Unique among college internship programs, MECOP Inc., the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program, demonstrates the power of an effective partnership between industry and higher education. The source of strength for these programs is in the: support through the active involvement of member organizations, insisting upon a high order of industry interaction with participating universities and their students, producing work ready graduates, and continual improvement as universities adjust their curriculum on recommendations made by MECOP's industry partners.
The MECOP Mission
Enhance and expand an industry driven work experience cooperative program through university partnerships, which is of the highest quality and meets the needs of Pacific Northwest industries by providing excellent real-world experience for students. We value our partnerships with participating schools and recognize the importance of work experience as a part of the educational process.
To be recognized as the best internship program in the Nation, now and in the future.
Diversity Equity and Inclusion
MECOP acknowledges and adheres to our commitment to both being and partnering with companies that maintain a workplace where everyone is treated with dignity and respect - one that is free from discrimination of protected classes, harassment, bullying, and other inappropriate conduct, whether physical, verbal, written, or visual. In order to maintain a workplace that values each person, we and the companies we partner with do not engage in any form of discrimination of protected classes, harassment, or bullying.
MECOP is a program available to students in disciplines in, and relating to, the engineering industry. These include:
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical Engineering
- Energy Systems Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Information Systems
- Manufacturing Engineering Technology
Many programs currently exist which blend university with industry partnerships. These programs are commonly organized and driven by the university which sponsors the program. MECOP is unique because it’s industry driven. Few internship programs have blended as many of the elements found in the MECOP. The program provides students at participating universities a unique and innovative program of education with “hands on” real world experience.
Most universities recognize the value to the student of real world work experience in a chosen field prior to graduating. MECOP’s aim is to bring industry leaders in engineering and business together with students, by providing high quality, mentored and paid internships with member companies. This provides students with real-world experience to supplement the technical / theoretical concepts presented through university coursework. Our goal is to supply the Northwest with high quality engineers and business professionals that are ready to work on day one and be true contributors in their fields. Over the past 40 years, approximately 70% of MECOP graduates have been hired by one of our member companies after completing their final internship.
Student applicants are selected into the program through two screening processes. First, an academic review is performed by a university advisor to ensure the applicant is qualified to take upper-division courses by Fall Term of the next school year. Applicants that pass their academic screening will go through an interview consisting of a panel of representatives of member companies participating in the program. Students are ranked based on interview scores from the interview panel and accepted based on MECOP's projected pool of internships in each discipline for the next internship year. The goal of this screening is to make every effort to ensure selected students are committed, qualified and ready for future placement with a member company.
MECOP's objective is to enhance the education of students through internships at a variety of high-quality companies, each of which is screened for acceptance into MECOP with the same level of scrutiny that MECOP places on selecting students. To ensure a diverse experience, participating students are required to intern at two different companies in an effort to give the students as much real-world experience as possible and to expose students to differing work cultures and industries. Students are paid by the member company at approximately 70% of a similar entry level position.
Each year, prior to internship placement, all member companies and students are required to participate in a series of events with the aim of matching interns with employers. This process consists of a social gathering / job fair to introduce students and member organizations, followed by interviews for internship placement. Each student is interviewed by a panel consisting of industry representatives looking for a student in their discipline. This process is used to gauge student interest and skills against the projects and other related needs of each member company represented. Following interviews, industry reps select their students through a lottery process, followed by placement announcements sent to students after the event.
Each participating company and university appoints a representative to attend member meetings and represent their organization. These representatives serve a vital role in the program. These members serve on committees, which provide direction and recommendations to the Board of Directors. They also develop, help manage, and actively participate in all program activities. These activities include, but are not limited to, curriculum development, financial support to the program, student selection, development of internship sites, placement of students into internships, and the promotion of MECOP.Participating Companies | Participating Universities
MECOP administration is a nonprofit corporation overseen by a Board of Directors. The board currently consists of 14 directors. Directors are elected by the industry member representatives for staggered three-year terms at the Member Annual Meeting. Each Director may also head a specific committee (e.g. Finance, Student Support, Operations). The Board of Directors collectively work with the Executive Director to carry out the MECOP mission.Meet our Board of Directors...
MECOP's Executive Director is responsible for the implementation and administration of the program, reporting directly to the Board of Directors. It is a full-time position supported by the MECOP Board of Directors and the MECOP Office. This organizational structure is designed to ensure accountability to both industry and the Universities and promotes a balance between the two interests.
The MECOP Office, currently based in Corvallis, Oregon, runs the day-to-day operations of the program. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Managing program related records and materials.
- Planning and administering MECOP events (e.g. Internship Placement Interviews).
- Facilitating communications among the three parts of MECOP (students, industry and universities) through the MECOP website and email/phone communications.
- Assisting the Executive Director and the Board of Directors with program administration.
- Handling the day-to-day finances of the program.
Each member company pays a fee to participate in the program. If a member company is in CECOP (the Civil Engineering branch within MECOP), this fee is based on the size of the company. For all other companies participating in MECOP, it is a base fee plus a fee per student. The exact amounts for the fees are determined by the Board of Directors. The funds raised are used to support the administrative end of the program (The MECOP Office), along with other administrative overhead incurred through the operation of the program.