What is Co-operative Education?
A dynamic educational model that alternates periods of academic study with periods of paid work experience in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, social services and the professions in accordance with the following criteria:
- each work term is developed in partnership with the employer and approved as a suitable learning experience by the institution operating the co-operative education program
- co-op students are engaged in productive work for which they receives suitable remuneration
- the institution’s co-op curriculum supports student learning goals, personal evaluation and reflection
- the student's performance in the work place is supervised and evaluated by the student's employer
- the student's progress during the work term is monitored by a staff member from the institution operating the co-operative educational program
- both work and academic terms are full-time and follow a formalized sequence. For undergraduate programs that are four years in length, the total amount of co-op work experience is normally at least 30% of the time spent in academic study. A work term is defined as a minimum of 12 weeks (or the same duration as a full-time academic term) of full-time, paid employment
- the student completing multiple work terms is normally exposed to the work environment during more than one season of the year and the co-op program sequence begins and ends on an academic term
What are the benefits of co-operative education for students?
- academic study alternates with relevant employment experiences:
- work is a practical application directed towards the student's academic course of study
- student is paid for their work contribution
- employment is supervised and evaluated by the employer and overseen by the co-operative education institution.
- students are given opportunities to:
- expand their knowledge in suitable employment situations
- develop and test their skills and practice theories and approaches learned in the classroom through related work experience
- experiment with a wide range of assignments ranging from specific projects to standard duties and procedures
- work with multiple employers to explore career options, network with potential future employers and develop a competitive edge when it's time to enter the workforce full-time; and,
- earn money for their education
What are the benefits of co-operative education for employers?
- an ideal source of talent to fill temporary human resource needs (e.g., during staff leaves, for short-term projects, etc.)
- year-round access to high quality talent
- reduce current and future recruiting costs
- preview candidates for future hiring of motivated and skilled employees
- build bridges between employers and the students' academic institutions by providing valuable feedback regarding course curricula
- provide employee supervisors with opportunities to mentor bright and enthusiastic students as they take part in the training of potential future colleagues
What are the benefits of co-operative education for institutions?
- increased enrollment as co-op programs attract top quality, superior, well-motivated students
- enriched educational community when co-op students share their employment experiences after returning to campus
- well-qualified, employment ready graduates prepared to take on productive roles in society
- enhanced local community visibility and reputation
- feedback from employers on the quality and relevance of program curriculum
- creating/nurturing collaborative research and development
CO-OPERATIVE EDUCATION IN ACTION
Risk Management, Economic Sustainability and Actuarial Science in Indonesia (READI) Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Global Affairs Canada (GAC).