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 (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 (from 2012 statistics: between $7,400 - $20,000/semester)
  • 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?

Co-op alternates/sandwiches semesters of regular academic courses with semesters of paid, full-time work experience called work terms.  Each work term is a course (making you a full-time student) that is recorded on your transcript.  In addition to active engagement on the job, critical reflection assignments are submitted to the instiution in cooperation with your employer during the course of the work term for a grade. 

The successful recruitment of co-operative education students is a collective effort of three parties – the interested 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.

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