COVID Policies

This page will serve as an information hub for all things Co-op in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please read the information below and visit this page to stay informed on developments on the situation as it relates to the Co-op program. We will be updating this page periodically as things develop. If you have further questions or concerns, please email co-op@umn.edu for further assistance.

FALL 2020

As of 8/24/2020, the Co-op Program's best option for staying in line with the University's current Community Engagement Policy is to continue to allow 100% remote work in order for Co-op students to earn credit. However, we are well aware that many employers are requiring or preferring Co-op students to return to on-site work for the Fall semester. If you are planning any on-site for the Fall semester, please fill out and submit an exemption request to the Provost's Office as soon as you are able. As was the case with summer Co-op courses, you will be required to provide verification of remote work or proof of exemption as part of your Co-op course in order to earn credit. For students who are working a hybrid of in-person and on-site, please file for an exemption as well. These exemptions are processed by the Provost's Office, so we do not have control over the decisions or how long they take to process. For inquiries about when you will hear back, please email provost@umn.edu.

For any questions about your Co-op position, please always feel free to reach out to the program at co-op@umn.edu and we will do our best to help. 

SUMMER 2020

“100% Remote” Work Requirement for Summer 2020 in response to COVID-19:

To comply with University policy in response to COVID-19, students may not earn credit for the co-op experience unless that work experience is 100% remote, i.e. a face-to-face work environment is not required. If the company certifies the co-op position as 100% remote for the entire summer, then the co-op course the student(s) enroll in will earn university credit as a technical elective course (as usual).

If the company cannot offer fully remote work, there are three options for each student. First, they may choose to decline the position to avoid putting themselves in a potentially unsafe work environment. Alternatively, they may choose to accept the position for their own personal reasons even though it will not earn any technical elective credit. In either case, the University currently prohibits any student’s work experience being used to earn course credit unless the position is 100% remote. The third alternative is to obtain an exemption from the University policy, discussed later.

It will be up to the student and their matched company to determine whether a position can be offered remotely. We are aware that many companies are in the process of determining their own work policies, and because these policies are evolving day to day with each company, we will be asking students to verify their working conditions with the company using the contact information from the offer letter you received from the company. Please report your job status (accepted or declined, etc.) and the company contact information via the job status form. We will contact the company using the contact information you provide us and obtain the 100% remote certification required.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at co-op@umn.edu. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

Remote Work Verification Options

There are two remote work verification categories student may fit into:

If you are not yet enrolled in a Co-op course, you will need to verify your summer work will be remote by completing the Job Status Form. We will then use the supervisor information you provide to verify your remote work for the summer before issuing permission to enroll for your Co-op course.

If you are already enrolled in a Co-op course, you will be required to submit proof of your remote work in your Canvas course as an assignment. This can be submitted in a variety of forms including, letters issued by supervisors on company letterhead,email chain screenshots, or PDF's including verification from the employer. If you have been issued an exemption or granted a workless petition (see details below), you may simply provide a copy of either in the Canvas assignment to satisfy this requirement. Failure to satisfy this required assignment will result in failure of the course as a whole.