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WatPD

Co-op students collaborating on a project over a laptop

Waterloo Professional Development Program (WatPD)

Future employers in every field of study are looking for graduates and new hires who can communicate effectively, work in teams, and solve complex problems. WatPD is an online program that helps students enhance their professional skills while completing their work terms. With courses focused on topics like project management, intercultural skills, and ethical decision making, WatPD helps students develop new strengths and test their skills in their co-op workplaces.

The number of PD courses students take varies depending on their chosen program. Students in every faculty must take two compulsory PD courses before moving onto the program’s suite of electives, and completion of the WatPD program is a required component of students’ co-op degrees.

If you’re interested in learning more about the program, visit the WatPD website.

Math and Science students

Math and Science students take their first PD course during the academic term preceding their first work term. PD1: Co-op Fundamentals is a career readiness course that helps students through the search for their first co-op job. Students build their résumés, refine their interview skills, and are walked through Waterloo’s application and employer matching process.

Students in Math and Science follow up PD1 by taking PD11: Processes for Technical Report Writing during their first work term. PD11 walks students through the composition of a technical report from start to finish, including identifying a problem, conducting research, writing for a specific audience, and conducting revisions.  

After finishing these two compulsory courses, Math and Science students can fulfill their faculty and/or department requirements by choosing courses from WatPD’s suite of electives. If you want to learn more about your program’s PD requirements, consult the relevant Undergraduate Calendar.

AHS, Arts, and Environment students

AHS, Arts, and Environment students take their first PD course during the academic term preceding their first work term. PD1: Co-op Fundamentals is a career readiness course that helps students through the search for their first co-op job. Students build their résumés, refine their interview skills, and are walked through Waterloo’s application and employer matching process.

Students in AHS, Arts, and Environment follow up PD1 by taking PD12: Reflection and Learning in the Workplace during their first work term. PD12 helps students improve their goal setting, communication with managers and colleagues, and ability to adapt to varying organizational cultures, all of which contributes to improved performance in the workplace.

After finishing these two compulsory courses, AHS, Arts, and Environment students can fulfill their faculty and/or department requirements by choosing courses from WatPD’s suite of electives. If you want to learn more about your program’s PD requirements, consult the relevant  Undergraduate Calendar.

Engineering students

Engineering students take their first PD course during their first work term. PD20: Engineering Workplace Skills I: Developing Reasoned Conclusions helps students understand the complexities of information-gathering and decision-making in the workplace. Students learn how to evaluate their sources, perform research, and identify bias in themselves and their colleagues.

After completing PD20, Engineering students take PD21: Engineering Workplace Skills II: Developing Effective Plans during their second work term. PD21 focuses on specific, useful problem solving strategies meant for use in engineering workplaces. Students learn how to analyze complex issues, assess potential failures in their designs, and present their conclusions.

After finishing these two compulsory courses, Engineering students can fulfill their faculty and/or department requirements by choosing courses from WatPD’s suite of electives. If you want to learn more about your program’s PD requirements, consult the relevant Undergraduate Calendar.

If you’re interested in learning more about WatPD’s courses or student progression through the program, visit the WatPD website. Engineering students can also visit the WatPD Engineering website for more information.

 

1 Computer Science (CS) students who began studying at Waterloo during the Fall 2015 term or later must complete PD10: Professional Responsibility in Computing as one of their three elective PD courses.

2 Software Engineering (SE) students who began studying at Waterloo during the Fall 2016 term or later must complete PD10: Professional Responsibility in Computing as one of their three elective PD courses.