2 University of Waterloo co-op students working with safety goggles on

Talent development for a complex future

Over the next five years as our economy recovers from COVID-19, CEE strives boldly for work-integrated learning experiences for 100 per cent of our students. We have a track record of demonstrated success with our world-class co-operative education program and we are equipped to succeed. Canada needs our skilled, resilient future-ready graduates to lead the way for full-scale economic growth and rejuvenation. 

The CEE Strategic Plan 2020-2025 highlights five goals that will inform direction, decision-making and our activities collectively over the next five years. Our CEE vision, mission, values and goals align with those of the University while they also uniquely embody the aspirations and culture within CEE.


Our vision

Connecting imagination with impact for a better world through global leadership in co-operative and career education, experiential and work-integrated learning.


Our mission

By developing talent for a complex future, advancing research and strengthening Waterloo’s sustainable and diverse communities we will equip and empower learners for the future of work and lifelong learning. 


Our values

We are curious

Curiosity is the relentless pursuit of knowledge and betterment. CEE is continuously examining and improving its practices, processes and technology to see how to best equip and empower our students, our faculty partners and our employers for a future of even more rapid change, uncertainty and complexity. 

We are courageous

Courage is trying new approaches to adapt in the midst of turmoil. We demonstrate courage in our commitment to support quality student work experiences that are flexible and responsive to changing economic conditions. We have challenged ourselves to help our students find purpose and meaning so that they can thrive in whatever conditions prevail. 

We are engaged

Engagement is shown through the deep connections with our students, faculties, employers, alumni, community organizations, peers and one another within CEE. Our interactions with our stakeholders enable us to be responsive and inclusive of their ideas for improvement to our programs and approaches to enable a rich student, employer and staff experience. 

We all belong

Belonging is when in the spirit of community and in the belief that diverse perspectives enrich our endeavour, we respect and seek to understand individual differences, experiences and needs in an inclusive approach to support all learners’ success. We will continue to grow and learn from each other to foster a culture where everyone belongs. 


Our goals

The CEE Strategic Plan 2020-2025 highlights five goals that will inform direction, decision-making and our activities collectively over the next five years. The five key goals that form the foundation of the CEE Strategic Plan 2020-2025 are:

1) Demonstrate global leadership

We lead the world in co-operative and career education and experiential and work-integrated learning with future-ready graduates to support communities and organizations of the future. We demonstrate our leadership through a commitment to quality, our Future Ready Talent Framework, and the well-being, inclusion and success of our diverse students and learners, employers and staff. We are guided by our research and data-driven insights and we seek to enable and empower our learners to tackle the greatest challenges in the world as defined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Ultimately, we future-proof all of our stakeholders to be more capable, resilient and adaptable to succeed amidst continuous disruption and uncertainty.

2) Advance research for global impact

Our Work-Learn Institute conducts, facilitates, and shares the results of research into co-operative education and work-integrated learning using data from one of the world’s largest databases of student talent and a network of over 7,000 employers globally. Beyond thousands of student résumés, our database also stores all of our employer profiles, millions of job descriptions and records of employer-student interactions. The research reveals insights and is applied throughout CEE’s programming to ensure we evolve to address the future world of work.

3) Future-proof students

Through work-integrated learning we equip and empower our learners to successfully navigate the ever-changing and complex world of work. The proactive, high-touch nature of our career programming, services and resources too, are designed to support our students in feeling seen and supported as they navigate through uncertainty. We strive to support all our learners coming to Waterloo with a diversity of perspectives, experiences and needs with intentionality and care. Our students gain varied, high-quality experiences in a number of roles across various industries through co-op or our EDGE program. They develop their expertise and human skills, and a growing sense of what brings them meaning and purpose. To ensure that we integrate students’ work experience into Waterloo’s excellent academic programs, we strive to engage and collaborate with our faculty partners. As we evolve, other forms of work-integrated learning may emerge as relevant adaptations to a changing world.

4) Future-proof employers

Our staff work with our employers to create quality learning experiences for our students within the workplace so that they can leverage the students’ innovation, agility and fresh perspective. We engage frequently with our employers to understand their talent needs and work with them to build their talent pipeline. As well, we share insight from the Work-Learn Institute to inform our employers’ approach to the attraction, recruitment and optimization of both next generation talent and their current workforce to thrive in an age of rapid change.

5) Future-proof ourselves

CEE fosters a connected, supportive and inclusive community that inspires staff, students, faculty, post-docs and alumni to identify and achieve their personal, academic and professional goals while feeling valued. We will continue to leverage our creativity and resources to engage, develop and build our capacity and infrastructure towards sustainability and effectiveness. We will empower ourselves through professional development to continuously evolve and stay abreast of trends in the world of work and to reflect those in all that we do.