The Globe and Mail recently released a profile on the growing number of Canadian students pursuing co-operative education and other forms of work-integrated learning. The story compliments the publication’s 2019 Canadian University Report and discusses the classic model of co-op, along with new variations that have emerged to give students opportunities to develop structured work experience before graduating.
Students are uneasy about future work opportunities and want to test a variety of careers before graduating, while employers have a desire to recruit and retain top talent. As a result, more and more students and employers are increasingly turning their attention to the experiences offered through work-integrated learning.
Co-operative education is a low-risk way for both students and employers to feel each other out. Apprenticeships, internships, field placements and community-based learning are growing in popularity. That’s why University of Waterloo plans to offer flexible work terms to recognize a wider range of jobs and help students meet co-op credentials. Non-co-op students will also have options to build skills and experience through certification programs designed to prepare them to engage with potential employers.
The University of Waterloo proudly remains the dominant Canadian player in co-op, with 21,000 of our 33,000 students enrolled in 12 to 16 weeks of relevant work experience. It is our commitment to our students that we continue to offer quality work-integrated learning experiences, designed to positively impact their graduate employability.