Supervising and Mentoring a Co-op Student

Welcome to the CWRU Co-op Program!

Managing students as a part of the Engineering Cooperative Education Program (Co-op) through Case Western Reserve University takes time, but can lead to a meaningful relationship for both sides where the Co-op student is able to help the company achieve its goals while gaining skills and industry experience to progress their career.


Preparing for a Co-op Student

  • If the student is relocating, offer the student some form of housing assistance, such as a list of apartment complexes in a safe area, relocation assistance or a housing stipend
  • Contact the student regarding first day logistics including: 
    • Driving directions 
    • Entrance location
    • Arrival time
    • Dress code
    • General overview of the first day
    • Anything they may need to bring with them (ie: paperwork, identification, packed lunch, etc)


The Beginning

  • Welcome your student and introduce them to their new colleagues
  • Review your student's learning objectives
  • Share expectations
    • Highlight expectations related to project goals
    • Clarify workplace expectations and protocols including standard working hours and office behavior
  • Explain the company's organization and leadership structure
  • Outline relevant safety protocols 
  • Begin training
  • Familiarize your student with the projects they will be working on and the people they will be working with 


Throughout the Co-op Term

  • Provide training
  • Provide formal and informal feedback
  • Schedule weekly 1:1 meetings
  • Allow the student time to network or shadow other professionals, encourage them to participate in professional and organizational activities
  • Address any concerns or issues in a timely manner by contacting the Co-op director, Genine Apidone (, for additional support
  • If appropriate with your company, support social opportunities for the student to attend (ie: company picnics, outings, etc)


Ending on a High Note

  • Allow your student an opportunity to present a final presentation highlighting their projects and accomplishments
  • Fill out evaluations regarding your experience with your Co-op student