Career and Co-op Education

Career and Co-op Education

Gain experience while still attending college!

Cochise College’s career education office assists students in building work skills before graduation, helping students make a successful transition from college to career! Students who complete cooperative education (co-op) and internships increase their ability to find employment after college. Also, co-op is also a great way to experience your future workplace, to ensure you have chosen a career that is a good fit for you.

Career & Cooperative Education Coordinator
Joanne Darbee

Sierra Vista | 1000 – Student Union
Room 1067 | (520) 515-5357

Douglas | 600 – Learning Commons
Room 610-B | (520) 417-4713

Students gain hands-on experience.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program & Internships

Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program

The Cooperative Education (co-op) Program provides opportunities for students to supplement coursework with practical work experience related to your educational and occupational goals. You can earn college credit for working part-time in areas directly related to your program of study. Your program of study may require a co-op field experience, or you may elect to do a co-op to document related work experience on your college transcript. There are many benefits to doing a field experience. The following videos discuss some of those benefits which are applicable to any field or major: How Co-op Benefits Students YouTube video and Preparing Now for Life After College (mp4 video, website).

You may elect to earn one to six credits per semester with a discounted tuition rate.  Preview the Cooperative Education Process (PDF) for the main requirements, including the required work hours per credit, the setting of objectives or projects, and the final reflection paper. Check out the course outline (PDF), as well as these quick facts on the Co-op program (PDF). To assist you in the registration process, it is recommended that you consult with the program coordinator. It is always helpful (but not required) to have a recommendation from a faculty member, for example: Faculty Reference Letter sample.

If you are an employer or a prospective work sponsor interested in a co-op student, we would love to hear from you! Please contact the career education office for more information.

Employer Resources

Local Internships

Great internships can be found right here in Cochise County. Give some thought to what companies and agencies you are familiar with and which ones might complement your major. Often, a human resources director can give you information on whether their company has a formal internship program and the appropriate person to contact within their organization.

For information about current local internship opportunities, call (520) 515-5357. Keep in mind that for most internship or co-op placements, students will need to have completed some coursework in their chosen major and be able to obtain a reference from a Cochise College instructor in order to qualify for participation in program. Students earn college credit for these internships; some are paid positions.


  • Literacy Tutors: Reading and math tutoring in local elementary schools
  • Guest Paraprofessional: Substitute teacher’s aides in local school district (paid)


  • Office Aide: Assist in duties in local congressional office. Great for pre-law majors.
  • Research Aide: Conduct research on local economic issues for college program. Experience helps support candidacy for admittance to university business programs.

Social Services

  • Program Assistant: Assist in social services office working with children and families.

Computer Information Systems

  • Network Intern: Work with IT department in local school district.

Journalism/Media Communications

  • Media Intern: Work with local public affairs office in radio or Internet broadcasting.

The Community Service program is an off-campus work-study program where students are paid to work at qualified public agencies throughout the community. Students mainly work as tutors in local schools, helping students with reading, writing, and/or math. Although the program is open to all majors, it is a particularly good opportunity for education majors to gain experience in the classroom while also receiving college credit. Co-op credit is always helpful, as it documents this internship on a student’s college transcript. Internship experience is looked upon favorably by future employers as well by university admissions departments.

Students working in the Community Service program are paid from federal work-study funds and must meet with the program coordinator to determine if they are eligible to receive funding from this program. As with the on-campus work-study program, students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 2.0 or higher and must be enrolled in a minimum of six units for the semester in which they participate in the program. For more information on the Community Service program, please contact the Cooperative Education coordinator on your campus.

Other Opportunities

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

All students attending a Hispanic serving academic institution like Cochise College are eligible to apply. To learn more, visit the HACU website.  Most of these internships are with federal agencies located throughout the United States. Internships are available for the fall, spring and summer periods with the summer being the most competitive.

Student Conservation Association

If you have an interest in the environment or your major centers around the sciences or agriculture one of the best internship programs is with the Student Conservation Association (website). These conservation internships are available throughout the year in diverse environmental areas including wildlife management, environmental education, technology, earth sciences and even art/design and planning!

Career Exploration

Cochise College offers several ways for students to explore career options. If you are unsure of what major or career path you want to take, check out the resources below to learn more about putting you on the right path to discovering your future career.

Students can review the college’s What Can I Do With This Major? page, or set up an appointment with one of our advisors to discuss options in your chosen profession. Depending on your individual needs, we offer these additional resources for career assistance and exploration:

  • Self-Directed Search
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Career Majors Scorecard
  • Personalized connections to faculty members teaching in programs related to your interest area

Other great resources you can access are:


AZCIS: Arizona Career Information System

The AZCIS system is free for our students.

Do you need to:

  • Find a major? Take an interest survey to find the “best fit” career for you.
  • Get salary information on jobs in a certain field? Get facts on wages, job duties, future projections of job openings, regional locations, etc.
  • Learn how to search for a job? Check out the latest tips on resume-writing, interviewing, and networking.

AZCIS is an online program that can be used on campus or from home, and it’s free to students! To get started, see your Advising office or go to  the Arizona Career Information System website and the log in for students is Username: cochisecc/Password: 2viewazcis.


Do you want to explore your work personality?

Not every person is right for every job, and not every job is right for every person. Personality is a major factor in determining which occupations suit them best. In fact, individuals who follow career paths that match their personalities are more likely to be both satisfied and successful.

The RIASEC at WORK survey introduces the RIASEC personality theory.  Tasks and work environments can match personality types and can determine which jobs are a better fit for individuals. The career & cooperative education center has this test available.

For more in-depth, individualized exploration, the Strong Interest Inventory (video) is available for a small fee, which also is based the work of John Holland and E.K. Strong.  Students will work one-on-one with a certified Strong Practitioner to review the Strong results.