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Understand the MECOP/CECOP Co-op Programs

2017-spring-summer-mecop-interns 

MECOP – Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program

CECOP - Civil Engineering Cooperative Program

This program is for students who want workplace experience at two six-month paid internships while completing their undergraduate degrees at Oregon Tech. Students typically apply during the spring of sophomore year, and take an extra year to complete their degree. It’s a great way to finance your degree while gaining invaluable workplace experience, confidence, and clarification of your career goals.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

Not all majors are eligible. At Oregon Tech the following majors are eligible:

  • Klamath Falls: Manufacturing ET, Mechanical ET, Mechanical Engineering, Software ET,Embedded Systems ET, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Geomatics.
  • Portland Metro: Manufacturing ET, Mechanical ET, Software ET, Embedded Systems ET, Electrical Engineering.

The program is competitive. Students are selected into the program through two screening processes. First, they are screened academically in their sophomore year. Unofficially, there are so many applicants now that students need to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. This is primarily an effort to ensure that students are academically qualified to take upper-division courses. A second screening takes place through an interview process during which all members of the MECOP Board interview the students applying for the program. The goal of this screening is to make every effort to ensure that the students are qualified and ready for future internship placement.

What are the Benefits?

  • Help finance your education: two six-month full-time paid internships paying usually around 70% of the starting engineer salary
  • Integrate your education with work experience (3 years at Oregon Tech followed by internship, school, internship, and school)
  • Apply coursework to your work, and apply work experiences to your coursework
  • Develop confidence as a professional and a student
  • Experience two different work environments, management styles etc.
  • Gain exposure and connections some of the Northwest's best companies
  • Interact with professionals in your discipline
  • Connect with other MECOP participants and industry partners through a professional development course
  • Gain "insider" career choice knowledge
  • Gain insight into your academic and personal strengths and weaknesses from experience
  • Make more informed course selections
  • Get more out of course content upon return to the University
  • Develop maturity, confidence, enthusiasm and a higher starting salary
  • Gain professional experience that can count towards your PE licensure

HOW DOES IT AFFECT GRADUATION TIMING?

Students selected to participate in the MECOP program will have full-time internships during summer/fall after their third year and during summer/fall after their fourth year. Therefore, MECOP students will typically graduate in five years (8 semesters of coursework and 2 internships).

Careful planning of courses is required to ensure that MECOP students stay on track for graduation while taking the necessary courses prior to their internships. Please see your academic advisor for specific course planning to accommodate MECOP and your major.

WHAT IS THE PROGRAM TIMING?

Note that class standing (sophomore/junior/etc) may be flexible. If you have questions, see your advisor.

 

 

Fall

Winter

Spring

Summer

Sophomore

 

Mid-Feb to end of March:

Complete online application.

End of April: Approved students are notified.

May: MECOP selection interviews @ OSU.

July/August:

Students notified about selection.

 

Junior

November:

Fall career fair @ OSU (meet reps from companies)

January*:

MECOP internship match interviews @OSU.

 

April:

First co-op begins: Spring/Summer terms CE,EE

GIS,ME,MET,MfgET,Surv

July:

First co-op begins: Summer/Fall terms.

CpE,CS

Senior

November:

Fall career fair. First co-op continues.

 

January:

MECOP internship match interviews @OSU.

April:

First co-op begins: Spring/Summer terms GIS,ME,MET,MfgET,Surv

July:

Second co-op begins: Summer/Fall terms

CE,EE CpE,CS

Senior+

November:

Second co-op continues.

 

January:

Return to Oregon Tech to complete remaining coursework.

 

 

 

* Invited students are interviewed by companies. Typically there are 20-40 company representatives in the interview room during the interviews, at OSU.

Optional Supplemental placement events: 1-day events, for majors that did not have enough students to meet industry demand or other reasons. These take place at other times during the year.

WHERE WILL I WORK?

MECOP students get internships at two of over 140 companies and organizations. Most companies are in the Portland area while others are across the state of Oregon with a few located in other states. Mecop tries to match you with a company that is a good fit, but you are placed at a company and required to go to that site.

HOW DOES IT AFFECT FINANCIAL AID?

The following summarizes the impact on MECOP students of federal regulations for the Guaranteed Student Loan Program. Because it is complex, you should consult Financial Aid.

Current regulations allow for a break in a student's education of up to six months without requiring repayment of loans. This "grace period" allows for normal breaks (such as summer) and allows for some time following graduation before repayment must begin. If students are not registered for at least six credits, it is considered a break in their education. If the six-month grace period is exceeded at any time, repayment of the loan begins and subsequent breaks result in an immediate requirement for repayment to begin.

The bottom line is - If you do not register for at least six credits during either spring or summer term of your first internship, one payment will be due at the end of your first internship. This happens because the time between the completion of winter term and the start of fall term is more than six months. This scenario assumes that you previously have not used your six-month grace period. During any subsequent break in your education (such as the second internship or upon completion of your degree), payments will become due immediately. After your internship, no loan payments are due when you are attending at least six credit hours of classes.

If you wish to avoid using your six-month grace period while you are on an MECOP internship, you should register for at least six credits during either spring or summer terms at either Oregon Tech or at another institution closer to your job site. You should carefully analyze your academic and financial situation before making a decision about this issue. It may be that the fees you pay to register will be more than the repayment required on your loan. If you can take courses that apply to your degree and you can meet your work obligations while taking six credits, you may find that it is in your best interest to register for some classes while on your internship.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

Oregon Tech’s MECOP representative is Professor Brian Moravec brian.moravec@oit.edu

You may also visit the MECOP website: www.mecopinc.org

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