It was Kaycee Chin’s final semester at Florida A&M University and she was looking to put the finishing touches on her class schedule. There were some real estate courses she was interested in taking, but when Chin attempted to enroll, she realized that the courses were only offered at Florida State University.
This was her first introduction to the FAMU/FSU Co-op Program, which allows students to take courses that are (or are not) required for their degree at the other university in town.
The co-op process is rather simple: a student must select which classes they want to take at the neighboring school, acquire signatures of approval from the course’s professor and the dean at their home school, obtain a financial clearance and submit that along with their immunization records to the other school.
However, the difficult aspect of the program doesn’t always come from the enrollment process. Enrollment Management Specialist and FSU Co-Op liaison Julia Marshall says that the differences in systems between FAMU and FSU can be quite arduous for everyone involved.
“We have to stay in constant contact with FAMU’s registrar office because some things are electronic and things can get lost between emails,” Marshall said. “Keeping deadlines the same and making sure students are aware has been difficult because we have to notify everyone – the deans, advisors, and students too.”
The back and forth between offices can be quite challenging – and that’s only for the average of 140 students between both schools that utilize the program per semester.
With about 50,000 students combined, why aren’t more FAMU and FSU students taking advantage of this program?
Chin, a 2017 graduate, said that the program was practically a myth to her and her fellow peers.
“I heard mumbles here and there about [the Co-op program] before, but none of the other students really knew anything concrete,” Chin said. “I was the only person from my class that did the co-op because nobody else had the information or asked the questions.”
This same sentiment was expressed by Registrar Admissions Officer and FAMU Co-op liaison Lottie Brown, who said that while the program may not be publicized, but information about it is within the reach of those who are really interested.
“All of the information about the program about the program is on [FAMU’s] website,” Brown said. “Students don’t always do their research. So, if they hit a roadblock when trying to enroll in classes on FAMU’s campus, the option to take classes at FSU is available to those who seek this route.”
While the program may not work for every student, Marshall said that the co-op experience is rewarding.
“The credit that a student receives through the program can go to your GPA, as opposed to just doing a transient credit,” Marshall said. “Also, the exposure is good for both FAMU and FSU students. I feel that they’re both great cultures, so it’s a great opportunity to learn different things from different people.”