Co-Ops & Internships

Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education (co-op) is an educational module used by Jacksonville State University to facilitate hands-on learning while building on academic theories. Students may alternate academic semesters with semesters of training or participate in parallel training. JSU is committed to building and strengthening partnerships between students and companies in which employers provide students the opportunity to convert classroom skills and knowledge into valuable, paid experience related to their major.

Co-op provides the student with the opportunity to gain experience in their field of study while they are still in school.  Co-op serves as a guide to assist in making career decisions and developing goals. A Co-op position can answer questions about the student's profession before a long-term commitment is made; it also provides the opportunity to earn money while gaining valuable skills that include resume construction, networking, interviewing techniques, and professional work habits.

Cooperative Education Track Options

The JSU Co-op program offers two different scheduling options:
  • Track 1: Cooperative Education - Alternating - Students alternate semesters of full-time classes with semesters of full-time training (approximately 40-hrs. a week). 
  • Track 2: Cooperative Education - Parallel - Students attend classes while simultaneously participating in cooperative education training (approximately 20-hrs. a week on site). 


In order to qualify for the program you must have completed 24 or more hours, maintained a 2.5 GPA, have the recommendation of two JSU professors, and completed a Co-op application. If you are interested in this program, you should visit us at our office to discuss program options and career interest, and to meet the Cooperative Education Coordinator/Career Specialist.


Complete the Co-Op & Internship Application today!

For more information, contact Carlos Acosta, Career Specialist at or 256-782-8486.



Larissa is an intern at the Shoal Creek Ranger District of the Talladega National Forest in a partnership between the USDA Forest Service, Greening Youth Foundation (, a non-profit based in Atlanta, GA), and the Career Services Department at JSU. Her activities include leading youth group tour programming, assisting the Wildlife Biologist on banding red cockaded woodpeckers, surveying decommissioned roads using GIS mapping, and helping with timber sell unit assessment.

She is thoroughly enjoying herself and getting valuable class-related work experience!


 As adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers website:

An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; they also give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.

Check out our internship courses!

The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment.
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.