Co-operative Education

 

UNBC's Co-operative Education (Co-op) program is an educational model that integrates a student's academic program with practical work experiences. In order to receive a Cooperative Education designation on their transcript, Students usually alternate academic and co-op work terms and are required to do the following:

  • attend the required number of workshops as outlined by the UNBC Co-operative Education Student Handbook;
  • pass three co-op work terms;
  • end the Co-op program on an academic or parellel co-op work term prior to graduation.

UNBC's Co-op office is not obligated to guarantee Work Term placements.

Admission to the Program

Intake into the Co-op program occurs at the beginning of September and January semesters. Students planning to enter the Co-op program should contact the Co-op office and attend an information session.

To qualify for and continue in the Co-op program, students must:

  • have completed 30 credit hours before participating in their first co-op work term;

  • have declared an academic major;

  • be enrolled full-time (9 credit hours or more); and

  • have a minimum GPA of 2.50 with normally no grade lower than “D”.

Students required to withdraw from Co-op due to their academic standing may re-apply for admission based upon re-qualification.

Co-op Work Terms

A co-op work term is normally equal in length to an academic term (approximately 13 weeks). A co-op work term consists of full-time work relevant to a student’s declared academic major or minor (approximately 455-520 hours of work experience, dependent on employer needs). Some co-op work terms are equal in length totwo academic terms and will be considered as two co-op work terms. To be considered for two co-op work terms, work terms must be approximately 26 weeks in length and consist of full-time work, relevant to astudent’s declared academic major or minor (approximately 910-1,040 hours of work experience, dependent on employer needs). If students wish to be enrolled in an academic course while on a co-op work term, they must receive the approval of the Co-op office before registering.

Parallel Co-op Work Terms

A parallel co-op work term is normally equal in length to two academic terms (approximately 26 weeks) andconsists of part-time work relevant to a student’s declared academic major or minor (approximately 17.5-20hours per week, for a total of 455-520 hours of work experience, dependent on employer needs). A parallel co-op work term is considered as one co-op work term. During parallel co-op work terms, students areexpected to be enrolled in two academic courses (minimum 6 credit hours) per academic semester. If students wish to be enrolled in more than two academic courses in an academic semester, they must receive the approval of the Co-op office before registering.

Self-Developed Work Terms

A self-developed work term recognizes work term placements found as a result of students’ own contacts and networks. Students who wish to discuss whether a particular work term should be declared self-developed should consult with the Co-op program office before beginning the work term.

Co-operative Education Transferable Work Terms

Co-op work terms successfully completed at a Canadian post-secondary institution will be eligible for transfer work term credit, as determined on an individual basis, if they meet the following requirements:

  • the program in which the work term(s) was undertaken is provincially approved under the criteria of the Accountability Council of Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning of BC or is nationally approved under the criteria of the Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada;

  • the work term(s) is officially recognized (i.e. noted on the transcript) by the institution where the work term originated;

  • the credit for a second work term was granted for work experience typical of a similar major or minor into which the student is transferring, and

  • a student is accepted into the UNBC Co-op program and applies for assessment of a transfer of work terms.

Transfer students must complete the number of workshops outlined in the UNBC Co-operative Education Student Handbook before participating in their first co-op work term as a UNBC student.

Co-operative Education Work Term Credit Challenge

The UNBC Co-op program allows students to challenge their first work term on the basis of prior relevant and satisfactory work experience. Students should discuss any potential work term course challenge with the Co-op office. Work term course challenges are eligible for work term credit, as determined onan individual basis, upon verification of the following:

  • an aggregate of approximately 455-520 hours 560 hours of relevant work experience, dependent on employer needs, not previously counted toward work term credit, practicum, internship, and similar options;

  • employment verification and performance evaluation by the employer;
  • a job description, providing evidence that the student acquired professional and personal knowledge and skills appropriate to the declared academic major or minor and;

  • a portfolio which meets UNBC Co-operative Education Work Student Handbook guidelines.

If the work term course challenge is approved, the result is entered on the student's transcript on a pass or fail basis.

For additional information, including the UNBC Co-operative Education student and employer handbooks, please visit the Co-op program website at www.unbc.ca/co-op.

Updated 4 October 2018