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Consultations & evaluations

Employer filling out a co-op student performance evaluation on a computer

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Work term consultations

Consultations are confidential between you and your student advisor.

The Co-operative Education (CE) student advisor is your primary contact once you are hired for a work term.  That student advisor remains your primary contact until you're hired for another work term, at which point you may be matched to a new student advisor.

Student advisors:

  • conduct work term consultations with students,
  • provide guidance on achieving work term success,
  • have expertise in their employers and geographic area
  • are located in cities throughout Ontario and elsewhere. 

You will likely work with several student advisors during the years you are in the co-op system, and in each case will be able to draw on their knowledge of your particular employers.

During the middle two months of your work term, between weeks seven to 12, your student advisor will consult with you:

  • in person
  • via WaterlooWorks messages, or
  • over the telephone.

Work term consultations:

  • May be conducted in the last month of the term under unusual circumstances
  • In-person consultations last about half an hour
  • Not every student will receive a consultation.

Purpose of work term consultation

From the point of view of the student advisor, to:

  • Monitor your performance and progress.
  • Provide feedback and help you maximize your learning experience.
  • Build a relationship with you and your employer
  • Gain knowledge about industries and the job market

If you have questions and concerns about your work term before your work term consultation, contact your student advisor as soon as possible.

Work term consultation agenda

Not all of the topics below will be discussed at your work term consultation

  • Learning objectives and goals for the work term
  • Work term achievements
  • Skills you have learned since the start of your work term
  • Areas where you could improve your professionalism and performance
  • Changes you would recommend to your workplace and what impact would they have
  • Critical reflection on your learning, self-development and job satisfaction
  • Strategies to maximize your learning and performance
  • Strategies to network within your organization or with other contacts outside of the organization
  • Further opportunities for yourself and other students
  • Job market conditions
  • Your long term and short term career plans
  • Academic standing and courses as requirements for specific career fields
  • Performance evaluation – mid-term and final
  • Work report
  • Returning for another term
  • E-meetings
  • Non-traditional work terms– entrepreneurial, international

Your student advisors will also meet with your supervisor during the work term consultation to discuss topics such as:

  • expectations of the co-op program
  • work reports
  • performance evaluations
  • potential for hiring students again
  • update on co-op and university affairs

Other questions that may be raised by your student advisor

Take some time to think about the questions. You may find it useful to review the learning objectives you set at the beginning of the term as well as your job description.

  • What are some of your significant achievements on this work term?
  • What accomplishments do you feel are important or are particularly proud of?
  • What skills and abilities have you developed or acquired since the start of the work term.
  • How have these contributed to your team’s performance?
  • What work activities could you or would you do differently the next time around to improve your professionalism and performance on the job?
  • What effect would these changes make to your workplace?
  • What work qualities or skills do you admire or particularly respect amongst your team-mates and supervisor?
  • What contribution do these qualities make to their success and the success of others?
  • What changes would you make and what impact would they have?

Student work term performance evaluations

Mid-term evaluation:

If you want a mid-term evaluation with your employer, ask your supervisor to conduct one. 

End-of-work-term evaluation:

You’ll receive a formal evaluation at the end of each work term, which should then be sent to Co-operative Education. Only the end-of-term evaluation is documented by Co-operative Education.

  • Remind your employer near the end of your work term to complete and submit your work term performance evaluation.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure that the evaluation is submitted to Co-operative Education as soon as possible following your work term by email or via WaterlooWorks.

Co-op work term longer than four months:

If you’re on a co-op term for longer than four months, an evaluation is required after each four-month period. Your co-op record must have an evaluation for every work term.

Academic credit:

  • To receive co-op credit, you must receive an evaluation of marginal or better.
  • Unsatisfactory evaluations will not receive co-op credit and will be investigated by your student advisor.
  • If an evaluation is not received by the end of the semester following your work term, a grade of No Credit (NCR) will display on your academic record for the work term.
  • Co-operative Education awards academic credit for an official work term according to the requirements of Waterloo’s various faculties and their co-op programs.

University policy states:

  • Work term evaluations must be recorded by Co-operative Education for all work terms that co-op students undertake, even if the minimum number of work term credits required for graduation has already been achieved.
  • Your work term performance evaluation is confidential. Only you, your employer for the term, your student advisor, and some other CEE staff have access to your evaluation.
  • The overall rating of your evaluation is released to prospective employers through WaterlooWorks during the job application process.

The University of Waterloo monitors work terms and records the employer’s evaluation of your performance. You must receive an evaluation for every work term and may not avoid recording or submitting an evaluation of your work term performance. If a work term evaluation is not submitted, a grade of No Credit (NCR) will display on your academic record.  If you have difficulty obtaining a work term evaluation from your employer, please notify your Student Advisor immediately for support.

93.5%of co-op students receive ratings of very good to outstanding from employers

Employer work report evaluations

It’s required if you’re in Mathematics, including Math Accounting, and recommended if you’re in Applied Health Sciences, as well as Math Science/Biotechnology Accounting to have your work report evaluated by your employer, and the university.

Update meeting with your student advisor

You might have an update meeting with your student advisor when you get back to campus after a work term. This meeting will be via either phone or Skype.  You will have the option of scheduling an update meeting during the first week of classes, if you indicate that you need a meeting “as soon as possible”, or during the first month of the term, if you indicate “no rush”.

You will receive an email from Co-operative Education, with a link to the eUpdate form.  The eUpdate form will assist in updating Co-operative Education on your soon-to-be-completed work term.  Your student advisor may also request an update meeting with you.  If you are requested, or indicate your wish for an update meeting, you'll receive an email just prior to the end of the work term with the link to sign up for a meeting time.

Purpose of the update meeting

  • Ensure your WaterlooWorks record/status is correct
  • Provide you with support through the recruiting process
  • Answer any questions you may have about securing a job for the upcoming work term