Cooperative Education


When it comes to choosing a career, experience is the best teacher. Time spent learning about a profession in a classroom can’t match the firsthand knowledge gained on the job. The Cooperative Education program combines classroom-based education with on-the-job training experiences to help students prepare for and explore career objectives. A co-op experience must be planned and supervised by the school and employers so that it contributes to a student’s education and employability.

What Can Be Gained From Cooperative Education?

  • The greatest reward from a co-op experience isn’t just a pay check. Intangible benefits will pay dividends throughout a student’s educational and career path.

  • Setting career goals – Students learn what it takes to get jobs in their chosen field and begin charting a course to attain career goals.

  • Improved self-image – Students will master new skills, make decisions and get positive feedback; all of which help build self-esteem and confidence.

  • Increased career opportunities – Students make career connections and gain work experience that will open doors in the future.

  • Mentor relationships – Mentors offer guidance and encouragement and act as career resources for students during and after co-op.

  • Knowledge of workplace expectations – Learning what companies are looking for and what it takes to succeed in the workplace better prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation.

Programs that may offer co-op experiences

  • Horticulture – Turf & Lawn Management / Nursery, Greenhouse & Garden

  • Carpentry II/III

  • Electricity II/III

  • Graphic Communications II/III

  • Media Technology II

  • Culinary Arts II

  • Automotive Technology II/III

  • Automotive Collision Repair II/III

  • Cyber Security Fundamentals

  • Machine Tool Technology II/III

  • Welding II/III

  • Engineering Drafting & Design III

Student Requirements

requirements for students to be considered for co-op are as follows:

  • Student must be enrolled in an advanced level course or be a Completer within the same program area at Swofford Career Center and be recommended by instructor.

  • Student must be at least 16 years of age (18 if required by worksite).

  • Student must pass all high school classes the semester prior & current semester to co-op.

  • Student must have good attendance the semester prior & current semester to co-op.

  • Student must complete all necessary forms.

  • Student must have proof of insurance coverage or purchase school insurance.

  • Student must have a clean discipline record.

  • Student must pay all Swofford and program fees.

  • Student must hold a valid driver’s license and have reliable transportation.

  • Student must obtain permission from parents, Swofford Administrator, Swofford Instructor, high school principal, and an approved training station.

How to get started

The co-op program is available any time during the school year, but students must train during program hours and/or after classes at the home high school. The worksite must be within a reasonable driving distance of the home high school and student’s home. A co-op training plan will be outlined for each participant. A training agreement must be on file prior to student starting co-op. No student will be allowed to co-op until the Placement Coordinator has received all required paperwork signed by all parties. If you would like more information on getting started with co-op, place contact Mr. Hill or Dr. Seay.