A work term is a four-month period of full-time paid employment in a position relating to your professional and academic goals.
The primary objective of your Co-op work term course is to provide you with a planned, supervised work experience that will enhance your academic learning and employment marketability upon graduation.
Each work term is treated as a non-credited, non-academic course graded on a pass/fail basis.
Components of your Work Term
Work Term Duration
Once you have landed a co-op placement and notify the co-op office, you will be registered for a work term.
Work terms can range from 4 to 16 months in duration depending on your degree requirements and educational schedule.
Co-op placements take place in all semesters of university.
There are three work term periods: fall (Sept.-Dec.), spring (Jan.-April), and summer (May-Aug.). Hiring for these generally takes place one to four months in advance.
Work Term Student Status
While in your work term, you will still maintain your full time student status in regard to financial loans and scholarships, Students Union and Health Plan and registration privileges.
While in co-op you may be permitted to do one evening course but this discussion will need to be facilitated between student and co-op coordinator. Past GPA, work/life balance and program planning are all considerations in this case by case decision. Please be advised that most of the focus should be on co-op since it is full time and includes academic assignments.
Grading & Assignments
Co-op work terms are graded on a pass/ fail basis. For each work term or semester to be passed the following items must be met:
3 monthly assignments or reports that meet criteria outlined
Monitor visit between co-op coordinator, student and co-op supervisor
Final project of either a completed presentation or participation in focus group
If you do not hand assignments in or do not meet co-op contract, work term can be marked as a fail or an “X” that can impact ability to apply for graduation. Grade changes will be subject to a case by case basis. Please ensure you have a conversation with your co-op coordinator about assignment structure and due dates and other accommodations for assignments you may need for your co-op semester.
Please note that co-op assignments are going to need to embody the philosophy of Work Integrated Learning where students will need to demonstrate applying their academic and personal skills into hands-on experiences while reflecting on this process.
Work Term Evaluation
If you are offered an extension on your co-op or have any changes to co-op work term (finding a new placement for another semester or changes in supervisor) you will need to notify the co-op office to update your file accordingly.
It is imperative to establish good communication with your co-op coordinator and co-op office as they can also assist in navigating any challenges or concerns that arise in co-op semester.
A work term is a four-month period of full-time paid employment in a position relating to an area within a major. Each work term is treated as a non-credited, non-academic course graded on a pass/fail basis. When enrolled in a work term, you maintain full-time student status by enrolling in one of the following courses: Work Experience I Work Experience II, Work Experience III, Work Experience IV, Work Experience V or Work Experience VI. A co-op work term position ensures a meaningful experience that complements your education and broadens your skills. The primary objective is to provide you with a planned, supervised work experience that will enhance your academic learning and enhance employment marketability upon graduation.
You may apply to the Co-op Office to receive transfer credit for one (1) co-operative education course completed in an approved co-op program at another Canadian post-secondary institution. Transfer credit for a previous Co-op must be approved by the Co-operative Education Director at the time of application to the program.
It is a general convention of co-operative education that salaries paid to Co-op students vary by type of assignment, economic sector and sub-sector, geographical location, how many courses the student has completed towards his/her degree and whether or not the student has completed previous co-operative education work terms. Students in 2017 earned between $2400 and $5400 per month. However, it is the experience, not the wage, which ultimately provides for a successful Co-op term.
There are three work term periods: fall (Sept.-Dec.), spring (Jan.-April), and summer (May-Aug.). Hiring for these generally takes place one to four months in advance. The spring (Jan.-April) recruiting cycle is for work terms starting in May, the summer (May-Aug.) recruiting cycle is for work terms starting in September, and the fall (Sept.-Dec.) recruiting cycle is for work terms starting in January.
A period of employment may be 4, 8, 12, or in rare cases, 16 months in duration. Usually, periods of employment alternate with academic semesters, but this may not be the case when an employer prefers to link several work terms into a single extended period of employment. Many employers prefer 8-month periods of employment (two back-to-back 4-month work terms). This preference for 8-month terms is because of a greater return on investment for the employer and more advanced learning for the student.
A full-time job can be used as Co-op provided it is related to your degree and will provide learning opportunities. A Co-op Coordinator will make this determination. Contact us if you would like to use an upcoming or current full time job as a Co-op work term. This type of Co-op is called self-initiated Co-op.
Yes, If your Co-op position is in Lethbridge or Calgary you can take one course in addition to Co-op. However, you must get special permission from the Co-op Coordinator and your work supervisor to register in more than one class in addition to Co-op. Some positions require out-of-town travel, training or overtime which would make attendance at courses difficult.
You should contact your Academic Advising office to ensure the course fits into your program and that you will receive transfer credit. You may be required to complete a Visiting Student Authorization form.