Cooperative Education

The administration, faculty and staff at Rend Lake College are committed to preparing students for productive, satisfying careers with area businesses and industries. The role of the Cooperative Education and Employment Services program is to serve as the liaison between job-seeking students, graduates and alumni and the employment community.

Our goal is to accommodate the personnel needs of employers while helping Rend Lake College students, graduates and alumni achieve their career aspirations. Cooperative Education and Employment Services are offered at no charge and are available to any Rend Lake College student, graduate or alumni, as well as any other resident of the college district.

Services are split into two mutually supporting programs, Cooperative Education and Employment Services. Both programs deserve a closer look from the employer and student perspectives.


Sometimes referred to as co-op, on-job-training or internship, cooperative education is a method of instruction that places Rend Lake College students into jobs relating to their majors. It is an attractive program for students and employers.

Employers and Co-op

There are several reasons why employers can profit from the use of cooperative education students . . .

Cost Reductions ­ Simply put, hiring co-op students improves the bottom line in three areas:

• Unemployment insurance is not required on co-op students.
• Recruitment and training costs are lower with co-op students.
• Co-op students are generally exempt from expensive benefit packages.

Productivity ­ Co-op students are highly motivated, trainable workers who frequently are assigned special projects, freeing permanent staff for other important duties.

Flexibility ­ Cooperative education students are available when you need them. No need to wait for the start of a semester to hire.

Students and Co-op

Participation in cooperative education is advantageous for a number of reasons to students.

Academics ­ This is real learning and is just as academically vital as time spent in labs and classrooms. Rend Lake College awards transferable credit for cooperative education work experience.

Experience ­ Students gain practical, real-world experience that makes courses more meaningful. Co-op work experiences also strengthen the résumé, providing critical experience employers desire.

Financial Assistance ­ Co-op jobs are paid positions. While this is certainly not the most important aspect of the program, it does help defray the cost of higher education.

Job Offers ­ It is not unusual for Co-op students to be offered summer or even full-time job opportunities at their places of employment.

In order to qualify for the Cooperative Education program, students must have completed at least 12 semester hours with a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or higher.


The RLC Employment Services program gives employers a pleasant, flexible alternative to the more rigid, structured requirements of most placement agencies. With one simple phone call, employers gain access to prospective employees. Free interviewing facilities also are available if needed.

Employers are invited to contact Employment Services with full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal openings. Referrals are made as directed by the employer, whether by direct candidate contact or résumés mailed or faxed.

Each spring semester, Employment Services sponsors the Rend Lake College Job Fair, which has proven to be a highly productive recruitment activity.