Cooperative Education

value of internshipshaking hands

Explore Internships and Jobs
increase student success!

Consider an internship as an integral part of your college education. It’s a high-impact learning experience that integrates academic studies and real-world experience.


If you have a clear idea about your career interests and academic major, an internship can help you apply what you are learning in “real world” settings, gain more substantial professional experience, and begin to develop a network of people in fields that interest you.


Interning can help you various career alternatives, areas of career interest or possible career opportunities. If you are just beginning to figure out your major and career interest, an internship can help you become aware of the many different kinds of organizations comprising “the world of work,” provide high impact professional experience, and sometimes discover what you don’t want to do.

An internship will help you:

  • develop a work ethic and work values
  • develop skills to help you compete effectively on the job and in life
  • improve your interpersonal relations and communication skills

In today’s labor market, employers are increasingly looking to hire new college graduates with workforce skills.  The earlier you begin building these skills, the more opportunities will be available to you after graduation.

According to the annual National Association of College and Employers (NACE) Student Survey report, graduates applying for a full-time job are far more likely to receive a job offer and a higher salary if they had an internship experience!

What are some of the benefits of internships?

  • Gain practical work experience and begin establishing professional work habits and transferable skills
  • Apply what you've learned in the classroom to the workplace
  • Explore a prospective career path
  • Develop new skills, knowledge and confidence in your own abilities
  • Network with professionals in your field
  • Earn employment references and letters of recommendation
  • You can take your career plan for a test drive - you might discover early that another field might be a better fit and wouldn't you rather figure this out before your graduate?
  • Open the door to a potential job offer

Earn academic elective credit while you work

Enroll in a Cooperative Education (Co-op) course!  It’s a great way for you to gain work experience in your major or explore a different field of work.

What is a Co-op course?

Co-op is a course in which you can earn one (1) to six (6) hours of elective academic credit for work experience via employment, an internship or volunteering during the semester(s) you are enrolled in Co-op.

  • With help from the Co-op Coordinator, you can be placed in an appropriate business or industry and earn college credit while gaining practical knowledge at the same time.
  • You and your employer/supervisor complete a learning agreement containing learning objectives that you should meet or progress towards during your internship or other work experience.
  • Co-op is designed to enhance your learning and apply practical skills and learned  theories to work related duties in your field of study.

 You have two main responsibilities in Co-op:

  •  Have or obtain a work position (paid or unpaid) with a company and perform practical job functions for one semester. 
    Your co-op work experience may be done via your regular job, an internship or as a volunteer.
  • Complete weekly reflection assignments utilizing the GCSC Canvas Learning Management System.

Read some student comments about their Co-op course!

How do I find a Co-op / Internship?

  • Contact the Cooperative Education Coordinator to discuss your interests, availability and major
  • Look on the Co-op web page for a list of current internship opportunities
  • Research organizations where you may have an interest in interning
  • Attend career fairs at the college and through Career Source Gulf Coast
  • Students employed on campus via student assistant and work study programs may use this work experience to earn Co-op elective credit


Contact us

Kimberly Hoyt
Coordinator, Cooperative Education and Service Learning
Student Assistants Administrator

T 850.872.3874
Student Union East (SUE) Office 59
Gulf Coast State College does not discriminate against any person in its programs, activities, policies or procedures on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. All questions or inquiries regarding compliance with laws relating to non-discrimination and all complaints regarding sexual misconduct or discrimination, may be directed to  the  Executive Director of Human Resources/Title II/504/Title IX Coordinator and Employment Equity Officer, Gulf Coast State College, 5230 W. US Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401; 850-872-3866.