COVID-19 Professional Development Program Guidelines

Because of the COVID pandemic, students who have not been able to secure a traditional co-op position, are permitted to complete the Speed Professional Development Program (SPDP) as an equivalent to one co-op rotation for the summer 2020 term. This experience will provide students with the opportunity to earn industry recognized credentials in the form of skills that appropriately correspond or augment their discipline.


  • The SPDP experience consists of at least 50 hours of formalized trainings (must result in preparation for industry recognized credential, certificate or badge)
  • Experience will be unpaid
  • Trainings may be classroom-structured or virtual/online
  • The experience must be initiated by the student and must be approved by the Director of Career Development and Cooperative Education
  • Only one semester of Experiential Explorations will be approved as a substitution for cooperative education in the summer term of 2020
  • Students must identify and propose a final deliverable that adequately demonstrates their increased proficiency through their upskill training. Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one industry recognized credential examination as a final deliverable.



  • Completes the PDP enrollement form
  • Registers for the appropriate co-op course; will be placed in a blackboard module for tracking
  • Submits the PDP Proposal Form
  • Completes the PDP experience
  • Completes the required student reports – Case studies, discussion boards, Industry report and informational interview, LinkedIN profile will be reviewed
  • Meets with director in August for review of experience

Information regarding the Professional Development Modules
We recognize that some students have a late start date and are concerned about how to navigate a last minute cancelation. For students that are in that situation and those students that want to continue to search for a co-op after that May 14th last drop date, you will have the option to remain enrolled in your co-op experience and complete a set of professional development modules that lead to upskilling in a variety of areas.

The Professional Development Modules will include the following items:

Required items:

  • Industry Outlook report based on desired area of interest with geographical job outlook; Informational Interview requirement of a professional in the field, identification of related professional associations and a indicating impact COVID 19 has had on the industry
  • LinkedIN profile review; cover letter specific to employer
  • Ethics case study

Selection of 50-100 hours of upskilling or credentialed activities (# of hours will be negotiated based on PD Plan)

  • IBM credentialing: IBM Professional Skills, Design Thinking, Gamification, Personal Brand as well as credentialed and technical skills
  • LinkedIN Learning modules on desired topics: Professional Development, Interviewing, Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Teamwork, Communication, Technical writing, Etc. Modules lead to badges that appear on LinkedIN accounts.
  • Kahn Academy – Disney Imagineering
  • Hands on skill development hours (FirstBuild, Engineering Garage, AMIST etc.)

Students will research the options and provide a plan for completing their PD hours.