Co-Op Program First in Kentucky to Earn Accreditation

Eastern Kentucky University’s Cooperative Education Program has become the first co-op program in the Commonwealth and only the 12th nationally to receive accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Cooperative Education.

The first-time accreditation, which followed a site visit, is for six years.

The EKU Program successfully met five standards related to mission and goals, institutional relationships, employers and external partners, learning environment, and learning outcomes and program effectiveness.

“Meeting these accreditation standards demonstrates that EKU’s co-op program meets the high standard outlined by the Accreditation Council, along with such institutions as the University of Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and the University of Central Florida, to name a few,” said Gladys Johnson, director of the program.

This academic year, 579 EKU students have participated in the program: 443 in the internship program and the remainder in co-op positions. “The same high standards are followed for our internship, or applied learning, program,” Johnson said.

“Currently 5,664 employers are in our database,” Johnson noted, “with 3,761 being co-op employers. These employers have supported our program and provide continued opportunities in addition to compensation for our students. Office staff and co-op faculty coordinators have developed a relationship with many of our co-op employers, and records indicate that several of our current employers date back with us to the 1980s.”

Many students in the program eventually go on to work full time where they held co-op or internship positions.

Published on April 21, 2011