Unique among cooperative programs, MECOP Inc., formerly known as the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program, demonstrates the power of an effective business/education partnership. The source of strength for these programs is the imaginative ideas they are founded upon: support by a voluntary annual assessment on member companies; insisting upon a high order of industry interaction with universities and their students; and continual improvement as Universities adjust their curriculum on recommendations made by MECOP's industry partners.
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
- Construction Engineering Management
- Electrical Engineering
- Energy Systems Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Geographic Information Systems
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Information Systems
Many programs currently exist with university-industry cooperation. Few, however, have blended as many of the elements found in the MECOP. The program provides students at participating universities with a uniqueand in many waysinnovative program of education.
Much discussion has evolved around the inability of major universities to provide an adequate education in engineering / business through a four-year program. Economic limitations hinder their ability to keep up with the pace of technological development, leading to a gap in what students are trained for vs what industry needs. MECOP’s aim is to bridge this gap, utilizing industry led, mentored internships to provide students with real-world experience to reinforce 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.
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 industry representatives participating in the program. Students are rank ordered 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 internship placement.
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 to give the students as much real-world experience as possible and to expose students to differing work cultures and industries.
Each year, prior to internship placement, all participating 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 industry representatives, followed by interviews for internship placement. Each student is interviewed by a panel consisting of industry representatives looking for a student in their discipline. The purpose of this is to gauge student interests, skills and needs against the projects and other related needs of each company the interviewers are representing. Following interviews, industry reps select their students through a lottery process, followed by placement announcements sent to students at a later date.
Each participating company and university appoints a representative to attend member meetings. This board of representatives serves a vital role for the program. These members develop, help manage, and actively participate in all program activities. These activities include but are not limited to curriculum development, financial support, student selection, development of internship sites, placement of students into internships, and the promotion of MECOP.Participating Companies | Participating Universities
MECOP administration is overseen by a Board of Directors. Directors are elected by the industry member representatives for staggered three year terms at the end of each year. Each Director may also head a specific committee (e.g. Finance, Student Support, Operations). 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 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 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 and annually voted for approval by industry representatives. 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.