In order to be eligible to receive a co-op designation at the time of graduation, students in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) are required to successfully complete:
- a minimum of four work terms,
- a minimum of four professional development (PD) online courses, and
- a minimum of four work-term reports.
Students are given five work term opportunities in which to complete these requirements throughout the normal academic/work term sequence.
Information, from interviews to credit completion, is available through Co-operative Education.
Professional Development (PD) courses
PD courses are intended to enhance your professional development and assist in integrating your academic and work-term experiences. As a Co-op student in AHS, you are required to successfully complete four PD courses. Each PD course is worth 0.5 unit and may not be substituted for regular academic course credit. With the exception of PD1, you are expected to take the courses while on your co-op work terms. The schedule for completing the PD courses is as follows:
- PD1: Career Fundamentals, must be completed before the first work term.
- PD12: Reflection and Learning in the Workplace, must be completed during the first work term.
- Two additional PD courses, of your choice, should be completed during subsequent work terms.
PD course content will be made available via Waterloo LEARN.
PD1: Career Fundamentals will lead you through resources and activities to provide you with the tools to be competitive in your employment search and prepare you for a successful first work term.
Topics discussed in PD1 include:
- navigating WaterlooWorks (online job system)
- preparing résumés and cover letters
- searching for employment/applying for jobs
- developing interview skills
- ranking jobs
- being successful on the job
- work term evaluations
Co-operative Education and the Centre for Career Action also offer various resources and workshops to help prepare you for the job search and interview processes, as well as success strategies while on a work term.
You must successfully complete a minimum of four work-term reports based on four approved/credited work terms:
- The successful completion of PD12: Reflection and Learning in the Workplace (PD2 if you started your studies prior to Fall 2016), will count for credit as the first work-term report. PD12 is normally completed during the first work term, and it is meant to help prepare your for the completion of your work-term reports in subsequent work terms.
- Work-term report 2 is normally completed by the end of the second work term.
- Work-term report 3 is normally completed by the end of the third work term.
- Work-term report 4 is normally completed by the end of the fourth work term.
With the exception of PD12, work-term reports must be submitted to the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences through Waterloo LEARN, no later than the sixth day of classes in the term following the co-op work term for which the work-term report was prepared. The reports are assessed and returned in the 3rd month of the term.
PD12: Reflection and Learning in the Workplace, helps you develop critical workplace skills and qualities such as self-awareness, initiative, and adaptability. The course also helps you reflect on your experiences, knowledge, and workplace skills. Ultimately, this course prepares you for successful co-op work-term reflective writing in AHS.
You must follow the AHS Work Report Guidelines posted on Waterloo LEARN.
For eight month work placements, the first report will be due six days into the second work term, and the second report will be due six days into the following academic term.
Any questions about work reports should be directed to the Student Success Officer.
Getting into or out of Co-op
Once studies are under way, you may decide that you would like to change your program of study from the co-op to the regular stream, or from the regular to the co-op stream.
Co-op to Regular stream
You may change from co-op to regular stream at any time as long as you are not committed to a job. You should meet with your Academic Advisor to review degree requirements and course sequencing.
You must complete a Plan Modification Form and submit it to your academic advisor to proceed with the change of stream.
Regular to Co-op stream
Changing from the regular to the co-op stream is more difficult as co-op spaces are limited to the number of work placements available. However, there are often several students who decide to leave the co-op stream for various reasons during their first and second year, leaving space available for regular students to transfer into co-op.
Applications for co-op must be submitted no later than the end of your first year, on May 1. You must complete a Plan Modification Form, an updated résumé, and a proposed course sequence/plan to complete your degree to your academic advisor. A minimum cumulative average of 80% is normally required to be considered for admission to the co-op stream as competition is strong for the few available spaces each year.
Things to consider:
- Refer to your Undergraduate Calendar (Health Studies and Public Health or your individualized course sequence for when required courses are offered.
- Note: Some required courses are scheduled in specific terms or academic levels as they are prerequisites for upper year HLTH courses.
- Only one double work term (eight months) is permitted.
- Decisions will be made after all final grades are available (in May/June). A minimum cumulative average of 80% is normally required to be considered.
- The deadline for applying to co-op is the end of your first year, on May 1.