Cooperative Education Program

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What is Co-op?

Cooperative Education is about much more than work experience.   A co-op work term is a course that goes on your transcripts (making you a full-time student) and links your classroom instruction with paid, full-time work experience in your field of study, all while filling the short-term (usually four or eight months) recruiting needs of employers.

The work term often serves as a “test drive” for both employers and students to assess suitability for future employment. There is also solid evidence that students who complete degrees with the cooperative education designation often receive higher starting salaries and find grad jobs sooner than their non-co-op counterparts.

Why Co-op?

Globe and Mail (May 2015): For students and employers, co-op education is a bridge to a wider world

Globe and Mail (June 2013):  Want university to be worthwhile? Take a co-op program

  • discover and understand your career options
  • gain practical experience in a real-world setting
  • explore a variety of employment sectors
  • build a professional resume
  • gain valuable job and life skills
  • make important business contacts
  • maintain your full-time student status while you work full-time
  • reduce your student loans
  • earn competitive wages (between $2,500 - $5,400/month)
  • try out your major
  • increase your marketability after graduation
  • join the thousands of students who say this phrase:  "The company I did my Co-op with wants to hire me after graduation!”
  • complete 1 to 6 terms/semesters before you graduate
  • obtain the Bachelor of Management Co-operative Education degree (with 3 terms)

How does Co-op work?

You are eligible for admission to the Co-op program in your first year and are required to complete 3 work-terms (12 months of co-op experience) prior to your final full-time academic semester in order to receive the Co-op Designation on your parchment. Co-op alternates semesters of regular academic courses with semesters of paid, full-time work experience called work terms, whcih can be undertaken in each of the fall, spring and summer semesters.  Each work term is a course (making you a full-time student) that is recorded on your transcript.  In addition to active and successful engagement on the job, critical reflection assignments are also completed in cooperation with your employer and a grade is then provided by the co-op program upon submission. 

The successful recruitment of co-operative education students is a collective effort of three parties – the employer, the co-op student, and the associated educational institution.    Co-op positions, whether posted on the co-op job board or on an employer's website, can only be completed by students registered in a Co-op Program.

Want to know more?

For more information about the Management Co-operative Education Program or if you have questions, please contact:

Susan Roulston (Price), Program Assistant, Management Co-operative Education
Faculty of Management
coop.assist@uleth.ca| 403-394-3935
AH154, Anderson Hall, University of Lethbridge

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