Cooperative Education at Lakeland University

We value work and the learning that happens in the workplace

Experience Education Your Way

Experiential education is just what it sounds like — gain real-world knowledge and earn your degree through numerous learning opportunities.

Lakeland University students have access to a variety of pathways, and each one can be customized to meet your needs. Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to the world of work, Lakeland's award-winning Cooperative Education program has an option for you!

Work? College? Choose Both!

We Value Work

Don’t choose between work and college … do both! At Lakeland University we value work – and the learning that happens in the workplace. Through our award-winning Cooperative Education program, students gain real-world knowledge and earn academic credit for hands-on professional work experience. Coursework is centered around your real-life experiences, situations and career goals.

Lakeland is equipped to help you discover your direction at a pace you’re completely comfortable with – while also ensuring you don’t take on unnecessary student-debt.

Customize Your Education … Your Way

There’s more than one way to get a college education and Lakeland offers them all.

Education doesn’t only take place in a traditional classroom setting. At Lakeland University, there are numerous places and ways to learn!

Explore the different ways you can earn credits toward your education. Don’t see one that fits for you? Contact an admissions counselor – and we will help customize an option that will.

Attend Lakeland’s main campus in Sheboygan County through a traditional college experience - all while offsetting the cost of tuition through wages and scholarships over four years.

  • Earn up to 30 credits for work experiences (equivalent of a full year).
    • Most schools only offer students up to six academic credits for work experience.
  • Graduate with 12-18 months of professional work experience, often in your academic major.
  • Earn academic credit for your work, keeping you on track to graduate in four years.
  • Take control of your finances. Combined with scholarships, the money you’ll earn from working can help you graduate with little or no debt. Lakeland provides financial advising to help you manage your earnings and educational expenses.

Worried you'll miss out on "college life"? You won’t! Cooperative Education works around your schedule, so you are free to join a sport, the band, the choir, student organizations, get a role in the play or participate in one of our many program-specific organizations. By earning academic credit for your work, we keep you on track to graduate in four years!

High school graduates looking for a traditional college experience

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Earn academic credit toward your degree for existing and future work projects that benefit you and your employer! Whether its projects you’re already doing or much-needed tasks your boss doesn’t have time for – only Lakeland lets you earn academic credit for real-time work projects. Students work on solutions to real workplace problems and challenges, benefiting today’s companies and developing tomorrow’s next great innovators!

Lakeland has partnered with many businesses and organizations throughout the state of Wisconsin, many of which provide discounted tuition rates and tuition reimbursement benefits. Contact an admissions advisor at to learn more.

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Many students come to the classroom with a wealth of knowledge and experience from their professional lives. Lakeland will help you earn credit for that prior learning! You can earn up to 30 undergraduate credits for documented evidence of experiential learning.

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Unsure what option is best for you? Fill out the form below and an admissions counselor will work with you to better understand your academic and career goals and customize an option to meet your needs.

Why Cooperative Education?

At Lakeland, we believe:

  • Students learn best by doing and reflecting on their experiences
  • The traditional classroom is not the only place to gain impactful knowledge
  • The learning environment in a classroom is enhanced by students who have more real world experiences to draw upon
  • A quality college education is still the single most determining factor for upward social mobility
  • A quality college education should be financially accessible

Employer Partners Across Wisconsin

Employer partners from across the state of Wisconsin, and a wide variety of professional work environments and industries, are eagerly collaborating with Lakeland to hire well-prepared, highly motivated students.

No matter the pathway students choose, our Cooperative Education & Career Readiness team will help connect them with our powerful career network to land a job at one of the area's top companies.

Lakeland University thanks the following Co-Op founding business and networking partners. Click here to view a comprehensive list of all our recent partners that have employed our students

Have questions about experiential education? Please fill out this form and someone will be in contact with you.