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At Faculty Senate, Provost Underscores Co-op Flexibility

In comments at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting, Provost Stephen Director reiterated President Joseph Aoun’s recent comments that Northeastern should provide more options and flexibility for students, such as the recently announced four-year co-op option.

In December, the university announced plans to expand its renowned co-op program by adding a four-year, two co-op option to the traditional five-year option that typically includes three co-op periods. The four-year option will help meet a growing demand from students who want all the powerful benefits of the co-op experience while finishing their bachelor’s program in four years.

“We recently announced the four-year, two co-op option which will expand our signature academic strength: Co-op and experiential learning,” said Aoun in a communication last week to faculty and staff. “For some students, the five-year program will remain the best choice, and we will continue to offer this option.”

“Students want flexibility and choice,” Director said Wednesday. “We are not replacing the five-year program, but providing another alternative to make co-op accessible to a wider range of students who want to come to Northeastern.” Director added that the five-year program will remain an option.

The university is introducing the four-year option as it marks the centennial anniversary of co-op. “This is a significant investment we’re making in co-op’s next 100 years,” Director added.

Students choosing the four-year option will participate in a broad range of experiential learning programs around the world, collaborate on research with faculty, and tap into the same faculty-guided process, advising and preparatory resources available to those choosing the five-year option.

As a point of context, Director noted that nearly half of the students in the College of Arts and Sciences have been graduating in four years with one, two and three co-ops — all of which will remain options.

David Luzzi, dean of the College of Engineering, mentioned recent surveys of admitted students that show a strong interest in flexibility to complete a bachelor’s degree in four years with the benefits of co-op.

For additional information about the four-year option, read:

Northeastern to expand co-op through four-year option

Frequently Asked Question on the four-year option

New issue of the Northeastern Magazine on the future of co-op

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