Co-ops disbanded due to COVID-19

By Jack Schafer, Staff Writer

Newman’s 2020 spring semester cooperative education courses have been disbanded due to COVID-19, at their instructors’ discretion.

A cooperative education course is worth three credit hours and involves students enrolled getting an internship for at least the length of the semester.

Fifteen students are enrolled in cooperative education but do not have to complete their practical work experience to receive full credit.

Director of Career Services Melody Head said that the decision was made between her, Provost Kim Long and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Rosemary Niedens. They decided to give instructors the authority to give the grade the student has earned to date, Head said, in which case the student would not have to complete their co-op experience.

Students should confirm with their instructor to see if their cooperative education course needs to be completed.

“Due to the challenges of COVID-19 and the changes in the workforce, most students were unable to continue their experiential learning experiences at this time,” Head said, “With this changing environment, there is a real possibility that future internships will be done virtually for summer and possibly fall.”

How are students who have yet to take a cooperative education feeling about it? Junior Brenden Schwartz is considering the pros and cons.

“Internships being online would take away part of the experience of doing it,” Schwartz said, “There is a cool spin to internships being online, though. Students would be able to find internships that aren’t local, giving them more opportunity and options, but there is no doubt a technological field in front of the internship would take away the human connection from the experience.”

Head is also thinking positively about the situation, knowing that Newman students are up to the challenge.

“Experiential learning experiences are still going to be important for students,” Head said. “This will be an opportunity for NU students to show their versatility in communication skills and problem solving. These are skills sets that students receive at our institution.”

Courtesy Photo, Newman Advancement