Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Application deadlines, costs, eligibility requirements, rules, and the application process including the application form are found here.

What is Co-op?

Co-op provides you with a chance to network with experienced professionals and gain career insight before graduation through paid, full-time work terms in your field of study. Because Co-op is a learning experience that goes hand in hand with your academics, it is also a course that goes onto your transcripts. The work place is the classroom, and there are assignments as homework.

You can gain important employability skills while applying what you have studied in university to business settings. As a co-op student, you can make positive contributions to an organization through planned, supervised work terms.

Although there is a tuition fee for your co-op work term course, the good news is that unlike many work study programs, co-ops are paid employment positions. Many students have received permanent employment offers upon graduation. Not surprisingly, a lot of co-op employers are former co-op students themselves.

What is a work term?

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: Mgt 3002 (Work Experience I), Mgt 3003 (Work Experience II), Mgt 3004 (Work Experience III), Mgt 3005 (Work Experience IV), Mgt 3008 (Work Experience V) or Mgt 3009 (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.

When should I apply to Co-op?

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.

What is a typical salary?

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.

Management students in 2014 earned between $2400 and $5400 per month. However, it is the experience, not the wage, which ultimately provides for a successful co-op term.

Where are Co-op Jobs?

The Co-op Offices focuses job search mainly in Alberta, but co-op positions are recruited from other locations in Canada and internationally. The current labour market generally dictates where jobs are found.

Can international students join Co-op?

All students who meet the Management Co-op criteria are welcome. We recommend you gain volunteer or work experience in Canada before applying for co-op positions.In addition to the mandatory career management process, international students must apply for and obtain a co-op work permit(at no cost) before they are able to apply to co-op jobs. Because this process can take several weeks, we recommend international students apply to the co-op program well in advance of when they wish to go on a work term.Students who are not Canadian citizens or landed immigrants are selected less frequently by employers. However, please note many international students successfully attain co-op positions posted through the co-op program, while others choose to pursue self-initiated co-op work terms.

Visiting (exchange) students are not eligible to participate in the co-op program.

Where do you find co-op jobs?

We acquire the majority of co-op opportunities when we actively seek out quality opportunities and employers. These employers then provide employment opportunity postings. You may locate co-op work term opportunities yourself with the assistance of the co-op office. Management Co-op reviews the content of all employment opportunities to ensure they have developmental focus. Co-op opportunities come from many sectors including energy, manufacturing, government, services, tourism, not-for-profit, small business, high-tech and public accounting firms.

Can I set up my own Co-op?

YES!! Positions that students find independently, but want to register as a co-op (self-initiated co-op) must be approved by the Co-operative Education Director prior to accepting offers.

What is a co-op designation?

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.

Can I transfer a Co-op term from another institution?

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.

Can I transfer a Co-op term from Arts & Science Co-op?

Co-op terms completed with the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Lethbridge count toward a co-op designation as follows:

Combined Program: If you have completed three co-op work terms with U of L Arts and Science Co-op, and three terms in Management, youcan receive the Co-op designation on both your Arts or Science degree and your Management degree. If you complete a combination of three work terms between two faculties, you can obtain the designation on only one of your degrees.

Program Change: Students who complete one or more co-op work terms with Arts & Science Co-op and then switch to Management can transfer all work terms toward a designation in the Bachelor of Management degree.

What happens to my scholarships and/or loans while on a work term?

Students have interest free status on loans while on a work term because you are still considered full-time. Students on work terms receive and are eligible for the same scholarships as you are during a regular semester.

Does my accounting co-op count towards the practical experience required for a CPA?

See CPA website.

What does it take to be successful in Co-op?

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.

How do employers select students?

Students apply to positions posted by Management Co-op by submitting their application as per the posting requirements. Management 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.

When do work terms take place?

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.

Can I get a summer job through co-op?

Management Co-op is more than just a source of summer employment. It requires a different type of commitment from students. Co-op is a career management strategy — an investment students make for the future. The benefits go far beyond simply getting a summer job.

What is the typical employment period?

A period of employment may be four, eight, 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 eight-month periods of employment (two back-to-back four-month work terms). This preference for eight-month terms is because of a greater return on investment for the employer and more advanced learning for the student.

How are co-op work terms graded?

A universal practice in co-operative education at the university level is to grade non-credit work terms on a pass/fail basis. To pass Mgt 3002, 3003, 3004, 3005, 3008 and/or 3009, you must complete work term requirements and receive a satisfactory performance appraisal from your employer.

How do I fit Co-op into my program planning?

Although stuudents can join the co-op program in their first year, it is recommended that students complete at least ten courses toward their Degree before the first Co-op work term as this means they have sufficient background to fulfill employer needs and will perform well in the workplace. Planning and preparation for a Co-op work term can take up to six months, so remember to apply early!

Students complete alternating semesters of academics and work terms (please see sample co-op sequencing below). Co-op work terms must be completed in different seasons (to benefit from differences in nature of work, demands and priorities in the work place) and must end on an academic semester.

Sample Co-op Sequencing

 

Fall

Spring

Summer

Year 1

Academic Term

Academic Term

Vacation

Year 2

Academic Term

Academic Term

Work Term #1

Year 3

Academic Term

Work Term #2

Academic Term

Year 4

Work Term #3

Academic Term

Academic Term

 

 

Fall

Spring

Summer

Year 1

Academic Term

Academic Term

Work Term #1

Year 2

Work Term #2

Academic Term

Academic Term

Year 3

Academic Term

Work Term #3

Academic Term

Year 4

Academic Term

Academic Term

Vacation

 

 

Fall

Spring

Summer

Year 1

Academic Term

Academic Term

Vacation

Year 2

Academic Term

Work Term #1

Work Term #2

Year 3

Academic Term

Academic Term

Work Term #3

Year 4

Work Term #4

Work Term #5

Work Term #6

Year 5

Academic Term

Academic Term

Vacation

 

Sample Co-op Sequencing – Post Diploma Bachelor of Management

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 3 Academic Term Work Term #1 Work Term #2
Year 4 Academic Term Academic Term Academic Term

Sample Co-op Sequencing – Management Certificate

  Fall Spring Summer
Year 1 Academic Term Work Term #1 Academic Term

Can I get academic credit for a work term?

Work terms do not count for academic credit. However, if you do three work terms (12 months) you receive the co-op designation on your Bachelor of Management degree.

Can I take other classes while on a work term?

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.