The University of Tennessee at Martin Department of Engineering cooperative education and internship programs are designed to provide the services of young men and women committed to pursuing careers in engineering to regional, national and international engineering firms. Productive, practical engineering work experience is a fundamental part of a student's education. This concept recognizes the value of the three-way partnership between the UT Martin Department of Engineering, the employer and the student. The engineering co-op and internship programs are administered by the office of the dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
All engineering students are required to complete an internship program, or may complete a co-op program in lieu of the internship program. Students have the following two options:
- Complete at least a one-semester internship, during which the student works full time under the direct supervision of an engineer for at least 10 consecutive weeks. The internship is normally scheduled after the student has reached junior classification, and is normally fulfilled during the summer between their junior and senior years.
- Complete three semesters in a co-op program. A co-op program normally begins at the end of the student's freshman year, provided the student’s grade point average is 2.5 or above. A co-op student normally works three consecutive summers for the same employer, each summer working full time under the direct supervision of an engineer for at least 10 weeks. An employer may prefer that the co-op student work three consecutive co-op periods for a total of one full year. The third co-op work period will substitute for the required internship program. Students who co-op for a full year will receive one year’s work experience toward the four-year work experience requirement for the Professional Engineers Examination.
In order to be considered for a cooperative education or internship position, a student must:
- Develop and submit a resume to the CENS office, preferably in the fall semester.
- Sign and return the academic release form to the CENS office.
- Participate in a co-op or internship orientation meeting with the dean or designate.
- Notify the dean’s office when an employer has offered the student a position.
- Abide by all the work rules of the employer.
- Students must provide biweekly status reports and a final report to the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
- Students should keep the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Office informed of any prospective employers, indicating company or organization name, contact person and phone numbers.
If the student does a co-op for an entire year and has a Tennessee Hope Scholarship, he or she must receive an approved “leave of absence” in order to keep the scholarship. Contact the dean’s office for additional information.
The following guidelines outline the policies by which each internship/co-op student agrees to abide and to be held responsible which applying for or participating in either program.
- Once an applicant has given verbal agreement and accepted a placement at a specific employer, the applicant has a firm obligation to accept any assignment resulting from this agreement.
- Due to the nature of cooperative education and internship employment, each co-op/internship applicant, as a condition of participation, agrees that under no circumstances will the student apply for unemployment compensation benefits based upon experience as a UT Martin cooperative education or internship program student.
- While working the cooperative education or internship participant is considered a full-time student of the University of Tennessee at Martin with the same general status as students on campus.
- Engineering students may apply for co-op positions after successful completion of at least the freshman curriculum at UT Martin or after one semester at UT Martin if a transfer student. The student must have at least a GPA of 2.50 to participate in the co-op program.
Relations with Employers
- The student will report to the employer ready to begin work on the morning of the first day of each scheduled period of work. However, each student must understand that he or she may be required to pass physical examinations and/or other appropriate tests and interviews before beginning work. A student who fails to meet an employer’s standard at this time will contact the CENS office immediately.
- The student may not report to work after the scheduled reporting date, or leave the job prior to the end of the work period without prior approval of the dean, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, or the dean’s designee and the student’s work supervisor. However the student is free to make arrangements to report to work prior to the scheduled reporting date provided the employer approves and there is no interference with the work of other internship/co-op students.
- The student may be terminated by the employer if the student fails to meet the employer’s expectations. If this occurs, the college designee will investigate the circumstances.
- The student is not usually affected by temporary layoffs; but, if an employer finds it necessary to terminate their internship/co-op program, each of their student employees who has maintained a satisfactory employment and academic record will be given priority over new student applicants in consideration for a new position.
- The student should not be required to accept an agreement with a company or agency that requires a statement of intent to accept permanent employment with the internship/co-op employer upon graduation. Permanent employment at the time of graduation is not obligatory on the part of the employer or the student.
- A transfer from one employer to another is made only in rare and unusual circumstances. Requests should not be made to accommodate personal desires, such as family or travel convenience and/or an attempt to change from one work period to another.
Academic and Administrative Requirement
- The student is expected to maintain academic work reasonably consistent with the ability demonstrated at the time of acceptance for internship/co-op, and to make normal progress toward completing degree requirements. A student who experiences a serious and/or steady drop in grade point average is expected to follow suggestions through counseling in order to reverse this trend. Failure to maintain a satisfactory record can result in academic probation, suspension from work assignments, and termination from the internship/co-op participation.
- Internship/co-op students are responsible for pre-registration or registration for classes for the following semester the student is in school.
- The student is required to prepare bi-weekly status reports and a final technical report.
- A co-op placement is tentative and requires the student to maintain high-quality academic work with a full-time course schedule. This includes the student’s academic work in the semester immediately preceding the full-time co-op work term.
- One semester hour of academic credit may be received for each work semester, provided the student is registered in the appropriate one-credit-hour course during the period in which they work. The engineering internship course is ENGR 313, and the engineering co-op courses are ENGR 201C, ENGR 202C and ENGR 203C. To receive one year of work experience credit for the Professional Engineers Examination, the student must have been enrolled in ENGR 201C, ENGR 202C and ENGR 203C.
- Upon receipt and evaluation of all the student biweekly reports, the student final report, and the supervising employer evaluation, the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences will assign a pass or fail grade for co-op work periods and a letter grade for internship work periods.
- The credit from either ENGR 313 or from ENGR 203C will be applied toward satisfying one credit hour for the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree.