The Cooperative Education Certification Program is designed to prepare individuals with the skills needed to function in the role of a Cooperative Education teacher coordinator. Co-op coordinators are responsible for planning, organizing, and administering work experience programs for high school students, which correlate the theoretical learning activities of the classroom with practical learning experiences on the job.

The Cooperative Education Certification Program addresses the following categories:

  • Program planning, development and evaluation
  • School-community relations
  • Student career and technical organizations
  • Professional development
  • Serving students with special and exceptional needs
  • Assisting students in improving their basic skills
  • Coordination of cooperative education
  • Integrating the academic and career and technical curriculum
  • Legal aspects and labor laws
  • Career and technical education guidance


Upon completion of the course requirements for cooperative education certification and approval from the PPDC certification coordinator, candidates will be eligible for the NOCTI Cooperative Education Assessment. The assessment is computer-based. The PPDC will coordinate testing through NOCTI and notify the candidate with additional information regarding specific policies and procedures required by NOCTI and the PPDC. Additional information is also available through the NOCTI Cooperative Education Blueprint.

NOCTI Cooperative Education Assessment Blueprint

Testing Dates

Open Enrollment Period

  • July 1st – June 30th

The assessment consists of an electronic computer-based test. Testing occurs periodically throughout the year. Candidates are reminded that they should schedule and complete their Cooperative Education Assessment well in advance of their emergency certification expiration date. 

To apply please contact Wilda Hackman at (814) 863-0805 or by email: [email protected] 

IMPORTANT: Any testing deadlines will not be extended.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible for the program the candidate must submit the following documentation to be reviewed by the testing center.

  1. Education: Must be a graduate of a secondary school or possess equivalent education credentials.
  2. Work Experience: Documentation that verifies "a minimum of two years (4,000 hrs) wage-earning experience. 
  3. Credentials: Must submit a complete personnel file of required credentials by the announced deadline.

What are the Employment Experience Guidelines and Requirements?

Employment experience guidelines and requirements are:

  1. A minimum of two years of wage-earning work experience beyond the learning period in an occupation directly related to the occupation to be taught.
  2. Comprehensive experience to include a major coverage of the skills of the occupation, not a narrow sampling of a few skills.
  3. Military employment or service beyond the training period directly related to the specific occupation.
  4. State professional licensure or selected national certification in the occupation.

What is the Learning Period?

You must have completed a learning period in the occupation you intend to teach. Work Experience as it applies to the OCA is defined as:

  1. Worker in a wage-earning experience as an apprentice and/or student.
  2. Student in a career and technical school, technical institute or college.
  3. Student in a cooperative career and technical education program.
  4. Student in a career and technical teacher education program which includes specialized or technical courses directly related to the occupation.
  5. Student in an associate degree program, in the occupation field.
  6. Graduate of an approved four (4) year college curriculum when the major field of study is directly related to the occupational field.
  7. Military training or instruction directly related to the occupation.

Employment Experience Considerations

  1. Part-time work experience will be evaluated on the basis of two thousand (2000) clock-hours as equivalent to one (1) calendar year.
  2. For occupations requiring a state professional license or selected national certification, such as license or certification when issued by an accredited state or national association, will be accepted in lieu of the competency examination, but not in lieu of the Occupational Competency Assessment Program, which includes evaluation of wage earning experience beyond the learning period, the validating of licenses, and high school graduation or equivalent.
  3. Work experience used in verifying occupational experience in one occupation may also be used to verify occupational experience in another closely related occupation.

Occupational Experience

Occupational experience is required in each of the major occupational areas combined to form a cluster career and technical program.

Teaching Experience

Teaching experience or supervisory experience in the occupational area cannot be counted toward meeting the work experience requirement.