Student Services » Cooperative Employment

Cooperative Employment

What is Co-Op?
Howard attempts to provide each 12th-grade Career and Technical Education (CTE) student a paid cooperative training work opportunity, which is a capstone experience in his or her senior year. This program allows seniors to work in paid entry-level positions in a related business or industry while completing their high school graduation requirements.
Every effort is made to maintain flexibility regarding student/employer needs. In some situations, the student employee works full-time for a two week period and attends school full-time for two weeks alternately, while others require half-day school/half-day work scheduling. Additionally, certain situations require employment scheduled after school hours and on weekends. These details are worked out to the satisfaction of the student and employer without jeopardizing the student’s scholastic standing.
Through regular evaluation of students by employers and on-site evaluations by high school and district coordinators, the student's performance on the job becomes a part of the career area grade.

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Student Responsibilities
Students participating in the cooperative learning (co-op) program must:
  • Continue to be in good academic standing.
  • Abide by all rules and regulations of the school, the district, and the Howard Co-op Training Agreement.
  • Students who attend school and then leave for co-op must sign out every time they leave.  Areas and procedures for signing or swiping out are designated at Hodgson.
  • Maintain regular attendance at your co-op employment and at school, and immediately notify their supervisor, CTE instructor, and Cooperative Employment Coordinator prior to any absences.
  • Show an interest in the activities and experiences offered through your co-op employment.
  • Dress and groom in a manner consistent with the standards of the co-op employment site.
  • Submit completed co-op evaluations, weekly hour logs, and all other documentation required by the Career and Technical Education (CTE) instructor and Co-op Employment Coordinator by the due dates.
  • Communicate any change in employment status or concerns/issues regarding employment to the CTE instructor and Co-op Coordinator.
Parent/Guardian Responsibilities
  • Make every effort to schedule all appointments (i.e. doctor's appointments, etc.) after school hours and after the student's co-op employment.
  • Direct issues or concerns about the student's employment to the Cooperative Employment Coordinator, not the employer.  The Co-op Employment Coordinator is an advocate for the student and the best resource to resolve issues.
  • Continue to regularly monitor your student's academic progress through the Home Access Center.
For Your Information: Delaware Child Labor Law 
Training Evaluations
Each marking period, we ask that our co-op employers grade the students on their performance at work.  This grade counts anywhere between 50% - 70% of the student's career program grade.  The Training Evaluation Form will be provided to each participating employer four (4) times during the regular school year and once during the summer.  The student shall be responsible for presenting the Evaluation Form to the employer and returning it to the Cooperative Education office.  Since the cooperative work experience is an extension of the career program, the student's work evaluation is to become part of the marking period grade.  The weight of the grade is directly proportional to the time spent on the job (i.e., if the student co-ops for half of the marking period, the employer's evaluation shall reflect 50% of the grade).

Let us help grow your business, help a student transition from school to work.


How Can a Co-Op Student Benefit You and Your Organization?

Our goal is to provide our local industry partners with highly trained and technically qualified entry-level employees with excellent 21st-century employability skills to help manage your workload and provide students with an opportunity to learn about the exciting opportunities in their chosen career and industry. We ensure that each and every student is as qualified and professional as any entry-level employee you may hire.


  • Co-op students possess knowledge and skills that employees may not – computer programs, research capabilities, writing abilities, and insights about the latest academic methods.
  • Co-op students add vibrancy! – They provide fresh ideas and positive energy that can have a contagious effect on employee morale, motivation, and creativity.
  • Increase productivity – Time & work that co-op students save full-time employees enables your full-time employees to focus talents on higher-level tasks.
  • Recruitment – Employing co-op students allows businesses to pre-draft full-time employees and reduce time, costs, and mistakes by screening and training graduates in advance.

I Am Interested. What Now? The Process is Simple!

  1. Contact Howard's Co-op Coordinator, Marina Pini.
  2. Agree on a work schedule agreeable to the employer and student/employee.
  3. Sign a simple training agreement outlining the employer, student, school, and parent responsibilities (and a work permit if the student is under the age of 18).

Key Employer Responsibilities:

  • Pay student(s) at least legal minimum wage.
  • Agree to fill out a performance evaluation for the student employee every 8 weeks.
  • Allow the Co-op Coordinator and/or CTE instructor to visit the work site to ensure employer/student satisfaction
  • Maintain open communication with the Co-op Coordinator and/or CTE instructor regarding performance.
  • Follow Department of Labor Child Labor Laws and pay for Workers' Compensation.

What is Cooperative Education (Co-op)?

Cooperative education is a unique educational opportunity that integrates academic and career training programs with paid, planned and supervised work experience in the public and private sectors. Co-op allows students to acquire additional career related skills by being exposed to the world of work, thus enhancing their self-confidence and career goals.


How Does Co-op Work?

Students apply the skills acquired in nearly 1,000 hours of vocational-technical training and additional skills and knowledge in "real employment" situations. Once placed, students are given on-the-job training and monitored by a supervisor who will complete a quarterly evaluation of his or her performance on the job. Students will be graded in the following areas:

  • Accuracy of work
  • Personal appearance
  • Initiative
  • Safety
  • Attitude
  • Attendance/punctuality
  • Potential for growth
  • Communication skills

The student's work schedule is expected to be a minimum of 20 hours per week. The Co-op Coordinator will work closely with the supervisor to ensure that the student is receiving well-rounded work experience and that the student is performing satisfactorily.
  • Part time job or assignment related to your Career Area
  • 2.0 Cumulative GPA
  • No behavior issues
  • No attendance issues
  • Career Area instructor's approval
  • Parent/guardian approval
  • Co-op Coordinator's approval
  • Completed Co-op Training Agreement
  • Work permit (if under 18)
  • In good standing throughout the school


Reasons to Co-op
  • Provides on-the-job training that enhances skills
  • Gain meaningful experience related to your career industry
  • Structured entry into the workforce
  • Co-op students that are apprenticed-based earn credits toward certification
  • Students who participate are likely to continue to be employed after graduation
  • Builds self-esteem
  • Earn money
  • Get a head start on your peers in the workforce
Before you go, keep in mind.....  
Preparing for the Co-op experience starts in the 9th grade.. Focus on all your assignments and school work to ensure you will be on track for your senior year. You should also secure your own transportation prior to your senior year. This will be an exciting time for you! But remember, Co-op is not a right, it's a privilege. All our students must be in good standing to be able to participate in this exciting and rewarding program!


Ms. PiniMarina Pini
Howard High School of Technology
Cooperative Employment Coordinator
marin[email protected]

401 E 12th Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 571-5410