Factors Related to Performance Ratings of Engineering Students in Cooperative Education Placements
Journal of Engineering Education
The placement of post-secondary students in cooperative education (co-op) settings impacts students, employers, and academic institutions. Those responsible for securing such placements need information to guide them in maximizing the success of these assignments. The purpose of this study was to explore relationships between engineering students' performance in cooperative education placements, student demographic factors, student academic factors, co-op setting factors and prior work experience. A survey was completed by 271 engineering students from nine U.S. engineering schools with formalized, structured cooperative education programs. Eight of the 14 predictor variables were related to performance ratings, although the statistically significant correlations were modest. The student's grade point average most highly correlated with performance in co-op placements (r=0.34). Among the other relationships found were the positive correlation of performance with the percent of coursework completed prior to placement (r=0.26) and the length of the placement (r=0.31). No evidence was found to suggest that the size of the co-op employer related to the student's performance. Coordinators of cooperative education may find these results useful to share with student advisees. However, due to the correlational nature of the study, readers are cautioned not to assume the findings reflect causal connections.
Hackett, R. K.,
Factors Related to Performance Ratings of Engineering Students in Cooperative Education Placements.
Journal of Engineering Education, 87(4), 455–458.