Students are required to complete four acceptable work terms and write four acceptable work reports in order to graduate with the "Co-operative Program" designation on their degree. You are given five work term opportunities in which to complete these requirements throughout the normal academic/work term sequence.

You are also required to complete Professional Development (PD) courses for credit throughout your co-op terms. The professional development course content will be online and made available via Waterloo LEARN.

The first course titled PD 1: Co-op Fundamentals will be completed prior to your first work term (normally your 2A fall term). The course will lead you through resources and activities to provide you with the tools to be competitive in your employment search and prepare 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

Tips for getting the most out of your co-op experiences

Explore REC-specific tips for getting the most out of your co-op experiences. 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 your work term.

Work reports

Students are required to write four acceptable work reports to meet the co-op requirements.

In the Faculty of Health, the PD12 course counts as the student's first work report.

Students are required to enrol in PD12: Reflection and Learning in the Workplace during their first work term. This course assists students in applying report writing skills by focusing on analysis and best practices in report writing, recognizing the interaction between prior experiences and new experiences, and exploring, clarifying and testing underlying assumptions about values regarding report writing through critical reflection.

During each following work term, students are required to submit a work report to complete the final three required reports. Work reports are submitted via Waterloo LEARN and are due six days after the start of classes following your work term. The reports are marked and returned in the 3rd month of the term. Any student who is required to resubmit their report must do so within two weeks of receiving the marked work report. Resubmitted reports are usually marked by the end of the term.

Students must follow the Work Report Guidelines from the Faculty of Health posted on Waterloo LEARN.

For eight month work terms, the first report will be due in the fourth month, and the second report will be due in the eighth month.

Any questions about writing your work report should be directed to the Student Services Coordinator, Julie-Anne Desrochers.

Getting into or out of co-op

You may decide once you begin your studies 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 at any time, as long as you are not committed to a job. However, you should meet with your Academic Advisor to review your degree requirements and course sequence.

Complete a Plan Modification Form and submit it to your Academic Advisor.

Regular to Co-op stream

Changing from the regular stream to co-op 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 program for various reasons during their first and second year, leaving space available for regular students to transfer into co-op.

You need to apply for co-op no later than your 2A term to ensure you will have adequate time to complete the four work terms and four work reports required in co-op before graduation. Normally students need a minimum cumulative average of 80% to be considered for admission to co-op as competition is strong for the few available spaces each year.

Complete a Plan Modification Form and submit it to your academic advisor. If admitted to co-op, you should meet with your academic advisor to review your degree requirements and course sequence.

Additional questions

Please visit the Co-operative Education and Centre for Career Action websites for more information.