Cooperative Work Study Program

The Cooperative Work Study Program (CWSP) offers students an opportunity to gain work experience related to their academic majors. Students in CWSP will experience resume writing, interview opportunities, and a paid internship experience at an employer they select to build their resume further. Students earn an income that could be used to reduce college expenses and credit that can be applied to the students degree or certificate.

CWSP allows businesses to hire quality employees at a cost savings.


The CWSP is a grant funded by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. It reimburses employers 50% of student wages or salary.


In order to participate, students must:

  • have at least 12 college credits earned
  • a cumulative 2.0 GPA
  • be enrolled in a degree or certificate program
  • work a minimum of 80 hours to a maximum of 320 hours

Note: Education majors must have a minimum of 30 college credits earned in order to receive a teachers aid certification. Certification is required before employment may begin in a school system.

Employers participating must provide employment relevant to the student’s degree or certificate.



  • Earn a salary
  • Earn college credit
  • Gain valuable work experience for a resume
  • Gain an advantage of obtaining an interview


  • Receive 50% reimbursement on wages or salaries up to $12 per hour for a maximum of 320 work hours per semester
  • Interview and select interns
  • Strengthen network with college instructors for future recruitment
  • Can request internships be advertised
  • Participation is open to any Illinois employer

Getting Started

Students can get started with CWSP by completing these steps:

  1. Verify Your Eligibility
    Verify that you have at least a 2.0 GPA and have earned at least 12 credit hours.
  2. Complete a Resume
  3. Complete the Interested Student Application
  4. Receive your Acceptance Notification
    You will be contacted of your acceptance status via your Laker Mail account.
  5. Meet with the CWSP Coordinator
    Call the Career Services office to schedule an appointment with the CWSP Coordinator at 217-234-5457 or email
  6. Complete the Required Program Forms