Co-Op Advising Policy

BACK                                                    Prepared by Dr. Obaid Saad Alabdali

            Management and Marketing Department




Each student studying  in CIM must participate in a structured 28-weeks Cooperative program of practical training in his field. The student’s progress during co-op training will be monitored by CIM faculty member. The student must write an analytical report about his co-op work experience.

Note: this is my own guidelines with my coop students. Other faculty may have other guidelines.





A.        The purpose of the Co-Op program

  The University’s major goals are as follows:

1.         To provide students with actual work experience and training before      graduation.

2.         To increase the meaning and purpose of their studies.

3.         To provide the industry with well oriented professional.


B.        Student responsibility


1.         See your advisor before you leave and listen to his advise

2.         When at work, try to contact your advisor as frequently as possible. Keep him             updated and get his input and instructions.

3.         When at work. keep a record of your daily activities and be active in data             collection. You will need these later.

4.         When you come back from co-op assignment you must report immediately to your             co-op advisor. You must see him very frequently.

5.         Your co-op report should be completed, presented and graded before the start of             final exam in that semester. No delays are possible, no extensions of “I” grades are             possible. Any hard working students should be able to complete his report             sometimes in the middle of the semester.


C.        Advisor responsibility


            To help the student to complete the co-op assignment. Taking into account that  the sole responsibility is on the student’s shoulder.


D.        Technical Part ( Sequence of steps)


1.         Formulate Problem


You should define the problem you want to solve. Only when problem is carefully and precisely defined can research be designed to provide pertinent information. In this stage objectives should be specified.


2.         Determine Research Design


It depends on how much information we know about the problem. If is just too little is known about the problem, exploratory research will be warranted. We need to review published data, interviewing knowledgeable people, or investigating other literature that discuss the same case. The advantage of the exploratory research is its flexibility. If, on the other hand, the problem is precisely and unambiguously formulated, descriptive, or causal research is needed.



3.         Design Data Collection Methods and Forms


For the purpose of the coop, it is most likely  you need to depend on primary data, which are collected specifically for the study. The questions here are many. Should the data be collected by observation or questionnaire? Should the form be structured as a fixed set of alternative answers or should the responses be open ended?


4.         Design Sample and Collect Data


In this stage you must specify, among other things (1) the sampling frame, (2) the sample selection process, and (3) the size of the sample


5.         Analyse and Interpret the Data


You might collect a mountain of data, but these data are useless unless the findings are analysed and the results interpreted in light of the problem at hand. This stage involved several steps. First, the data collection forms must be scanned to be sure that they are complete and consistent and that instructions were followed. This process is called editing. Once the forms have been edited, they must be coded. Coding involves assigning numbers to each of the answers so that they may be analysed, typically by computer.


E.        Prepare the Co-Op  Report


The Co-Op report is the document submitted to the CIM committee  that summarise the research result and conclusions. It is all that the committee will see of your Co-Op training. Therefore, the report should be clear and accurate, since no matter how well all previous steps have been completed, the co-op will be no more successful than the co-op report.


The report should be complete, accurate, clear, and concise.


1.         Competence


The report is complete when it provides all the information readers need in language they understand. The co-op report  may be incomplete because it is too brief or too long. You should  not omit necessary definition and short explanation


2.         Accuracy


The co-op report can be accurate when the basic input is inaccurate. But even with accurate input, the research report may generate inaccuracies because of carelessness in handling the data, illogical reasoning, or inept phrasing.


Example for inaccuracy in co-op report writing


Simple errors in addition or subtraction “20% of the sample did agree, 35% neutral and 40% disagree” in this example (20+35+40 do not equal 100 percent), the reader may not know if one or more of the percentage values is incorrect or if a category might been left out of the tally.


3.         Clarity


The co-op report should be clear, you must know what do you want to say. Make an outline of your major points. Order the points logically and place the supporting details in their proper position. Tell the reader where you are going and then do what you said you were going to do. Once you have decide what you want to say, come out and say it. Choose your words carefully. Do not expect to get it right the first time; expect to rewrite it several times.



4.         Conciseness


Your co-op report  must be concise. You must be selective about what is included. If something does not pertain directly to the subject, it should be omitted. You should avoid lengthy discussion of commonly known methods. One helpful technique for ensuring that the co-op report is concise is reading the draft aloud. This point out sections that should be pruned or rewritten.


            4.1.      Report organisation


The co-op report might be organised as follow;


Title page

The title page indicates the subject of the report, the name of the college, department, the student name, advisor name, date.


Table of contents

The table of contents lists, in order of appearance, the division and subdivisions of the report with page references.



It should give the high points of the entire body of the report. Properly written. A good abstract contains the necessary background information, as well as the important results and conclusions.



If  you like to give special thanks for anyone help you during the co-op assignment. This the place for it.




This section provides background information that readers need to appreciate the discussion in the body of the report.


History of the company

Job experiences

Literature background

Research objectives




Conclusion and recommendation



The appendix contains materials that is too complex, too detailed, too specialised, or not absolutely necessary for the text. The appendix will typically contain as an exhibit a copy of the questionnaire or observation form used to collect the data.




F.        The Oral presentation          


In addition to the written report , you will need to present it orally.


How to prepared for the oral presentation?


First of all, you should know your audience. What is the interest of the committee of your co-op members.


How to organized the presentation?


You should begin by stating the general purpose of the study and the specific objectives that were addressed. But you should consult with your advisor.


 G.       How the final grade will be determined?


1.         One third (equivalent to two credit hours)

One third of the final grade will be placed on employer’s input, progress report, and other evaluations.


2.         Co-Op report grading           


            2.1       Grading weight equivalent to two credit hours


2.1.1.   Does the student understand and clearly present in the report the nature of the             company he worked for?

2.1.2.   Does the student understand the function of the department he worked for and   how it contributes to the successful function of the whole organization?

2.1.3.   Does the student understand his job function and its relation to other functions in             the company ?

2.1.4.   Constructive comments regarding the value of the co-op program.


2.2       Grading weight equivalent to four credit hours

  2.2.1  Is the organization of the report logical and does it help the reader obtain a clear             understanding of the technical points being presented?

2.2.2.   Completeness, example, are specific technical points pursued and discussed to  logical ends.

2.2.3.   Are tables well organized and to the points; are units properly specified; are       column headings and footnotes such that reader can understand the table without           lengthy reference to the discussion; are adequate citations of reference made     where this is appropriate?

2.2.4.   Are figures and graphs properly drawn; axes labeled adequately; are adequate   titles used and can the figures be understood without referring back to the      discussion:

2.2.5.   Are adequate reference citations present, are industrial terms and jargon, when             necessarily used, adequately explained?

2.2.6.   Do conclusions and recommendations necessarily follow from the discussion             presented?

2.2.7.   Did the student make any worthwhile suggestions for organization improvement.


This manual was prepared by using sources such as Marketing Research Methodological Foundation, 1991, By Churchill, G, JR, (Dryden). Memo from Dr. Eid Al-Shammari, Chairman, Dep. of Management and Marketing and a Handbook of Cooperative Program, KFUPM, 1976.



Note:   The co-op report should be flexible, it might change slightly than the original.

Good luck