Cooperative Education photo (1)

MCC’s cooperative education program made adjustments to their course requirements this semester, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

Arianna Illa, the coordinator of civic engagement and community partnerships, said, “The students had to do 180 hours at their internships, and the final project, which is a portfolio of all the things they’ve done at their internships throughout the semester, has been shifted to focus more on career exploration and readiness.”  

She said she had to find ways to provide students with a better understanding of their field of study that wasn’t involved with interning. 

“What they are working on now is a lot of career preparation, so [they are] doing career assessments, informational interviewing and resume writing,” said Illa. 

Illa said, “Not one student has the same exact situation as another, so it was hard to navigate each student’s individual situation and to make sure that we are working with their employers as they play a role in their final grade as well.” 

Illa said the majority of the students in the cooperative education class had their internships suspended.

Michael De Leon, a cooperative education student, said before the outbreak of COVID-19, he was working as a sensei for Code Ninjas teaching many children the fundamentals of coding through JavaScript and Scratch. 

“Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, I was taken out of the payroll, and I was told I’d be put back in after Code Ninjas is able to physically open up again,” said De Leon.  

De Leon said to complete the requirements for the class, he created a website for the class itself.

“Originally, students were supposed to create a portfolio that was [a] hard copy. However, that wasn’t possible when MCC decided to become virtual because of the coronavirus, so I took it upon myself to use my current skills and knowledge to create and design a website as my portfolio,” said De Leon. 

Illa said that she also had the eLearning department create a Canvas page for her class.

“We never needed one before, since all of the students are in different cooperative education classes, depending on their major,” said Illa. 

She said she likes how students are utilizing Canvas.

“They can have discussions and upload assignments easily, so I will probably continue that even when we are in person,” said Illa. 

She said although the transition to online is necessary, she hopes that she can get back in the classroom soon. 

“I very much miss meeting with the students in person. This is such a unique and fun class,” said Illa. 

For more information, contact Arianna Illa at AIlla@middlesexcc.edu or visit the cooperative education webpage at www.middlesexcc.edu/career-services/co-op/

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