This spring, SUNY Oswego will become the first SUNY school to offer students a co-op program aimed at landing full time work following graduation. Our Candace Hopkins has more on how the new program will benefit the students and the school.
OSWEGO, N.Y. -- "I want to get into power production, maybe designing the systems behind it. I want to try to transform the industry."
SUNY Oswego senior Jason Macleod has big goals for his career and to help achieve those goals, he's turning to the university's new co-operative education program.
"I expect real life practical experience that is going to be beneficial for me to find what I actually want to do and where I'd like to go," Macleod said.
That's the goal, to put students to work with local companies, giving them hands on experience.
Macleod will be the first participant and will work at engineering firm O'Brien and Gere in the spring. Other students will join later in the year, at companies like Novelis, IBM and Welch Allyn.
"What we're trying to do is if we can send students out their second semester sophomore year, they will get the experience to see if this is what they really want to do in their major," said Sheila Cooley, Co-Op Program Coordinator.
For students, this program will offer a unique opportunity that most internships do not: A chance to be paid for their work and those salaries are expected to start at $16,000 for six months of work.
"I think getting paid for a co-op is what students want and I think it's what the industry wants as well, cause a lot of the internships that are offered are not long enough to actually have practical experience to the point where you might get a job offer afterwards," said Cooley.
And that final job offer will be the ultimate goal for students preparing to graduate in these tough economic times.