Highlights from the 2018/19 fiscal year
May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019 (Source: IAP/WaterlooWorks)
Co-operative education is a hallmark of excellence at the University of Waterloo. What started with a cohort of 74 students in 1957 has grown to more than 22,000 today. Not only have we grown in numbers during this time, we're evolving to bring work-integrated learning to all students in any plan. With co-op as a foundational value in the University’s history and development, it’s no wonder nearly seven out of ten Waterloo students were registered in a co-op program in fall 2018.
A driver of economic impact
A driver of enrolment growth
According to the 2018 Incoming Student Survey, 72% of incoming undergraduate students would not have accepted their offer without co-op. The University has more co-op students than the next four largest post-secondary co-op institutions – combined.
Take a look at the interactive chart below to see a breakdown of University of Waterloo enrolment over the last five years across multiple data points.
97.6% co-op employment ratean increase of 1.5% since 2014/1595.5%first work term employment ratean increase of 4.8% since 2014/15Waterloo students are future ready
Full-time paid work terms, alternating with study terms, enable students to deepen their learning in their fields of study, develop transferable skills that will help them in careers and throughout their lives, and enhance their ability to learn quickly and comprehensively.
Take a look at the interactive chart below for a breakdown of the top countries our co-op students work in.
Employers travel from all over the world to recruit Waterloo students. The size and scale of Waterloo's co-op program require an unparalleled level of support from staff and faculty partners.
The University's employer network stretches around the world. Co-op support staff are strategically located across Canada to offer support to employers and students no matter where they are.
Co-operative Education is part of the Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE) portfolio. The success of our co-op students is dependent on the power of this portfolio that includes Centre for Career Action, WatPD, Waterloo Centre for Advancement of Co-operative Education and CEE Services. Together, these units equip and empower our students to develop their talent for a complex future.
Centre for Career Action (CCA) provides client-focused career education for all Waterloo students, alumni and employees. Through individualized career advising sessions and audience-tailored workshops and conferences/events, CCA offers support for career development, employment search and further education preparation, as well as co-op process supports to students in their first recruitment term. CCA expanded its reach to support 9,500+ students through teaching assistants and peer leaders across campus - 194 student-staff were trained extensively to provide in-person résumé, cover letter and interview supports to their peers.
Beyond in-person services, CCA’s CareerHub provided helpful online resources to more than 17,000 Waterloo users last year. This content ranged from guidelines for how to make a career decision to tips on how to be an entrepreneurial employee, and this year included newly-developed information for international students seeking employment in Canada.
CCA supports student wellness and inclusion through a variety of strategic initiatives. In 2018-19, CCA led the implementation of a small service pilot between CCA, Co-op and third-party recruiter Specialisterne Canada to explore providing neurodiverse students access to co-op or graduating jobs through interview-free processes.
University graduate survey data shows that Waterloo co-op grads enjoy better career success than graduates from other Ontario universities.
World University Rankings
Check out our print-friendly snapshot of the Annual Report.