This college is explicit about the role of work-based learning: "LaGuardia's educational philosophy is that learning takes place in many different settings both in and outside the classroom." Cooperative education is mandatory for all full-time students at LaGuardia, including a course that prepares students for their first co-op placement; planning sessions with a faculty advisor; three internships or placements; and seminars which are taken in conjunction with each internship. There are three distinct levels of seminars. The first and third may be specific to a student's chosen area of study, or may be generic, focusing on common workplace issues. All students take the second seminar, "Fundamentals of Career Advancement," which focuses on using the workplace to gain information about skills and personal requirements for upward mobility. The seminars allow students to actively explore careers; to master skills and competencies common to all jobs; and to explore social, ethical, political, and moral themes associated with working.
While the structure and role of the co-op seminar is sound, its effectiveness also depends on other factors. These include the background and training of the instructor, his or her understanding of the seminar's purposes, the instructional methods used, and the integration of the program into the larger college curriculum. The study concludes that the work-based component must become so central to the educational purposes of institutions that, even in times of scarce resources, it becomes as unthinkable to give it up as it would be to abandon math, English, or science.