming the extension and listing your new end date to
  2. Update your graduation plan, review with your faculty advisor, and email to
  3. Review the Co-op Guide and Checklist below to ensure you have informed the appropriate offices of your co-op extension.

Accepting a Second Co-op

For your second co-op, you do not need to attend a co-op orientation meeting, but need to review the Co-op Guide and complete the other steps in the Checklist below. 


  • Attend co-op orientation meeting (first co-op only)
  • Complete a Handshake Experience form (unless you are extending a current co-op)
    • Upload your signed offer letter
    • Upload your graduation plan after reviewing it with your faculty advisor
    • Read the Co-op Guide and upload a signed copy of the Co-op Policies Agreement
    • Enter Learning Objectives in the appropriate section
    • Update supervisor information
  • Notify financial aid of co-op intent at as needed to defer any scholarship funds or financial aid
  • Adjust campus housing needs (register to live on campus or fill out housing release in myHousing)
  • Modify meal plan enrollment as needed
  • Obtain a co-op medical plan form from the Co-op Office to complete and email to before the end of the drop/add period. Here's the link for the Spring 2023 medical plan form
  • For international students, attend and complete CPT workshop and paperwork
  • Register for Co-op Course in SIS. For undergraduates, enroll in COOP1, COOP2, or COOP3 based on if it is your first, second, or third co-op term. For graduate students, register for ENGR 401C
  • If your co-op is abroad, you are required to register your co-op with the Office of Education Abroad by completing this form
CO-op medical plan form fall 2023.pdf104.87 KB
CWRU Co-op Guide updated.pdf798.05 KB