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The UIC Certificate in Co-Operative Career Experience (Co-Op Program)

The UIC Certificate in Co-Operative Career Experience (Co-Op Program)
University of Illinois at Chicago
The UIC Certificate in Co-Operative Career Experience (Co-Op Program)
1640 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago, IL 60608
Program Contact Litany Esguerra
Program Contact Email
Phone 312-413-3027
Website Program website
Facebook link to program Facebook page

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Co-Operative Career Experience Certificate program (Co-Op program)’s mission is to support students with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve competitive careers in the community. The U.S Department of Education funded the program’s development with a Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) grant. Co-Op is also recognized as a Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Program (CTP) by the U.S Department of Education.

This certificate is called the Co-Op Program because it uses Co-Operative Education methods. This means students learn through academic work in classes and through practical work placements in the community. This combination prepares Co-Op students to pursue careers after certificate completion. The Co-Op Program is an official UIC campus certificate program that will take about 2 years to complete.

Students in the Co-Op Program can choose from 3 focus areas:
Arts & Culture
Social Justice, Policy and Leadership
Health and Care Across the Lifespan

Program information submitted: January 12, 2023

Public or private: Public
Type of school: 4-year college or university
Is this program a federally funded TPSID program? Yes
Students in this program: Have graduated or exited from high school
Number of students: 11
Program serves students who have left high school? Yes, all of our students have left high school
Regular high school diploma required? No, an IEP/non-standard diploma/certificate of attendance is accepted
Deadline to apply to this program: February 22, 2023
Criteria for admission
  • Student must be 18 or older
Accepts out-of-state students? No
Please indicate which disabilities students in this program have:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Developmental Disabilities, Learning Disabilities
Program length:
  • 2 years
  • Varies from student to student
Acceptance, Retention, and Completion Rates
Acceptance rate for the most recent fall term: 70.00%
Retention rate for first year students from the previous academic year to the current one: 100.00%
Average student tuition and fees for the current school year: $11360.00
Is this program able to provide federal financial aid as a Comprehensive Transition Program (CTP)? Yes
Students pay for the program in the following ways:
  • Private pay (student and family)
  • Tuition Waivers
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Funds
  • Scholarships
  • Adult intellectual/developmental disability state agency funds
  • Federal Financial Aid
  • Grant Funding
Scholarships available: Scholarship can be disability specific, for students pursuing post-secondary education.
Students enrolled in this program take the following types of inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): Typical college courses for credit
More about course access: Students have full student status and enroll in college coursework for credit, resulting in a transcript. All courses that students take are integrated and are open to students without intellectual disability.
Percentage of academic time spent in inclusive courses (with students who don't have disabilities): 100%
Do all students in this program enroll in at least one inclusive college/university course for credit or audit each semester? Yes
Credential(s) students earn upon completing the program: Certificate in Co-Operative Career Experience
Is the credential approved by the college/university? Yes, this credential has been through a formal approval process at the IHE
Students in the program have access to the following campus-wide services:
  • Career services
  • Disability/accessibility services
  • Academic tutoring services
  • Health services
  • Access to a transcript via the registrar
  • Academic advising services (not program staff)
Percent of students in this program have paid work while attending the program: 100%
Other career development activities are:
  • Internships
  • Volunteer work
  • Community Service
Percent of students in this program that had paid work after exiting the program: 0%
Additional information about career development and work experience: Co-Op students take professional development courses for class credit. If students are not doing professional development, they are in a paid internship experience. Some students already have paid work experiences that exist outside of the program.
Does this program have a working partnership with VR to provide funding, supports and/or services to students in the program? Yes
Housing is provided to students: No
Students participate in student organizations on campus: Yes
Percentage of social time spent in inclusive activities (open to all students on campus): 100%
Students may participate in the following extra-curricular activities
  • Registered student organizations
  • Student government
  • Club sports
  • Campus events
  • Fraternities/sororities
Students participate in these campus-wide events:
  • College/University's Student orientation
  • College/University's Family orientation
  • College/University's Graduation