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Gain 12-18 Months of Professional Work Experience

Our innovative cooperative education model allows Lakeland students to gain 12-18 months of professional work experience with renowned companies, along with the ability to earn more than $100,000 to minimize post-graduate student debt.

We’ll be launching this co-op program this fall for hospitality management majors, as well as other business administration and undecided students with a potential interest in this area. By their sophomore year, students who enter this program will begin working at places like The Osthoff Resort in nearby Elkhart Lake. As we form partnerships, we will expand the program to include other majors, such as accounting, business administration, marketing, sport management, etc.

Lakeland graduates who complete the co-op program will be well positioned for management-level jobs and they will possess skills, which are highly sought by employers*:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Professionalism
  • Work Ethic
  • Oral/Written Communications
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Technical skills
  • Global/Multicultural Understanding

Still have questions? Please check out our frequently asked questions or fill out the form below!

FAQs for Co-op Program:

  1. How are students admitted to the Cooperative Education program?
    You will complete an application and interview process. Top candidates will be selected through this holistic approach.
  2. Is this required?
    No. All of Lakeland's programs can completed without enrolling in the co-op program.
  3. How will I balance both class work and working?
    The co-op program is designed to provide students the opportunity to work full time in alternating semesters with their course work. For example, students may work full time during the summer and fall following their second year at Lakeland and then return to the classroom full time in the spring term. Of course, if students are interested in earning extra income in support of their tuition and expenses during the semesters they are in school they may work part time. Studies show that students who work 10-15 hours per week while in their studies actually perform better academically than those who don't work at all.
  4. What if I don't have transportation? Will the shuttle service be able to get me to and from my job?
    Transportation can be arranged.
  5. Am I able to switch and work different places throughout the 4 years to get other experience or am I stuck working for the same place throughout my 4 years here?
    You may stay at one employer or change employers during your time at Lakeland. Your faculty advisor will work closely with you to identify opportunities that best support your career goals.
  6. If I opt into this, am I required to do it all 4 years?
    No.
  7. Can I opt in later in my college career if this works for me?
    Maybe. It will depend on whether there are open spots in the program and how far you have matriculated in your program.
  8. What if I change my major?
    We will work with you to identify co-op opportunities that support your new major.
  9. Am I able to do this even if my major isn't business or if I am undecided?
    We will work with all interested students to determine if a co-op track can be established regardless of major.
  10. Does it have to be at one of the partner companies?
    No. In fact, co-op opportunities can even be arranged at employers in the community you call home.
  11. What type of work will I be doing?
    Your work will progress in responsibility as you build your education and skills within your major. The goal is to develop the professional skills valued by employers.
  12. What companies are Lakeland's Co-ops with?
    Lakeland is in the process of building co-op opportunities with eastern Wisconsin's premier employers. The Osthoff Resort, The American Club and Blue Harbor Resort are established partners in our Hospitality Management Program.
  13. Is there a possibility that I would be dropped from the program, or am I guaranteed to be a part of it all 4 years once accepted?
    You must maintain acceptable academic performance to remain at Lakeland and to stay in the program.
  14. Am I able to do this while being an athlete?
    Maybe. Athletes have many demands on their time but Lakeland is committed to helping all students achieve their career goals. Your faculty advisor will assist you in investigating how a co-op opportunity might work for an LU athlete.
  15. Would the partner companies be adaptable to my athletic team schedule?
    Many would be open to a flexible schedule in support of student athletes.
  16. Will I ever have vacation time to go and visit my family back home (holidays, fall and spring breaks)?
    Lakeland's co-op programs support a summer break after your first year if you desire. Fall break, winter break and spring break are all possibilities depending on the work schedule you choose.

Financial questions:

  1. What is the best way to minimize my student loan borrowing?
    You will be assigned a financial aid advisor who can assist you with that task.
  2. How much of the earnings is scholarship?
    All eligible cooperative education students will received a $14,000 scholarship each year for four years, totaling $56,000.
  3. Can I live on campus over the summer? What will it cost me?
    Yes. $75 per week double; $110 per week for single
  4. Would the money I earned over the summer cover my room and board for the summer?
    Yes, if you choose for your wages to offset these expenses.
  5. Does this money go directly towards tuition, or am I able to split a percentage between paying tuition and money being put in my pocket?
    Students can choose a financial plan – with the option for all or some of the wages earned to be put directly toward tuition.
  6. Am I able to work overtime?
    Overtime is an option with off-campus employers, unless you are an international student.
  7. Would I be able to have the option of only working over the summer to partially offset the cost of tuition while getting credits (kind of like taking summer classes)?
    Yes, but limiting your work to summer hours will not maximize the earning and professional development potential of the program.
  8. How much will I be paid per hour?
    Your hourly pay will vary depending on employment opportunity.
  9. If I earn more than the cost of tuition and room and board, can I keep the extra money (or put it towards books)?
    Yes.

*Skills identified by National Association of Colleges & Employers, 2017 Job Outlook Survey
**These totals do not include any possible tuition increases or room and board.
***Any previously awarded Lakeland scholarships will be reassessed upon acceptance into Cooperative Education program.

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