Academic Calendar Fall 2017

Co-operative Education

ufv.ca/Jobs/Co-operative-Education

The philosophy

Co-operative Education (Co-op) is based on the principle that combining an academic program with program-related work experience is an effective and efficient form of professional preparation. Co-op students are required to alternate full-time academic study (study terms) with full-time program-related work (work terms). Academic study and work experience complement each other. Students graduating with a co-op designation will have significant program-related work experience.

The Canadian Association for Co-operative Education

The Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) is the accrediting body for Co-operative Education programs in Canada. The University of the Fraser Valley is a member of CAFCE.

CAFCE defines Co-operative Education as a program which alternates periods of academic study with periods of work experience in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, social services and the professions in accordance with the following criteria:

  1. Each work term is developed in partnership with the employer and approved by the co-operative education program as a suitable learning environment;
  2. The student is engaged in productive work for which the student receives remuneration;
  3. The co-op curriculum supports student learning goals, personal evaluation, and reflection;
  4. The student's performance in the workplace is supervised and evaluated by the student's employer;
  5. The student's progress during their work term is monitored by the co-operative education program;
  6. Both work and academic terms are full-time and follow a formalized sequence. The total amount of co-op work experience is normally at least 30% of the time spent in academic study. For programs of two years or less the total amount may be a minimum of 25%. A work term is defined as a minimum of 12 weeks and/or 420 hours full-time paid experience;
  7. Co-op programs begin and end on an academic term;
  8. The student completing multiple work terms is normally exposed to the work environment during more than one season of the year.

Benefits

Students participating in Co-operative Education have an opportunity to:

  • Strengthen academic knowledge through program-related work experience
  • Apply academic knowledge in a real-world setting
  • Develop essential employment skills
  • Improve job-critical performance through direct feedback from employers
  • Explore alternative career options
  • Discover professional talents and interests
  • Develop a professional resume with a solid work history
  • Develop a network of professional colleagues and potential employers
  • Earn money to help finance their education

Applying to the Co-operative Education program

The Co-operative Education office holds co-op information sessions at the beginning of every semester. Students are encouraged to attend a co-op information session and to apply to the co-op program as soon as the admission requirements are met, ideally in their third semester.

Students fulfilling the admission requirements must complete an online application form through the Career Centre's online CareerLink system. At the time of application students must also upload an unofficial transcript and a resume.

Applications are accepted in the Fall, Winter, and Summer semesters. Deadlines are posted on the co-op website.

Entrance requirements

In order be admitted into the Co-operative Education program students must:

  1. Be enrolled full-time (i.e. nine credits per semester; see UFV's Course Load policy (63)), and remain enrolled full-time in one of the following academic programs:
  2. Hold and maintain a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) calculated from courses taken at a Canadian institution of at least 2.33 for a two-year diploma program or 2.67 for a four-year degree program.
  3. Have successfully completed two semesters of full-time study in an academic program at a Canadian institution.
  4. Have enough time remaining in their program to ensure that the total co-operative work experience is at least thirty percent of the time spent in academic study. (Students must successfully complete two co-op work terms in a two-year diploma program or three co-op work terms in a four-year degree program.)
  5. Have successfully completed Co-operative Education essential employment skills training and advising.
  6. Agree to start and end with an academic study term.
  7. Conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner towards university faculty and staff, other students, and employers and their representatives.

Continuance requirement

In order to continue in the Co-operative Education program students must fulfil all admission requirements and must remain in good standing in their academic program and their Co-operative Education program.

Program length and graduation

Graduation with a Co-operative Education designation on your academic transcript and credential requires that the total co-operative work experience is at least thirty percent of the time spent in academic study, i.e. the successful completion of two co-op work terms in a two-year diploma program or three co-op work terms in a four-year degree program. This may extend the duration of the academic program, depending on the number and timing of the work terms.

Once admitted into the Co-operative Education program, co-op co-ordinators work with the student to develop a preliminary co-op timetable that incorporates the required work terms. It is recommended that Co-operative Education students meet with their educational/program advisor to schedule their academic courses as well.

Example of a diploma co-op timetable:

Year Fall semester Winter semester Summer semester
1 Study term Study term Apply to Co-op and complete essential empolyment skills training (workshop or course)
2 Work term 1 Study term Study term
3 Work term 2 Study term Graduation

Example of a Bachelor degree co-op timetable:

Year Fall semester Winter semester Summer semester
1 Study term Study term Apply to Co-op and complete essential empolyment skills training (workshop or course)
2 Study term Work term 1 Work term 2
3 Study term Study term Study term
4 Study term Study term Off
5 Work term 3 Study term Graduation

Co-op placements

Only co-op students have access to the Co-operative Education labour market. Upon admission into the Co-operative Education program students are cleared to participate in competitions for Co-operative Education placements. These placements are semester-based and may be one, two, or three work terms in length, each work term with at least 420 hours of work experience.

Co-op placements may be located in the Fraser Valley, the Lower Mainland, anywhere in Canada, or abroad. Students who are flexible in terms of job function, location, and salary will find a wider range of Co-operative Education opportunities.

Advertisements for Co-operative Education placements may be found on the Career Centre's online CareerLink system and/or on external company websites.

Co-op placements are not guaranteed, but are awarded through competition. Competitions are co-ordinated by co-op co-ordinators; interviewing decisions and hiring decisions rest with the employer. Employer decision criteria vary but may include discipline-specific knowledge (e.g. key vocabulary, information, concepts), transferable cognitive skills (e.g. reading, writing, comprehension), and transferable life skills (e.g. reliability, confidence, initiative).

Students must consult with their co-op co-ordinators on all aspects of placement. Once a student has accepted a placement offer, he or she must register for the appropriate cooperative education course (COOP) and must fulfil their contractual obligation towards the employer.

Work term employment contracts are between the student and the employer. The University of the Fraser Valley is not party to these agreements and assumes no financial or legal responsibility with regard to events or actions by either party that affect co-op placement (e.g. layoffs, strikes, confidentiality agreements, intellectual property rights). Students are encouraged to seek professional legal advice before signing any contract.

Co-op students may also self-arrange their co-op placements; co-op co-ordinators guide students in the process. Self-arranged co-op placements must be approved by a co-op co-ordinator in advance of the work term. Co-op students on self-arranged co-op placements must register for the appropriate COOP course and must fulfil their contractual obligation towards the employer.

Registration, credits, and full-time student status

When taking a co-op work term Co-operative Education students must register in a COOP course. This course carries six credits.

Note that some academic programs have the flexibility to apply COOP credits towards the academic program credit requirements. It is recommended that Co-operative Education students meet with their educational/program advisor to determine their options.

Co-operative Education students on a work term hold full-time student status.

Evaluation

Co-op students on placements will be evaluated based on the following criteria in every work term:

  1. Learning objectives and their achievement, placement site visit: 25%
  2. A work term report or approved alternative project: 25%
  3. A final work performance evaluation through the work supervisor: 50%

Grading follows the standard UFV grading system.

Harassment, discrimination, safety in the co-op workplace

If a student experiences either harassment or discrimination in a co-op workplace, the student should contact his or her co-op co-ordinator immediately.

If a student is exposed to unsafe conditions in a co-op workplace, the student should contact his or her co-op co-ordinator immediately.

Transfer students and international students

Transfer students registered with an accredited Co-operative Education program at a Canadian institution may be eligible to receive transfer credit for successfully completed work terms.

International students holding valid student visa are eligible to participate in the Co-operative Education program. They must apply for a co-op work permit immediately upon admission into the co-op program and must receive the co-op work permit before competing for co-op placements.

Fees and additional costs

Please see the Fees and Other Costs section of the calendar.

Contact

For further information please visit ufv.ca/jobs/co-operative-education.

Current Students

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