Month to honor coop education

By Maria Tortorello

A month has been dedicated to an NIU organization that helps students find jobs in the “real world.”

The Cooperative Education/Internship Program will be celebrating National Cooperative Education Month by sponsoring activities which give NIU students the opportunity to become more familiar with the program.

In observance of the month, NIU President John La Tourette will sign a proclamation on Oct. 1, which declares October as Cooperative Education Month at NIU.

The program has been assisting NIU students in finding internships for eleven years.

Students who find jobs through the Cooperative Education Program have a head start in their area of work because they gain experience as well as a degree, said Mireya Pourchot, program coordinator assistant.

“It is a part of student services which offers students the chance to gain experience while getting an education,” she said.

The program offers jobs for every major at NIU. It has over 2,900 positions listed and works with over 2,000 companies in the Northern Illinois area.

“Last year, we placed 1,000 students in co-op (cooperative) jobs, with an average salary of seven dollars per hour,” Pourchot said.

The month of October will include a weekly drawing for a $25 gift certificate from the Holmes Student Center Bookstore. Students enrolled in the Cooperative Education/Internship Program are eligible for the drawing.

“We are trying to encourage students to enroll in the program because it increases their opportunities for internships,” Pourchot said.

The month also will include an open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 13 in the Cooperative Education Internship Program office area, located on the second floor of the student center.

Students who are new to the program will be able to attend a tour at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. The tour will include a presentation on how to use the computer program, which students use to sign up for jobs.

Students also will be able to attend presentations given by coordinators of the majors offered at NIU.

Those unable to attend the open house will have the opportunity to participate in other orientation sessions, which will be held four times during the week beginning Oct. 14.

Sessions will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. on Mondays, 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and from 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.