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Co-Ops integrated into university curriculum

Imagine low-income university students graduating with no/minimal debt, great career experience, and a full-time offer lined up.

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If universities are able to integrate a co-op program as a part of the curriculum, it would provide a great opportunity for low-income students to earn a salary, gain industry experience, and graduate on time. This is currently available at the University of Texas through the Master in Professional Accounting (MPA) program. The success of UT's MPA program should be emulated by other universities as well as other departments at UT. 

Students will be able to focus on obtaining industry skills and building a great network with professionals. Therefore, I am proposing for universities to remove unnecessary course requirements from their curriculum that have little impact on student career development and provide co-op programs. If a student is able to save up through the co-op and summer internships, I believe there should be a a substantial reduction in average student loans and debt upon graduation.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/troyonink/2012/02/27/why-college-co-op-programs-totally-rock/

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Photo of Anumit Sasidharan
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I think this is a great option, especially for business/technology majors. I am quite surprised that only few colleges have this program. I've met a lot of employers who love this. A co-op, being longer than just a summer internship allows students to really learn from the industry and employers get an good idea about the students as well. This leads in full-time offers in most cases as they're familiar with each other by now and know if they want to work together. It also saves a lot in hiring costs for companies.

Photo of Douglas
Team

I agree! I personally know a few students that are busy working during the school year to reduce and pay off loans. This makes it more difficult for them to find internships since they have less technical experience. It also makes it difficult for lower income students to afford the rising cost of housing and tuition. If this program was more widely accepted and used with various majors, it would definitely help with obtaining industry experience and paying for school simultaneously. 

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