Experiential Learning & Co-op

Learning extends beyond the classroom at Northeastern. Providing students with opportunities for experiential education that links coursework with the real world is central to the mission both of the University and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences.

Teamwork and Transformation

Our broad mix of experience-based programs-including co-op, student research, service learning, and global learning-build the connections that enable Bouvé students to transform their lives and gives them valuable opportunities to practice their profession as members of a health care team.

Bouvé students enrich their classroom studies and explore their path by working in professional settings through the University’s signature cooperative education program. Students also have the opportunity to conduct research on their own or in partnership with a faculty member. They connect with the community through service learning and other efforts that engage with Boston’s neighborhoods. And they expand their educational boundaries and acquire greater world perspective through global learning opportunities.

We believe strongly in the value of experiential learning, that we require all undergraduates to complete at least one co-op, research, service learning, or global learning experience. See the NU Core requirements. It’s the Northeastern difference.

Other Information
Contact Information

Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences
Moira Mannix Votel, MA
Director of Cooperative Education
203 Robinson Hall
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617.373.3422
Tel: 617.373.3446
[email protected]

Benefits of Co-operative Experience in Physical Therapy

The Building Block of Professional Experience

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a unique program which allows students to alternate periods of academic study with periods of paid employment. We are very proud that we are the only Physical Therapy program in the country that offers this opportunity. Post bachelorate students complete 1 six month cooperative education experience in a variety of PT settings including outpatient, inpatient and school-based settings. Students are able to work as part of a health care team and acquire hands on experience that contribute to knowledge that translates into strong communication and clinical skills.

Co-op positions support success in the classroom and develop awareness of the profession of physical therapy.

International Physical Therapy Co-ops:

  • NeuroFit Clinic, Barrio Escalante in San Pedro, Costa Rica
  • Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre, Capetown, So Africa
  • Nepal Orthopedic Center, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Children’s Hospital of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Peru

  • Haute Ecole de Sante Vaud – University of Health Sciences, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Tunaweza Children’s Centre, Kampala, Uganda
  • University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  • McCormick Hospital, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Haley Waud

Coop Student Haley Waud Recognized for her Work in Guatemala

Cooperative education allows students to translate classroom experiences to real life. Haley Waud knows first hand the benefits of cooperative education and how it has helped her affirm her commitment to physical therapy. Please click this link to read her story.

Students’ Reflections on the Co-op Experience

``I learned about many new age forms of treatment including concepts such as PRI, DNS, and FMS. I also learned a lot about baseball specific training and the importance of not only strength but mobility and stability. I was pushed to be the best I could be academically by constantly being quizzed which has helped to make me a much smarter person.`` -Max
``I learned to work as a team member that was relied upon to help where needed. I learned to reflect and evaluate treatments and to determine what the best path of treatment was. I was taught to constantly make sure that the patient was safe and that the patient understood what was being asked of them. I was taught to determine the primary risks, and what steps to take to avoid those risks. What the primary goals of treatment were, and what were the best methods of treatment.`` - Constance
``I was exposed to such a wide variety of patient populations that I was unfamiliar with prior to this job. I also enjoyed working with each of the therapists on the floor, as each had a different approach to treatment. It was also wonderful to have many of the employees outside of OT and PT, such as the RNs, CNAs, SLPs, pulmonologists, and MDs be so helpful and teach me things as they were working as well.`` - Jenna
``Everything about this experience was positive for me. I learned SO much, more than I ever thought I would. Not only did I learn a lot about physical therapy, but a lot about myself as well. Now I know what I want to do when I graduate and how I want to do it. I also learned invaluable communication skills. I learned how to be professional. I learned what it is like to love your job. This experience was amazing!`` - Kelsey