Cooperative Education at Lakeland University

We value work and the learning that happens in the workplace

Not College As Usual

Earn 25% Of Your Degree Through Paid Work Experiences

Lakeland is the only school in the Midwest offering students an opportunity to earn a full year of academic credit for their work experience.

At Lakeland, our students immediately build on the learning that happens in our classrooms. We know students learn best through hands-on experiences and the opportunity to reflect. We think students bring more to the classroom when they have real-world experiences to draw upon.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or just graduating high school, Lakeland's award-winning Cooperative Education program has an option for you!

We Value Work

What Is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education is all about hands-on learning outside the classroom. Students learn more by doing. They gain real-world knowledge and earn academic credit for hands-on professional work experience — and coursework is centered around these real-life experiences, situations and career goals.

Lakeland students explore their interests and, when they graduate, feel confident they will find a career in which they are passionate. Lakeland works to equip students with the necessary skills to land those dream jobs. By attending Lakeland and participating in our Cooperative Education, students think critically, communicate, collaborate, lead and solve real-word problems. These are the skills that employers need in their workforce, and our students have opportunities to acquire them through our Co-Op jobs.

Customize Your Education … Your Way

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

Explore the different ways you can earn credits toward your education. Don’t see one that fits 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.

Why Co-Op?

  • Earn up to 30 credits needed for graduation for work experiences in full- or part-time roles (equivalent of a full year of school).
    • We value learning on the job! Academic credit is available for work experiences that are not related to a student’s major.
  • 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.
    • Other schools that offer Cooperative Education have a five-year path to graduation.
  • Earn money for school. 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 students manage their 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!

At Lakeland, students have unrivaled flexibility to supplement their core courses with academic or hands-on learning that achieves their individual career goals as part of their degree. Students earn academic credit toward their degree for existing and future work projects that benefit you and your employer!

How to earn credit:

  • Design your own emphasis/concentration by choosing four LU courses from any major or program that matches your career path/interest.
  • Further your academic experience in areas where Lakeland may not offer coursework. Turn a professional training program, workshop or Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) into credit toward your emphasis.
  • Earn credit on the job. Whether it’s projects you’re already doing or much-needed tasks your boss doesn’t have time for – Lakeland lets you earn academic credit for real-time work projects.

Lakeland has partnered with businesses and organizations of all sizes throughout Wisconsin, many of which provide discounted tuition rates and tuition reimbursement benefits. Contact an admissions advisor at to learn more about how you can earn credit for your work experiences towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

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.

Learn More

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.

Value Of A 4-Year Degree

Why Co-Op?

A growing number of U.S. adults believe that a four-year college education is “not worth the cost.”

Higher education needs to innovate to deliver on the promise made to students. Since our founding in 1862, Lakeland has a history of evolving to challenge the status quo of higher ed and meet the needs of our students. Our award-winning Cooperative Education program is the latest example. We're committed to providing a quality college education, while also ensuring you don’t take on unnecessary student debt.

Employer Partners Across Wisconsin

Employer partners from across the state of Wisconsin that represent 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.

At Lakeland, you aren’t just earning a degree. We are connecting you with globally recognized companies and learning the skills that employers are seeking.

Dedicated To Your Success

Meet Our Team

Our Cooperative Education & Career Readiness team works collaboratively to actively engage students, build their confidence, explore possibilities, and develop a personal brand while pursuing meaningful career development through their personal and professional journeys. Our dedicated team is well-trained and focused on helping you find meaningful Cooperative Education placements and/or internships - and, upon graduation, fulltime careers in your field of study.

We work closely with some of the area’s most renowned corporations to secure critically important positions for students.


  • 1st Floor - William A. Krueger

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday
  • 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Meet Our Team

Interested in learning more about Cooperative Education? Contact us!

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