Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Co-op education for industry partners

What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education is a nationally recognized program that allows students to earn college credit while gaining valuable on the job experience in their major area of study.

As a cooperative education partner, you play a vital role in providing a learning environment for our students and in turn receive the benefit of their work.

What is the role of a cooperative education partner?

A cooperative education partner works with the PCC LAT program to host students in short-term positions at your company. Partners supervise and give feedback as well as provide an engaging learning opportunity for the student.

What’s the difference between a cooperative education position and any other job I might post?

Learning is key in cooperative education. The position needs to be designed with student learning in mind. The student’s work should build towards achieving the learning outcomes they develop with you at the start of the term. The rest of the experience will likely be very similar to training and working with other employees.

How prepared are the students I would work with?

Students participating in cooperative education have typically completed at least three terms of Landscape Technology coursework before working with you. Some are at the end of their program, nearing graduation. We encourage you to explore the student’s preparation in an interview setting as you would with other candidates.

How long would the student be with my company?

Students work with you over a three-month academic term. Check out PCC’s academic calendar to see general timelines for each term. In the Landscape Technology program, they spend a total of 90 hours on site during the term. In some cases, students may be interested in working a second term with your company. If there is an opportunity to continue with your company, we encourage you to communicate with your student about this. Many students go on to become full-time or part-time employees with their cooperative education partners.

Are students paid?

Yes. The majority of students are paid the current average wage for a new landscape industry professional. Wages should take into account the level of expertise and training of the student applying for the job.

What are the benefits of working with a PCC LAT student?

  • Training: Students come to your organization with the basics of formal landscape education and training already under their belt.
  • Connection as an industry education partner: we offer numerous opportunities to get involved with our students and make your mark on future industry members.
  • Support: you’re not alone in working with your student. You’ll have a faculty member and career specialist available for questions or guidance along the way.
  • Recognition: we appreciate your commitment to our students and we show it! Hosting a cooperative education student is a key part of reaching our highest level of industry partner recognition.

Is there a lot of paperwork?

No. There are three simple forms PCC requires of employers. And only the evaluation is filled out completely by you, the other two just require your review and signature. See form examples below:

Where do I sign up?

Great! You’re ready to host a cooperative education student. Your next step is to contact DeAnne Hardy, Careers and Jobs Specialist.

Join the ranks of these recent cooperative education partners:

  • As the Crow Flies
  • Aspen Creek Landscaping
  • Bosky Dell Natives
  • City of Portland | Bureau of Transportation
  • Cornell Farm
  • DeSantis Landscapes, Inc.
  • Echo Valley Natives
  • Green Artisans LLC
  • Heart 2 Heart Farms
  • Independence Gardens, LLC
  • Leach Botanical Garden
  • McQuiggin’s Landscaping
  • Native Plantscapes NW
  • Pacific Landscape Management
  • Paradise Restored
  • Pomarius Nursery
  • The White Pear
  • Tualatin Hills Parks & Rec District (THPRD)
  • World Forestry Center