Cooperative Education

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Explore Internships and Jobs!
build necessary skills
for today's workforce



Job candidates with strong personal skills are in high demand for a wide variety of jobs.

We've all worked with someone who is excellent at engaging with colleagues and is always dependable. This individual has honed their personal skills. They communicate effectively with others, self-express, and self-manage.

These individuals are typically more reliable, meet deadlines, and complete tasks. Company leaders seeks employees with these skills because they are better able to effect positive outcomes for their companies.

Unlike hard skills that can be measured - like computer programming or engineering -  personal skills are "soft skills" - subtle qualities or traits that enhance our interactions. There are just as important (if not more so) to employers, though you'll need a mix of both hard and soft skills in the workplace.

Students without transferrable (personal) skills and education to adapt to the changing work environment will be challenged to compete for employment.

What are Soft/Personal Skills?
Transferrable or "soft" skills are those that are necessary regardless of the field or sector of the work force. Five of the most important soft skills cited by employers as being valued in the work environment are the abilities to:

  • Verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization
  • Work in a team structure
  • Make decisions and solve problems
  • Plan, organize, and prioritize work
  • Obtain and process information



how can an internship help me acquire career readiness?

  • develop technical and soft skills to help you compete effectively in the job market and in life
  • improve your interpersonal communication skills and build your confidence
  • gain practical work experience and begin establishing professional work habits and transferable skills
  • apply what you've learned in the classroom to the workplace
  • become more comfortable networking with professionals
  • earn employment references and letters of recommendation
  • an internship can open the door to a potential job offer

you can Earn academic elective credit while you work

Enroll in a Cooperative Education (Co-op) course!  It’s a great way for you to gain work experience in your major or explore a different field of work and earn academic credit at the same time! 

What is a Co-op course?

Co-op is a course in which you can earn one (1) to six (6) hours of elective academic credit for work experience via employment, an internship or volunteering during the semester(s) you are enrolled in Co-op.

  • With help from the Co-op Coordinator, you can be placed in an appropriate business or industry and earn college credit while gaining practical knowledge at the same time.
  • You and your employer/supervisor complete a learning agreement containing learning objectives that you should meet or progress towards during your internship or other work experience.
  • You complete weekly reflection assignments via the Co-op course in Canvas
  • Co-op is designed to enhance your learning and apply practical skills and learned  theories to your work duties.

Read student comments about their Co-op course!

How do I find an Internship?

  • Contact the Cooperative Education Coordinator to discuss your interests, availability and major
  • Look on the Co-op web page for a list of current internship opportunities
  • Research organizations where you may have an interest in interning
  • Attend career fairs at the college and through Career Source Gulf Coast
  • Students employed on campus via student assistant and work study programs may use this work experience to earn Co-op elective credit

 “Gulf Coast State College does not discriminate against any person in its programs, activities, policies or procedures on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. All questions or inquiries regarding compliance with laws relating to non-discrimination and all complaints regarding sexual misconduct or discrimination, may be directed to  John Mercer, Vice President, Administration & Finance/Title II/504/Title IX Coordinator and Employment Equity Officer, Gulf Coast State College, 5230 W. US Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401; 850-872-3866.