Employer Statement Of Understanding

The following is the Employer Statement of Understanding that all Professional Practice Employers must sign and agree to in order to participate in our programs. A PDF document of these terms can be downloaded here: Employer Statement of Understanding.  

Statement of Understanding
Cooperative Education Programs
Purdue University

The employer accepts the following responsibilities related to its participation in Purdue University’s Cooperative Education Programs:

  1. Complete the Purdue Professional Practice employer accreditation process using the on-line Co-Op Employer Database tool by: 1) reading and agreeing to this Statement of Understanding (SOU); 2) designating the co-op program(s) of interest and academic discipline(s) from which the employer intends to recruit; 3) agreeing to abide by the five (5) principles of the Work Plan Agreement; and 4) providing requested job posting information when the employer wishes to recruit students for co-op positions.  The employer’s agreement with the provisions of the SOU and principles of the Work Plan Agreement will serve as the basis for qualification of the employer to recruit students in the specified programs and disciplines.  The job posting will be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Faculty Coordinator(s) signifying the employer’s approval to recruit students for the designated position(s).
  2. Commit to provide three alternating work sessions for a 3-Session Co-Op student; and five alternating work sessions for a 5-Session Co-Op student. Ideally, the 3-session plan would include two approx. 15- to 17-week work sessions during the fall or spring semester, and one approx. 12-week work session during the summer, but in no case more than two summer work sessions; and the 5-session plan would include three approx. 15- to 17-week work sessions during the fall or spring, and two approx. 12-week work sessions during the summer, but in no case more than three summer work sessions. Thus, employers need to enter the program with a long-term point of view and provide the full complement of work sessions which Purdue requires of the students, as long as the student’s work performance is rated satisfactory by the supervisor.
  3. For the Flex Co-Op program, commit to provide a minimum of two alternating work sessions.  After the second rotation, the employer and the student may decide to continue for one-to-three additional work sessions; or, the employer or the student may elect to discontinue the work relationship.  This decision shall be recorded on the student’s Flex Co-Op Transition Form at the conclusion of the second work rotation, and shall be signed by the student and the employer.  The employer may recruit a different student for a minimum of two work sessions, including experienced co-op students coming off two work sessions with their initial co-op employer.  Ideally, the duration of work sessions would be 15 to 17 weeks during the fall or spring semesters, and approximately 12 weeks during the summer.
  4. Students may not spend their last semester before graduation on a Co-Op work session; students are required to complete at least one full semester (two semesters for some majors) registered in classes prior to graduation.  Any deviations from the required sequence of work and study sessions must be for compelling academic or job-related reasons, must be requested by the student and the employer in writing, and must be approved beforehand by the Faculty Coordinator. Similarly, no employer may allow a student to initiate a professional employment relationship through the Professional Practice Program and then allow that student to convert to Internship-type experience.
  5. Provide timely job interview closure to each student considering employment in the Professional Practice Program.
  6. Inform the Office of Professional Practice (Attn.: Student Information Specialist) of all co-op job offers made, either by e-mail or written copy of offer letter.

  7. Provide employment related to some phase of the student’s field of study. The work experience should supplement, enhance and utilize the student’s background. The work responsibilities should push the student to expand their technical abilities and enhance their educational development.Provide a safe work environment and diversified assignments to give the student a variety of experiences.

  8. Provide a safe work environment and diversified assignments to give the student a variety of experiences.

  9. Provide work of increasing technical involvement and responsibility commensurate with the student’s abilities as the student progresses through the program.

  10. Place the student under the supervision of a qualified manager who can provide the student with effective guidance and counsel during the work session and assist the student in adapting to the work environment and the organization.

  11. Pay the student a reasonable wage commensurate with the student's ability, experience, and the job responsibilities.

  12. Counsel with the student regarding job performance and complete a performance evaluation form at the end of each work session.

  13. Approve the written work report required of the student prior to the departure of the student for the subsequent academic session.

  14. Permit Professional Practice Coordinators and/or the Director to visit the work site and the students periodically to review the program.

  15. Allow the collection of reasonable data for statistical evaluation purposes.

  16. Support and assist in the enforcement of the academic standards required for entrance to and continuation in the program. If the Employer’s requirements for minimum GPA for continuation in the program are more stringent than those specified by Purdue University (2.80 for 5-Session Co-Op and Flex Co-Op; 2.60 for 3-Session Co-Op), the Employer will monitor and enforce its own standards, with assistance from Purdue University as may be required.

  17. State that the employer is an equal opportunity employer and abide by all local, state, and federal employment laws.
  18. Employers that fail to uphold these responsibilities and the expectations of the Professional Practice Programs at Purdue University may be subject to suspension of their program.


Employer Signature: _____________________  Date: _________

Employer Name: ________________________  Date: ________

Purdue University Signature: _____________________ Date: _______

Purdue University Office of Professional Practice, Potter Engineering Center, Rm 114, 500 Central Dr, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-7430

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