The UW-Stout Cooperative Education program is an excellent example of a working partnership between employers and an institution of higher learning. This integration of practical experience and academics results in a win-win situation for the employer, student and university. UW-Stout has long recognized the value of practical work experience to strengthen University programs and enhance student education.

Benefits To The Employer

  • Trained motivated workers
  • Employees with special skills for projects
  • Qualified employees to meet needs for increased business or seasonal demands
  • Improved access to special populations
  • Develop a pool of qualified candidates for professional positions
  • Decreased cost of recruitment and training
  • Improved employee retention

Benefits To UW-Stout

  • Enhance UW-Stout's reputation for preparing students for the real demands of the world of work
  • Employer recognition and support for university programs
  • Employer input regarding university programs

Cooperative Education at UW-Stout is centrally coordinated through Career Services in cooperation with the various colleges (majors, minors and concentrations) of the university.

Work periods are usually one semester or summer in length. However, a summer can be combined with the previous or following semester. A six-month period may be preferred, such as January through June or July through December. Positions can be established on an annual basis and filled by alternating co-op students.

A "parallel co-op" for students to work part time while attending school part time is possible for employers located within commuting distance of Menomonie.

Responsibility Of The Co-op Employer

  • Provide a supervised work experience related to a program offered by UW-Stout
  • Provide a position description relating to the program showing types of learning experiences and responsibilities. UW-Stout faculty mentors must approve the position for college credit. While the description can be brief, some specifics are very helpful
  • Select student employees through interviews or by evaluating applications
  • Communicate with student regarding work schedules, supervision, safety regulations, appearance, personnel policies and other procedures
  • Supervise and evaluate work performance of co-op student
  • Communicate with university mentors and co-op staff for purposes of evaluation and program improvement, or in the case of dissatisfaction with student performance
  • Provide a work environment free from discrimination and harassment
  • Provide a safe work environment


Cooperative Education is a paid work experience. Salaries should be fair, competitive and commensurate with wages paid full-time employees for similar assignments with consideration for training and experience. Optional benefits are determined by the employer.

View the Cooperative Education Annual Report to see average earnings by major for UW-Stout students.

Co-op student wages are considered excluded for unemployment insurance purposes if the student is registered for academic credit through the University. Refer to Wisconsin State Unemployment Insurance Statute 108.02(15)j1 at, or call the Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance: Tax and Accounting Department at 608-261-6700. 


Housing arrangements are the responsibility of the student. A number of employers provide assistance, which may be an attractive benefit to applicants.

Time Table For Recruitment/Selection

For Employment to Begin
Start Recruiting
Spring Semester (January-May)
Summer Semester (May-August)
Fall Semester (September-December)
Career Services is also flexible to meet employer and student needs.

To Post a Co-op Position

Minimum requirements of Co-op

  • Submission and approval of Cooperative Education Program Position Description form.
  • All co-op positions must be paid; salary is determined by employer.
  • Cooperative Education at UW-Stout requires a minimum of 320 hours of experience per semester.
  • Furnish student performance appraisals to provide feedback to the student and to the university.
  • Provide a work environment free of discrimination and harassment.
  • Provide a safe work environment
To post a Co-op
Please fill out and submit this » Cooperative Education Program Position Description form

The position will be reviewed for approval. Upon approval you will be contacted regarding the service you would like to use to find candidates (posting the position, interviewing on-campus or viewing student resumes).

UW-Stout:  Wisconsin's Polytechnic University

The co-op program supports UW-Stout's polytechnic designation by providing students the opportunity to experience an active and applied focus on learning in their professional field. The success of the co-op program is based on a framework of collaborative partnerships between employers, students and the university.

Contact Us

Career Services
103 Administration Building
Menomonie, WI 54751


Monday-Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm

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