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Co-operative Education

Co-operative Education combines full-time study and full-time, study-related employment. It is presently an option within Applied Arts, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, General Studies, Library and Information Technology, Science, Engineering transfer, and Kinesiology and Physical Education. Students should contact the Career Centre for further information, or visit

Co-op students must be engaged in productive, study-related work rather than merely observing others at work. The Co-op staff develop most of the placement opportunities; student-generated jobs are encouraged, and must be approved as suitable learning experiences by the Co-op Coordinator. Appropriate on-the-job accommodations will be implemented for students with disabilities.

Co-operative Education offers many benefits for students:

• Learning and applying job search skills through pre-employment seminars and a competitive job interview process.
• Testing and refining career choices in the context of the workplace.
• Gaining valuable on-the-job experience in their chosen field, which can enhance post-graduation employability.
• Earning competitive entry-level wages, which can help to offset educational costs and reduce dependence on student loans and part-time employment during study terms.
• Applying classroom learning in the "real" world

Co-op students must be engaged in productive, study-related work rather than merely observing others at work. The Co-op staff develop most of the placement opportunities; student-generated jobs are encouraged, and must be approved as suitable learning experiences by the Co-op Coordinator. Appropriate on-the-job accommodations will be implemented for students with disabilities.

All registered Co-op students have access to an online Co-op job postings system. These positions are open to Co-op students ONLY. Eligible students compete for placements through an interview process coordinated by the Co-op staff. Employers make the interview and hiring decisions. The staff also monitors the progress of each student on the job, through e-mail contact and at least one visit to each work site.

The Co-operative Education staff are located within the Career Centre.


Each Co-op work term is generally four or eight months in length. In addition to specified program courses, two work terms (diploma) plus three work terms (degree) are normally completed to earn a Co-operative Education designation. This extends the duration of the program by at least one semester for diploma and degree students. Students are encouraged to apply in their first year. After completing the equivalent of a first year of study, Co-op students alternate between semesters of full-time study and full-time paid work experience employment.

A typical study-work schedule is:

Year Fall Winter Summer
1 Study term Study term Work term
2 Work term Study term Work term
Study tern
3* Study term;
Diploma graduation
Study term Work term
4* Study term Work term Work term
5* Study term Study term Degree graduation

* These study and work term sequences will vary for students entering into a UFV Co-op option at the third-year level.


Many Co-op positions are situated in the central and upper Fraser Valley; however, students should give serious consideration to the possibility of relocation for the work term period. Co-op students may also work in the Lower Mainland and other areas of B.C. Students willing to commute or relocate will have access to the widest range of work experience opportunities. Questions regarding relocation should be discussed with the Co-op staff.

Entrance requirements

All Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and visa students are eligible to participate in the Co-op program. Visa students are eligible for work permits which are only valid for Co-op employment arranged through the Co-op program.

To apply for the Co-op option, students must attend an information session and complete an application form that is available online at

Applications are accepted in the Fall semester. The deadline to apply is September 30.

To qualify for the first work-term placement, students must:
• complete a Co-op online application form by September 30.
• attend an interview/orientation with Co-op staff to determine level of interest and ensure that the option is understood.
• be enrolled full-time in the diploma or degree program:
  • Science students must complete the equivalent of 25 second-year credits from courses listed in the Associate of Science, or Bachelor of Science degrees, and identify with at least one of the following disciplines: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics/Statistics. (See Science section for further details.)
  • Arts students must complete the first year of study (30-45 credits) one year prior to placement, and identify with at least one Arts discipline. (See Arts section for further details.)
• attend a scheduled pre-employment seminar.
• have a GPA of at least 2.33 (C+) for diploma or 2.67 (B-) for degree.

Note: To qualify for subsequent Co-op work terms, students must:
• have successfully completed all previous courses in their program prior to placement
• maintain a GPA of at least 2.33 (C+) for diploma or 2.67 (B-) for degree
• receive satisfactory evaluations from designated work-site supervisors in each work term
• submit a satisfactory graded work report after each work term.

Students are encouraged to apply to the Co-operative Education program during their first year at UFV. However all students are admitted on an individual basis and the requirements may be flexible. In some circumstances, students may be admitted conditionally to Co-op if their GPA is lower than 2.67. Each applicant is judged on their individual situation. Please speak to the Co-op coordinator for your program of study regarding your eligibility prior to applying to the Co-op program if you are uncertain whether you qualify.

Application procedure

All students must apply for admission to the Co-op program. Students are encouraged to attend an information session that is offered in September and January. Visit to view session dates.

After attending an information session, students complete the general Co-op application form which is available at

All students complete the pre-employment curriculum course. Visit for details.

Students are encouraged to contact appropriate Co-op coordinators as early in their university career as possible, but no later than two semesters prior to the first work term. Note that if you wish to be employed in Summer 2009, you would need to begin the Co-op process in Fall 2008.

Transfer students

Transfer students should contact the Co-op office as soon as possible and must complete at least one study term before engaging in a work term. Students may apply the academic credit hours earned at another institution towards the 30 hours required academic credit hours prior to first work placement as per UFV Co-op entrance requirements (see above). Students transferring from an approved accredited co-op program elsewhere, and who have successfully completed work terms, will receive transfer credit for those work terms. However, 50% of the student’s degree program, including work terms, must be completed at UFV. Please speak with a Co-op coordinator regarding the transferability of work terms from other co-op programs prior to applying to Co-op at UFV.

Employment process

Once students have been accepted into the Co-op program and completed the required pre-employment curriculum, they can then participate in the employment competition. Job opportunities are identified and posted through Co-op. Students select those for which they wish to compete and an interview may ensue. If an employment offer is made, the student may accept or decline based on contractual obligations and ethics associated with progression in the employment process. These obligations are made clear to all participants at each point in the employment process.

Once a student accepts an employment offer, they are required to fulfill that work term obligation and they must be registered in a Co-op practicum course.

Application form submission and/or participation in the employment competition indicates a commitment to the program and acceptance of the following:
• permission for release of copies of transcript to prospective employers
• agreement to enrol in the appropriate Co-operative Education course
• agreement to inform UFV of the acceptance of any Co-op employment position
• agreement to complete the Co-operative Education program
• all accepted students are responsible for following the policies and procedures outlined in the Co-op Student Handbook, found online at

Operation of the program

The Co-op program staff facilitate all pre-employment student preparation, negotiate work terms, meet employers to establish employer needs, and meet with students to monitor progress. They oversee job competition and visit students on the job, counsel and advise students, and deal with special problems.

Self-directed work search

Students may also find or create their own work terms, locally or abroad. Guidance is provided. Self-initiated jobs must be approved by the Co-op program in advance of the work term, and students are required to enrol in and pay for the appropriate Co-op practicum.

International opportunities

Students may travel internationally to complete a work term. Contact your Co-op coordinator for more information.

Additive credits

The Co-op courses are deemed to have additive credit. These units do not count toward the total units required for the degree.

Fees and additional costs

A work term fee is charged for each four month work practicum in which the student enrols. These fees are tax deductible. Co-op fees for 2008/09 are $543.78 ($432.96 tuition, $43.32 ancillary fees, and $67.50 additional student fees) for domestic students, and $800 for international students. See for more information.

Note: Fees are subject to change.

Diploma/degree designation

Three work terms must be successfully completed for a degree with a Co-op designation. Two work terms must be successfully completed for a diploma with a Co-op designation. Successful work term completion includes a passing grade (comprised of both a work project evaluation and a work performance evaluation) and compliance with minimum standards of participation. (A work term typically consists of full time employment for 13-16 weeks.)


For further information, or if you have questions, please contact Coordinator Susan Francis for information on Co-op for Business, Applied Arts, and LIBIT at or 604-864-4634; or Coordinator David Woodward for information on Co-op for CIS, KPE, Engineering Transfer, and Science at or 604-864-4647.

For general information on the Co-op program at UFV, visit