Research Questions

  • How do students define the characteristics of a high-quality co-op experience?
  • What factors do students identify as influencers of the quality of the co-op experience?
  • What are the associations between quality of co-op experience and students' outcomes (i.e., academic, personal, professional)?

Research Design: mixed methods, qualitative followed by quantitative


  • Grounded theory approach to identify themes
  • Survey items corresponding to themes identified from the literature used to design an online survey; collected feedback from 1,937 students


  • Critical areas identified as impacting the quality of the work term experience from the student perspective
    • Onboarding (e.g. training, socialization)
    • Relationships (e.g. guidance, support)
    • Psychological Empowerment (e.g. meaningfulness, impact)

Summary paper prepared and submitted to OHCRIF.