Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education (co-op) is designed to give students enrolled in selected programs at ECC an opportunity to elect to work on a job relevant to their major while earning credit toward their degree. This combination of classroom instruction with practical, related work experience provides numerous benefits to participating students.

Some co-op students may work as many as four semesters in part-time or full-time jobs with employers selected and/or approved by the college. Academic credit is given for the learning gained during the co-op work period. Students are contacted or visited periodically by their co-op instructor or coordinator and receive on-the-job supervision by their employer.


All students enrolled in programs that offer the elective option of Cooperative Education for academic credit and who have completed a minimum of 9 credit hours within the appropriate program of study may be eligible to enter the Cooperative Education program. The student must meet the following conditions:

  1. A minimum academic standing of 2.0 GPA
  2. Approval of co-op coordinator and faculty advisor

Curriculum Program Restrictions
A student must be enrolled in a curriculum program to participate in a cooperative work experience activity. A curriculum student cannot be “tuition exempted.”

Students in the following academic codes may not participate in co-op:

  • Huskins Bill Student (T90970)
  • Concurrent Enrollment Student (T90980)
  • Special Credit Student (T90990)
  • Associate in General Education Student (A10300)
  • Cosmetology Student (D55140)
  • Gifted and Mature Student (under 16 years of age)

Application Procedure
Interested students are required to complete an application (see link below), have their faculty advisor approve the application, attach a resume, and mail it to the co-op office (see address below). If the student is accepted, the co-op coordinator and/or faculty advisors will be responsible for locating and/or approving an appropriate co-op assignment.

The student may wish to locate appropriate employment. If the student is successful, the co-op coordinator will meet with the employer and approve the employment as appropriate. In some cases, the student may already be employed appropriately and the student may bring this to the attention of the faculty advisor and/or the co-op coordinator.

Students interested in Cooperative Education are invited to contact the co-op office, especially during the time of early registration. Information also is available through faculty advisors and/or students services.

Academic Credit

One credit hour will be awarded for the satisfactory completion of 160 hours or 10 hours worked per week during a 16-week period. Two credit hours will be awarded for the satisfactory completion of 320 contact hours or 20 hours worked per week during a 16-week period. A student may receive a maximum of two credit hours during any one semester. Depending upon the curriculum, co-op students may earn up to 8 semester hours of Cooperative Education credit toward their diploma or degree requirements.

The major portion of the final grade will be based on the employer’s evaluation of the student’s work performance and the degree to which measurable learning objectives are accomplished each co-op period, as well as the student’s ability to meet deadlines in a timely manner. Each approved curriculum offering Cooperative Education as an elective will designate the total credit hours that can be applied toward graduation.


Students must have an approved Cooperative Education application form signed by the faculty advisor and the co-op coordinator before being eligible to participate and interview with employers. Students who are approved and have obtained appropriate employment must register before going on their work assignment. Students who are approved for co-op but have not located suitable employment are not eligible to register.

For the most current information about Cooperative Education, contact Coordinator Dr. Harry Starnes at (252) 823-5166 ext. 221 or

Mail Completed Application to:

Dr. Harry A. Starnes, Co-Op Coordinator
Edgecombe Community College
2009 W. Wilson Street
Tarboro, NC 27886