Co-op Information for Students

Welcome students!

Interested in learning more about the UNBC Co-op program?

Feel free to scroll down to read more about the program or choose a topic from the list below. You can also always connect with us to learn more!


What is co-op?

As defined by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada), a co-op program is an educational model that “formally integrates a student's academic studies with work experience.”

In co-op programs, students usually alternate academic terms with co-op work terms so that they can put what they've learned into action and bring their co-op work term experiences back into the classroom and onto the UNBC campus.


Why enroll in co-op?

Students who enroll in co-op ensure they are ready for anything that comes their way – be it a summer job or life after graduation.

Studies also show that students who graduate from undergraduate co-op programs experience:

  • higher employment rates,
  • better self-reported occupation-to-field-of-study matches, and
  • higher earnings.

Why are co-op students so well equipped for life after graduation? Well, co-op students benefit from the opportunity to:

  • participate in exclusive pre-employment workshops and training,
  • gain quality work experience in a variety of fields with multiple employers,
  • receive competitive wages for their work, and
  • build their professional networks.

Additionally, UNBC Co-op students specifically benefit from a centralized, one-stop-shop co-op office that works closely with employers, UNBC faculties, and other UNBC departments to ensure its students are given access to the workshops, training, and mentorship that will help them succeed, and quality co-op work term opportunities for them to succeed in!


How does co-op work?

Participating in the UNBC Co-op program normally looks like this:

To graduate with a Co-operative Education designation on their transcript, students are required to:

  • successfully complete a minimum of three co-op work terms prior to graduation (co-op work terms are evaluated on a pass/fail basis and are not for academic credit),
  • end their time at UNBC on an academic semester,
  • participate in select pre-employment workshops and training, and
  • attend an info session and meetings with the co-op office.

Apply for admission into the co-op program

Intake into the UNBC Co-op program occurs at the beginning of the September and January semesters.

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

  • participate in an information session and meetings with the co-op office,
  • be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate Arts, Commerce, Health Science, Planning, or Science degree program,
  • participate in pre-employment workshops and training,
  • have a 2.50 GPA with normally no grade lower than a “D”, and
  • have completed 30 credit hours before participating in a first co-op work term.

Once in the UNBC Co-op program, if you are required to withdraw from the program due to your academic standing, you may re-apply for the program based upon re-qualification.

If you are a transfer students who is interested in participating in the UNBC Co-op program either as a continuation of your co-op journey from a previous institution or as a new adventure, please contact the UNBC Co-op office.


Meetings

After attending your first UNBC Co-op program information session, contact the office to set up your interest meeting. This meeting will help you and the program office establish what your goals are and how co-op may be a perfect addition to your UNBC journey.

Once admitted into the program, you are encouraged and welcome to make an appointment to chat with the program office throughout the various stages of your UNBC Co-op journey. 


Pre-employment workshops and training

The job landscape can be tricky to navigate - there's no denying that!

UNBC Co-op students have exclusive access to pre-employment workshops and training designed to prepare you for success in the lead up to your co-op work terms, your co-op work terms, and what happens next. Be prepared (and excited) to cover topics such as:

  • navigating the new job search,
  • resumes and cover letters,
  • interview prep, and
  • what to expect: the first day on the job.

Co-op work terms

A typical co-op work term is full-time work for approximately four months, mirroring an academic semester. E.g.,

  • May semester: May – August
  • September semester: September – December
  • January semester: January – April

However, you may find co-op work term opportunities that are, or become, eight months long. Co-op work terms that are eight months long are counted as two co-op work terms.

There is also the possiblity to complete a parallel co-op work terms, where you work part-time for eight months while enrolled in a few courses. Please contact the co-op program office for more details regarding parallel co-op work terms.

Co-op work terms - the job search

Job searching can be a daunting task whether it's your first job or you've already had a career and are on to your second (or third).

As a UNBC Co-op student, you will have exclusive access to UNBC Co-op job board with opportunities specifically for co-op students. 

However, seeing as though job searching is a job all on its own, you are also encouraged to look for positions on the UNBC Career Centre’s job board, other job boards (e.g., provincial or federal government websites, job search websites, etc.), or through your own contacts and networks.

As a UNBC Co-op student, you will be applying to jobs directly and partaking in employers’ hiring processes. As such, the UNBC Co-op office is not responsible for students’ securing work terms. However, it is the office’s responsibility to build a network of employers and obtain varied, quality, co-op work term opportunities for students to apply on, and with the program’s workshops and training, be successful in securing!

Registering in a co-op work term

As a UNBC Co-op student, you register in a Co-operative Education (COOP) course through the co-op and registrar's office for each four-month co-op work term you participate in. This course will appear on your transcript, is evaluated on a pass/fail basis and is not for academic credit. For more information on the fee associated with the COOP course, please visit the Fees section.


Fees

As a UNBC Co-op student, you pay a tuition fee to enrol in a COOP course, just as you would to enroll in an academic course. The tuition fee is $531.75 per four-month co-op work term you participate in.

However, as a UNBC Co-op student you do not pay for enrolling in the program or participating in the pre-employment workshops and training.

There is also the ability to receive a $75.00 reduction in the co-op work term fee for a self-developed co-op work term. Please contact the co-op office for inquiries regarding self-developed co-op work terms.

The co-op work term tuition fee is non-refundable and is subject to change without notice.


Connect with us!

Interested in learning more? Have a particular employer you’d like to work for?

megan.noble@unbc.ca | 250-960-5447 | 7-234 (across from the UNBC Bookstore)