Co-op Frequently Asked Questions

Application to Co-op

Click here to start your online application today!

Login to your Career Bridge account to book an appointment yourself or contact us for more information.

Apply early! Because recruiting begins four to eight months prior to the start date for a position, and time and effort are needed to prepare for the recruitment process, we encourage students to join the Co-op Program in your first year or as soon as you start classes at the U of L.

Application to the co-op program means you have made the commitment to invest additional time and effort needed to be successful in co-op.In issuing invitations to join the program, Management Co-op encourages development of the “whole person” method also used by many leading corporate, public and professional organizations for success in the program.

The whole person concept considers four key dimensions: academic performance, extracurricular activities, community service (volunteerism) and employment experience.

Your GPA should be at minimum of 2.50 in Arts, Science, Public Health and Fine Arts and a minimum of 2.70 in Management. If your GPA is lower than this, please still apply as we evaluate applicants on a case by case basis.

The Co-op program is for undergraduate students who have not completed their degree. If you have already graduated, Counselling & Career Services (CCS) is available to help with resume writing, on-campus recruiting and career research. Login here to book an appointment with a Career Advisor or contact Counselling and Career Services to book an appointment with a Career Counselor.

There are two introductory sessions that are required to be admitted to the Co-op program. But following those, no. However, they are strongly recommended and do increase your chances for success.

Application to the co-op program means you have made the commitment to invest additional time and effort needed to be successful in co-op.In issuing invitations to join the program, Management Co-op encourages development of the “whole person” method also used by many leading corporate, public and professional organizations for success in the program.

The whole person concept considers four key dimensions: academic performance, extracurricular activities, community service (volunteerism) and employment experience.

Applying for Jobs

Please feel free to ask us for assistance with your resume and cover letter. We can give you valuable tips and suggestions that can make your application a winner. Also, plan on attending one of our regularly offered workshops.

Applying for jobs through the student portal is easy! Once you are admitted to the Co-op program you will be granted access to the online job board. To log on to the job board, you will need to use your University of Lethbridge email username and password. If you are having difficulties with the online job board please contact us. Simply search for jobs that interest you, apply with requested documents (resume, cover letter, transcripts, etc.) and watch your dashboard for updates on each position you apply to! More specifics can be found in the student help files within your student portal.

You have the right to decide where and when you want to do a Co-op work term. However, it is recommended that you not limit yourself too much as that will decrease the number of opportunities available to you.

University of Lethbridge Co-op students have worked in countries like England, Germany, Israel, and the United States. You can do Co-op anywhere in the world at anytime during your degree. You should talk to the Co-op office or Arts and Science Academic Advising about sequencing your courses with work terms.

Yes, unless the posting tells you otherwise. A cover letter greatly increases your chances of being selected for an interview and allows you to relate your skills to the specific job requirements. Many applications go to Human Resources Departments and then are distributed to individual Managers.

Our office is diligent in following up with employers. Once interviewees are selected, we will notify all candidates, successful or not. Please note: we follow up with employers after 2 weeks has lapsed. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding jobs you have applied for.

Once hiring decisions are finalized, our office will contact all candidates, successful or not. Contact us if you have any concerns.

Sometimes the recruitment process can be quite lengthy. Our office does its very best to keep students up-to-date on the status of all positions. If you would like to discuss the effectiveness of your cover letter and/or resume, contact us to book an appointment.

It may be related to your interview approach and strategy. Contact us to book an appointment and discuss this further.

Students apply to positions posted by Co-op by submitting their application as per the posting requirements. Co-op usually communicates with the employer on your behalf for decisions regarding interviews. Once interviews have taken place, the employer makes offers of employment.

Work Terms

A work term is a four-month period of full-time paid employment in a position utilizing an area of related studies in a particular management major. Each work term is treated as a non-credited, non-academic course graded on a pass/fail basis. When enrolled in a work term, you maintain full-time student status by enrolling in one of the following courses: Work Experience I Work Experience II, Work Experience III, Work Experience IV, Work Experience V or Work Experience VI. A co-op work term position ensures a meaningful experience that complements your education and broadens your skills. The primary objective is to provide you with a planned, supervised work experience that will enhance your academic learning and enhance employment marketability upon graduation.

You may apply to the Co-op Office to receive transfer credit for one (1) co-operative education course completed in an approved co-op program at another Canadian post-secondary institution. Transfer credit for a previous Co-op must be approved by the Co-operative Education Director at the time of application to the program.

Co-op Work Terms are registered through the Co-op Office. Contact us to register your work term and for more information about your Co-op work term.

It is a general convention of co-operative education that salaries paid to Co-op students vary by type of assignment, economic sector and sub-sector, geographical location, how many courses the student has completed towards his/her degree and whether or not the student has completed previous co-operative education work terms. Students in 2017 earned between $2400 and $5400 per month. However, it is the experience, not the wage, which ultimately provides for a successful Co-op term.

There are three work term periods: fall (Sept.-Dec.), spring (Jan.-April), and summer (May-Aug.). Hiring for these generally takes place one to four months in advance. The spring (Jan.-April) recruiting cycle is for work terms starting in May, the summer (May-Aug.) recruiting cycle is for work terms starting in September, and the fall (Sept.-Dec.) recruiting cycle is for work terms starting in January.

A period of employment may be 4, 8, 12, or in rare cases, 16 months in duration. Usually, periods of employment alternate with academic semesters, but this may not be the case when an employer prefers to link several work terms into a single extended period of employment. Many employers prefer 8-month periods of employment (two back-to-back 4-month work terms). This preference for 8-month terms is because of a greater return on investment for the employer and more advanced learning for the student.

A full-time job can be used as Co-op provided it is related to your degree and will provide learning opportunities. A Co-op Coordinator will make this determination. Contact us if you would like to use an upcoming or current full time job as a Co-op work term. This type of Co-op is called self-initiated Co-op.

The advantages of doing a Self Initiated Co-op include, but are not limited to:

  • Completing your first work term. Subsequent work terms often pay more, and are easier to secure once the first one is completed.
  • First step toward getting your Co-operative Education Designation on your degree
  • Personalized job search assistance. If you have special requests for specific locations and/or companies one of our Coordinators will work with you and provide you with assistance, tools and support.

Yes, If your Co-op position is in Lethbridge or Calgary you can take one course in addition to Co-op. However, you must get special permission from the Co-op Coordinator and your work supervisor to register in more than one class in addition to Co-op. Some positions require out-of-town travel, training or overtime which would make attendance at courses difficult.

You should contact your Academic Advising office to ensure the course fits into your program and that you will receive transfer credit. You may be required to complete a Visiting Student Authorization form.

In addition to your monthly reports, contact us whenever you have an update, question or concern. If they are of a serious or urgent nature, do not wait for the site visit. Keep us updated on any developments in your career/academic life. It is also recommended that you update your address and resume often and provide us with the most up-to-date version.

Yes! Watch the Co-op job board for these opportunities or contact us for more information.

Co-op Fees/Costs

As Co-operative Education is an academic program where your Co-op work term is noted on your University transcript, a tuition fee is charged for each work term. By having the work term be included in your transcript, it is not only valuable experience and boosts your resume, but it signals to employers that your work experience included a quality position with a quality employer affiliated with the University.

Co-op fees are due on the last day of classes for the semester that you are on a Co-op work term. This means you can pay for your Co-op as you complete it!

All Co-op fees are paid through the Cash Office. Click here to learn about how you can pay your fees. Contact the Cash Office with any questions.

Students doing a self-initiated Co-op have the same responsibilities (reports, site visit etc.) and pay the same tuition and fees. Click here for more information.

Some employers do pay relocation costs. The biggest determining factor is where the employer is located. Our postings will tell you if the employer is paying relocation costs. Stop by our office if you have further questions.

Your participation in the Co-op program ends upon graduation. As a result you don't pay any work term fees after graduation.

Student Loans

Since you retain your full-time status while on a Co-op work term, you will remain in interest free status. You must arrange to have Confirmation of Enrolment forms completed for each semester you are on a work term. Contact your loan provider for more information and feel free to contact the Scholarships and Student Finance office with any questions.

When you process your student loan, the confirmation of enrollment in full time studies is done automatically.

Academics

You get Co-op credit but you don't receive academic credit for Co-op. Co-op work terms are evaluated on a pass/fail basis and are extra to your degree. The completion of a Co-op Work Term is recorded on your official university transcript which can be shown to potential employers. You receive the real "credit" for Co-op at the completion of your third work term when you receive the Co-op designation with your degree.

Not completing three work terms means you don't receive your Co-op designation. Receiving the designation does demonstrate to employers that you've taken the time to go beyond a degree. Our office encourages all Co-op students to obtain their designation.

Yes, students can complete their academic degree requirements then complete Co-op work terms, provided you have not convocated. Your Academic Advising office can provide you with a letter that states you've fulfilled your degree requirements.

The Co-op designation is an achievement that tells employers you are sufficiently prepared to enter the workplace with limited orientation. You are seen to be a proven commodity in the eyes of potential employers at graduation, significantly reducing the risk that comes with hiring an entry-level employee.

Although you may complete up to 24 months of Co-op through a variety of experiences, 12 months (three work terms) of Co-op experience will earn the Co-op Designation. The Co-op Designation goes on both your degree parchment and transcripts.