Every year, one student from each faculty is presented with a Co-op Student of the Year Award for making exceptional contributions to their employer on one or more of their work terms. These awards take place towards the end of the winter term and celebrate student achievements from the winter, spring and fall terms of the previous calendar year.
If you’ve made an exceptional contribution to one or more of your work term employers in 2022, you could be eligible for a 2022 Co-op Student of the Year Award (ceremony held in 2023). You must be currently registered as a Waterloo student and preferably have an academic term at Waterloo in either winter or spring 2022.
Nominations for the 2022 Co-op Student of the Year Awards are now closed and will reopen in May 2023.
About Co-op Student of the Year Awards
How to be considered for the Waterloo Award
- You can apply and nominate yourself
- A co-op employer can nominate you
- A fellow student, faculty member or Waterloo staff can nominate you
Here’s what we need to receive from you:
- Up-to-date résumé (this must include your most current unofficial Waterloo transcript and WaterlooWorks work history).
- Personal statement (1-2 pages, single-spaced, maximum length of 900 words)
- Explain why you should win the Co-op Student of the Year Award (include how you performed above and beyond your employer's expectations and your job description).
- Format the statement so that each of the judging criteria (see below) is addressed under its own heading.
- Translate technical information into language that anyone can understand. People without knowledge of your background may be reviewing the statement. They should be able to appreciate the meaning and significance of your accomplishments in order to make a fair assessment.
- A supporting statement from one or more of your employers from within the same calendar year as your submission (up to 1 page, maximum length of 500 words).
- Note: you can choose to submit your employer's statement as part of your nomination package, or your employer can submit this separately through the employer nomination form below.
- We will contact all students and employers who submitted nomination forms regardless of whether they were selected as winners (usually sometime in January of the following year).
Here’s what we need to receive from your employer:
- Supporting statement (up to one page, maximum length of 500 words) from one or more of your co-op employers from within the same calendar year as your submission describing:
- Your duties/responsibilities.
- Your impact on the workplace.
- Outstanding work achievements (cost savings, process/quality improvements, design/development innovations, improved customer service, significant research or other initiatives, etc.).
- Duties or opportunities that were assigned to the student in addition to typical work responsibilities because you performed above expectations.
- Employer's supporting statement can be submitted as part of the package of documents you are providing or, if your employer prefers, they can email it to one of our co-op student experience managers (name and email address shown above).
- Please submit only the documents requested above.
- Only nominees with completed application packages will be considered for the award.
- If your employer is recommending you for this award, we only need your name along with your employer’s supporting statement. We will contact you to ask for your résumé, records, and personal statement.
- You, as the applicant, must agree to allow Co-operative Education to use your name, profile, and photograph for publication and promotional purposes.
Deadlines for nominations
Nomination deadlines for Waterloo's 2022 Co-op Student of the Year Awards
|Winter 2022 work term nomination deadline||August 12, 2022|
|Spring 2022 work term nomination deadline||November 18, 2022|
|Fall 2022 work term nomination deadline||January 3, 2023|
Criteria and scoring for the Waterloo Award
Note: The criteria for the Waterloo Co-op Student of the Year Awards were updated in 2019 to align with the criteria of CEWIL Canada's Co-op Student of the Year Award.
- Impact on employer (30 pts) includes:
- Outstanding work achievements above and beyond the job description (cost savings, process/quality improvements, design/development innovations, improved customer service, significant research or other initiatives, etc.).
- Duties or opportunities that were assigned to you in addition to typical work responsibilities because you performed above your employer's expectations.
- Evaluations received from your employer should ideally include an outstanding for at least one work term in the award year and at least excellent in other work terms of the award year.
- Impact on self (30 pts) includes:
- Reasons why you participated in co-op and why you are happy you did.
- How co-operative education has enhanced your personal, academic, and career development.
- The impact your co-operative education experience has had on your understanding of your program of study.
- How co-operative education has improved your confidence as a developing professional and motivated you further.
- Impact on institution (30 pts) includes:
- How you've helped promote co-operative education to peers or academic units.
- Examples of how you've helped other students succeed in co-op.
- Examples of how you've used workplace learning or professional connections to enrich learning back on campus.
- Academic achievements - minimum 75 per cent overall average (10 pts).
- Note: Your academic standing is only ONE of the criteria we consider when assessing your application package, and it only accounts for a small part of your overall score. Even if you don’t have a minimum 75% average, we still encourage you to apply for the award. Feel free to provide additional details in your supporting statement and focus on your involvement and success throughout your co-op work terms instead.
A group of Co-operative Education staff, co-op students and the WUSA AVP of Experiential Co-op Affairs review the applications for the award and select a recipient from each faculty. If an insufficient number of applicants are received from any faculty, or if applicants aren’t suitable, no prize will be awarded to a student from that faculty.
Please note that all decisions made by the selection committee are considered final and may not be appealed.
When you can expect to hear back
All nominees and employers will be notified by the end of January. We will contact all students and employers who submitted nomination forms regardless of whether they were selected as winners.
Provincial and National Co-op Student of the Year Awards
Waterloo Co-op Student of the Year Award winners may be nominated by the decision committee for the following awards:
CEWIL Canada Award
The recipient of the CEWIL Canada award is chosen from post-secondary co-op students nation-wide based on their standing in the following areas:
- Workplace achievements (including mostly Outstanding ratings on work term evaluations)
- Academic achievements (80 percent average or above)
- Contribution to the community and extra-curricular activity
- Contribution to co-operative education
Nominees are selected and submitted to CEWIL Canada by the student's school. For more information about this award, please visit the CEWIL Canada Website.
The recipient of the EWO award is chosen from post-secondary co-op students attending Ontario universities based on the same criteria as the CEWIL Canada award. The recipient of the EWO award will be presented with a certificate and $500.
Nominees are selected and submitted to EWO by the student's school.
What will the award recipients receive?
Award recipients will:
- Receive a $500 award on your Quest account.
- Receive a framed recognition plaque.
- Have a professional photograph taken, which will appear with an article about your award and will be presented in various university publications.
- Names of the year's recipients of the award will be displayed on a plaque and mounted on the award wall on the ground level of the Tatham Centre.
- Two names chosen by the selection committee from the recipients of the Waterloo award will be submitted to the Education at Work Ontario (EWO) and Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada's Co-op Student of the Year Awards.