The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tickle College of Engineering

Student Acceptances

From the time an offer is extended to a Co-op Engineering student at the University of Tennessee, three business days are allowed for students to consider the offer and decide if they will accept or decline it. This becomes especially important if the employer has prioritized students in an order to receive offers. There is very little abuse of this policy. If the Engineering Professional Practice program is informed of offers then we can keep the process moving along so you will not have to wait very long to find out who will be joining you. Your support of our “three day” policy is of the utmost importance.

After a student has accepted an offer with your company, he or she will send you a letter of confirmation for your records. Once a student has sent you a letter of confirmation, that student is obligated to fulfill his or her duty to your company. Our program is set up in such a way that students are not permitted to accept an offer from one company and then accept an offer from another. Students must fulfill their original employment acceptance unless there are extenuating circumstances.

When a Cooperative Engineering student accepts a Co-op position, it is with the intent to complete multliple work terms with the same employer. In fact, students sign a Co-op agreement to that effect when they first register to participate in the Co-op Program. At the same time, the employer makes a commitment to employ the student for multiple work semesters that will span a year and a half beginning at the start of the first work term. There are two good reasons for this commitment to be made by both parties.

  1. Continuity in the work place is necessary for students to be assigned more challenging subsequent assignments with increased responsibility, and
  2. Employers invest considerable money and energy into training students to be productive employees and should see a return on their investments. Workplace continuity does not mean that a student cannot move within the organization.

Depending on how your Co-op Program is structured, students could spend one work term with three different supervisors. This happens often with larger employers that want a student to see as much of “the company” as possible. These employers look at a Co-op Program as a recruiting tool, investing time and effort into training the student to be a productive member of their organization. They feel that students need to see a large sampling of the company in order to accept a permanent

There will be instances when a student will not continue with the organization. When it becomes apparent that a student will not remain with you, you should contact both the student and the Engineering Professional Practice program in a timely fashion so arrangements can be made to address this issue. The earlier this is done, the better it is for all parties.


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System