Cooperative Education for Employers

UNBC offers a co-operative education model that provides flexibility and strong academic linkages.

Co-operative education combines learning in the classroom with learning on the job. Students put their academic knowledge into action through relevant work experience of 4 or 8 month terms. Typical Co-op work terms are four months in length and the students must end their cop-op program on an academic term prior to graduating. The co-op education option is available to undergraduate students only. 

Download the Co-operative Education Guide for Employers​

As an employer, you want the best for your organization. Our students can make an ideal addition to your workplace—they are bright, talented, highly motivated, and well trained in a variety of disciplines.

Co-op students can take on short-term tasks, contribute to ongoing projects or lend relief to your regular staff during peak periods. In the long term, co-op can provide you with a cost-effective way to evaluate potential future employees, without making a long-term hiring commitment.

Employers like you are valued partners in education, providing guidance to students while engaging with the university community.

1. What is Co-operative Education

Co-op Education combines learning in the classroom with learning on the job.  Students put their academic knowledge into action through relevant work terms ranging from 4, 8 or 12 months each. 

The practical experience gained through these work terms can be an integral part of students’ education.  Students receive valuable experience with real-life employers, while employers benefit from students' enthusiasm, skill and energy.

The goal of the Co-op Education Program is to offer students a broader learning environment, opportunities for excellent work experience and networking with employers.  Students who graduate with co-op distinction are better prepared to pursue productive careers.

2. Benefits of Co-op for Employers

Here are some big reasons why Co-op Students are a smart hire:

  1. Reduce recruiting and training costs.  Hire Co-op Students to fill temporary openings, ease growing workloads and/or complete time sensitive projects.
  2. Give your company access to the latest professional theory.  Co-op Students bring up-to-the-minute theoretical knowledge with them, integrating it into their practical work experience at your business.
  3. Streamline your business by hiring specialists in specialized fields.  Students from over 25 disciplines participate in the UNBC Co-op Education Program.  Hire a Co-op Student for that new marketing campaign you have imagined, the annual, seasonal rush, or that busy end-of-the-year accounting project.
  4. Build strong relationships with UNBC and the student community.  Access hundreds of students and alumni of all backgrounds, experience levels, and interests.

3. What is Expected from Employers

  • Provide full-time paid relevant work that allows students to expand their learning
  • Provide guidance, assistance and evaluate the students performance throughout the work term
    • Beginning of the Work Term
      • Provide an orientation and discuss objectives, time lines and performance expectations
    • During the Work Term
      • Monitor student’s performance and provide on-going feedback. 
      • Participate in a mid-term progress report on the student’s performance
    • End of the Work Term
      • Complete a written performance assessment and discuss with the student before the assessment is returned to the Student Career Centre

4. Co-op Work Terms

All co-op work terms mirror the academic semester:

  • January - April
  • May - August
  • September - December

Work terms can have flexible start dates in order to meet your project needs:

  • 4 month work term: (13 - 16 weeks, 35 - 40 hrs/week)
  • 8 month work term: (23 - 32 weeks, 35 - 40 hrs/week)
  • Parallel work term (Part-time): (23 - 32 weeks, 15 - 20 hrs/week)

5. How to Get Involved

Getting involved is easy.  Steps to hiring a successful co-op student:

  1. Submit a co-op job description to the Student Career Centre.
  2. The Student Career Centre posts the position(s) on our on-line job board.
  3. Students respond to job postings by submitting applications directly to the employer.
  4. The employer must check with the Student Career Centre to confirm status of a student in the Co-op Education program prior to setting up an interview.
  5. The Employer decides who to interview and proceeds with the interview process.
  6. Offers are made directly to the student.
  7. The student will advise the Career Centre of their employment offer and the Career Centre will contact the employer for confirmation and any required additional information for processing the Co-op work term.

6. Academic Programs Offering Co-operative Education

Co-op education is available for the following academic programs:

Bachelor of Arts

  • Anthropology
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • First Nations Studies
  • General Arts
  • Geography
  • History
  • International Studies
  • Northern Studies
  • Political Science
  • Resource-Based Tourism
  • Women's Studies

Bachelor of Commerce

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • General Business
  • Human Resource Management
  • International Business
  • Marketing

Bachelor of Health Sciences

  • Biomedical Studies
  • Community & Population Health
    • Aboriginal & Rural Health
    • Environmental Health

Bachelor of Science

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Planning
  • Environmental Science
  • General Science
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Natural Resource Management

  • Forestry
  • Resource Recreation
  • Wildlife & Fisheries

Bachelor of Planning

  • First Nations Planning
  • Natural Resource Planning
  • Northern & Rural Community Planning