Co-op and Internship Program Policies

Our goal is to develop partnerships with employers that will generate opportunities for students to obtain practical engineering experience prior to graduation. In turn, employers benefit by fulfilling short-term and long-term recruiting needs with quality candidates. We need your help to achieve these goals.

The following are the expectations we hold of companies who employ our students as intern and co-ops.  Failure to comply with any of these policies is grounds for loss of permission to recruit OSU engineering students.

Remote internships:

  • Our expectations remain the same for remote internships as they do for on-site positions.  The student should receive continual support, close supervision, and performance feedback. If the position does not meet this criteria, it should be posted and treated as a part-time job, not an internship.

Prior to the work term:

  • Provide accurate job information.  Be open and honest with students about what the job will entail in the job posting as well as during the interview process.
  • Offer meaningful assignments. Provide students with clearly defined job responsibilities for each term that are in alignment with their program of study and year in school.  While first year students may be assigned more basic tasks, subsequent work terms should provide increasing challenges and responsibilities.
  • Provide a written offer letter.  All offers of employment should be sent in writing with clear employment information (wage, start date, job title, etc.).
  • Encourage students to enroll in ENGR 4191. This maintains student status at the university.
  • Assign a specific supervisor to the student. Identify those with supervising skills; this should be someone who is willing and able to develop and implement a quality work assignment while also providing a balance between direct supervision, guidance, and independent learning.
  • Report hires. Report co-op, intern, (and full-time) hires to ECS HERE.

During the first week on the job:

  • Orient students to company policies and procedures. This should include harassment policies.  Inform students how to deal with on-the-job problems including harassment and misconduct.
  • Give necessary safety training to students. We expect all employers to comply with all federal, state, and local equal employment and safety regulations.
  • Assign specific goals & objectives. Review the work assignments and define mutual expectations, objectives, and goals.  

By the end of the term:

  • Provide the student with timely notification of eligibility for return assignments.  Start this conversation early, and provide students with ample time to respond.  See our offer guidelines for more information.  
  • Provide timely performance feedback to the student. This should happen formally at least twice during the semester (mid and end of term) and informally throughout the work term.
  • Complete and discuss the ECS Performance Evaluation with the student.  ECS will email out a performance evaluation to all supervisors two weeks prior to the end of the semester.  This feedback is shared with departments for curriculum updates and ABET accreditation.
  • Provide students the opportunity to give feedback about their assignments and experience. Like full-time employees, interns and co-ops should be given the opportunity to conduct an exit interview at the end of their work term.

Commitment and Early Terminations:

  • Co-op Commitment. Although we expect an employer to retain a co-op student for a minimum of two semesters, an employer is not expected to retain a student with serious performance problems. It is expected that employers will discuss performance issues with the student and ECS.
  • Early Terminations. If business needs (strikes or other unforeseen events) should result in unplanned early termination of a work term, it is expected that a student would be financially compensated for lost wages and housing expenses incurred for the job. If the student’s performance is unsatisfactory, please contact our office immediately.


Please contact:
Assistant Director, Experiential Education
Katy Arenschield