Co-op guidelines

General Information

Legal Studies majors may access co-op through the Arts & Business program or the departmental program run by the Department of Sociology & Legal Studies. The latter option requires students to pursue a double major in Sociology & Legal Studies.

The following co-op information is specific to Arts & Business students who are Legal Studies majors. If you are a Sociology co-op student (either ARBUS or in the departmental co-op), you should visit the page found here.

LS/ARBUS Co-op Advisor

Philip Boyle is the faculty co-op advisor for all ARBUS/LS students. Please contact Dr. Boyle with questions regarding your co-op program and work term reports.

Please email Carla Daniels with questions concerning your Legal Studies major requirements and Kayla Lorentz regarding your Arts & Business program requirements.

Work Term Sequence & Work Reports

LS/ARBUS co-op students follow the Arts & Business co-op sequence; information about that sequence can be found here.

All co-op students must complete four work term reports in order to graduate with co-op designation. PD 12, which is normally completed during the first work term, counts as the first work term report. The following three work reports are normally due on the 10th day of the semester following a placement. All work reports should be submitted through Learn for grading. Students on placement will find a WKRPT course added to your Learn profile near the end of the semester of a placement with further instructions on submission.

Work reports are graded on a pass/fail basis. A CR will be applied to a student’s transcript for an acceptable work report by end of the semester following placement. Unacceptable reports will be returned to the student for improvement with a new due date. Unacceptable reports will result in an NCR recorded on a student’s transcript until it is resubmitted and assessed as acceptable.

If your work report has been returned to you as unacceptable, it is in your best interest to find out how to improve your work report and to do so immediately. Do not allow uncompleted work reports to slide into future semesters as it will cause problems at graduation. It is the responsibility of each individual student to ensure that work reports are submitted on time for each placement.

Students doing back-to-back placements should submit work reports for each semester unless arrangements are made with the faculty co-op advisor.

Work Report Content

Because co‐op reports are deemed an important part of your professionalization and educational experience, it is expected that workterm reports demonstrate thought, care, and an overall attentiveness to both your work situation and the interdisciplinary nature of Legal Studies. The expectation is for you to strive for effective communication in writing (including grammar), adequate documentation (placed in appendices, if appropriate), and synthesis of the information presented.

It is recognized that students also vary in terms of background preparation in the area of Legal Studies as well as experience in developing work term reports. Accordingly, there is an expectation that these reports will display greater insight, conceptual awareness, and attention to the literature as you move through your work placements.

It is also recognized that students will experience variation in the nature of work placements across their undergraduate careers, however all work reports should strive to make connections between the placement experience and the interdisciplinary content of your Legal Studies courses. Please contact the LS/ARBUS co-op advisor as early as possible if you are having difficulty determining your topic.

All work reports must conform to the general requirements set out by the Faculty of Arts. These requirements can be found here. Reports must adhere to all technical requirements pertaining to Format, Preliminary Pages, Report, Conclusions and Recommendations, and Appendices (if necessary). Failure to conform to these requirements is grounds to assess a report as Unacceptable. Students are also encouraged to pay particular attention to the definition of an ‘analytical report’ found on page 3 of the Work Report Guidelines. Reports that are purely descriptive rather than analytical in nature will be assessed as Unacceptable.

Under no circumstances are you to copy materials from someone else’s work term report or use other people’s materials, ideas, or statements without properly acknowledging these sources with in-text citations and inclusion in the reference list. For further information on academic integrity and Policy 71 – Student Discipline, please refer to the Academic Integrity Website (Arts).

General suggestions

It is critical that you start your work term report as early as possible for you will be in a much better position to make an interesting and worthwhile statement.

Adopt a frame of mind that your work term placement is an opportunity to learn everything you can about human activities, organizational structure, informal and formal social control, organizational routines, and the processes involved in generating a profit or serving a client base. You are in the process of completing an interdisciplinary degree. Draw on this knowledge base as you engage in the workplace.

Be aware of the distinction between: (1) learning about and analyzing situations; and (2) praising, condemning, or trying to “fix” situations. Concentrate on the former.

If you intend to formally conduct research (e.g., conduct interviews) for your work term report, it is your responsibility to submit an ethics application to the Office of Research at the University of Waterloo and to receive authorization for the proposed research. Since processing these research requests often takes several weeks, anyone planning to conduct original data collection with human participants must plan accordingly. Also be aware that faculty supervision is often a requirement for ethics clearance and this must be coordinated prior to submitting your application.