The Ohio Cooperative Education Association (OCEA) is a nonprofit professional association founded in 1971. OCEA membership is open to employers, educators, and those interested in Cooperative Education and Internships in the state of Ohio.
Cooperative education (or Co-op) is a partnership between students, institutions of higher education, and employers that formally integrates students’ academic study with work experience in cooperating employer organizations and:
- Alternates or combines periods of academic study and work experience in appropriate fields as an integral part of student education; (Note that co-ops are experiences which occur more than one term during a student’s educational experience – they are multi-term.)
- Provides students with compensation from the cooperative employer in the form of wages or salaries for work performed;
- Evaluates each participating student’s performance in the cooperative position, both from the perspective of the student’s institution of higher education and the student’s cooperative employer;
- Provides participating students with academic credit from the institution of higher education upon successful completion of their cooperative education
- Is part of an overall degree or certificate program for which a percentage of the total program is acceptable to the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents and involves cooperative education. (Note that co-ops are generally a required part of a degree program.)
Internships are a partnership between students, institutions of higher education, and employers that formally integrate students’ academic study with work or community service experience and:
- Are of a specified and definite duration;
- Evaluates each participating student’s performance in the internship position, both from the perspective of the student’s institution of higher education and the student’s internship employer;
- Shall be noted on the student’s transcript; may provide participating students with academic credit upon successful completion of the internship, and may provide students with compensation in the form of wages or salaries, stipends, or scholarships.