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University of Cincinnati cooperative education program ranked No. 4

University of Cincinnati cooperative education program ranked No. 4

On a sunny Tuesday, 20-year-old Tyler Wirth hops on a lift at the University of Cincinnati dormitory construction site on Calhoun Street. 

It’s a rickety ride with eight people crammed into the hoist, but Wirth smiles and assures it’s safe.  

Before stepping off onto the 13th floor, the top floor of the residence hall that was recently gutted and is now being remodeled to accommodate 822 students, Wirth’s eyes light up.  

“It’s probably my favorite view of Cincinnati,” he says. 

And it is a nice view. On one side you can make out the crown atop the Great American Tower in the Cincinnati skyline and, on the other, you can look out across the whole of UC’s campus. Once the building is finished, some students might even be able to catch a football game from their dorm room window, gazing down into Nippert Stadium. 

Tyler Wirth, a University of Cincinnati sophomore, who works as a project engineer for Messer Construction through the UC cooperative program, looks up at a construction site before doing a safety inspection at the University of Cincinnati campus on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. Wirth is in his second co-op work semester at UC. Wirth's duties at Messer include making safety checks of a construction site.

What is cooperative education?

This is Wirth’s twelfth week in his current cooperative education experience with Messer Construction, though he also worked with the builder last spring and kept in touch with his supervisor during his summer courses. UC consistently ranks highly among university co-op programs. Officials said the program has only grown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wirth says he’s walked the building top to ground floor at least 50 times by now, doing safety walks three times or more each week. He likes being in the know about construction at the university. Sometimes his friends wonder aloud: “Man, what are they doing on Calhoun?” And Wirth can tell them – down to the number of beds the dorm will fit and which will be the first and last rooms ready for occupancy.