A Co-op work term or internship is an academic course recognized on the students' transcript of marks. Therefore, to be considered for Co-op, the following position criteria must be met:
- The work must be related to the student's program of study (Degrees With Co-op)
- Positions begin in January, May, or September and typically run for 16 weeks. However, a minimum of 12 weeks is acceptable. (Students are also available for 8-month co-op terms, and 12 and 16-month internships.)
- A minimum of 35 hours of work per week
- Co-op students are paid by the employer (The only exception is for Nutrition students where remuneration is optional). Salary is also determined by the employer and varies by discipline, employer location, and experience level of the student being hired. Please see Historical Wages as a reference in determining competitiveness. Employers can apply for funding to assist with the cost of hiring a co-op student
To learn more about posting a position for Co-op students, visit Post a Job.
We begin posting positions four months in advance of a work term. Positions are typically posted within 24 hours from the time they are received and are given a two week deadline for students to apply (if a deadline is not specified by the employer). We continue to post positions throughout the months leading up to the work term.
Applications will be collected by the Co-op Office and forwarded to the employer by e-mail, unless an alternate delivery method is requested. Applications are forwarded the same day the posting closes to students.
Interviews are quickly and efficiently coordinated by the Co-op Office. We work with the employer to find times that are mutually convenient for the interviewer and the students. Interviews can be held on campus, by phone, by video conference, or at the employer's site (depending on location). Simply send us your preferred date, time(s), expected duration, interviewer name(s), method and location and we will do the rest!
Recommendations to create an accessible interview include:
- Offer different interview options (phone, Skype, or in-person)
- Provide the interview questions ahead of time
- Vary how questions are asked to the student
- Provide extra time for answering questions
- Allow the student to use cue cards to assist with guiding and focusing the conversation
- Provide the student with the option to respond to interview questions in writing
- Hold interviews in a physically and psychologically accessible location. For example, the building should have a ramp, elevator access, and doorframes large enough to accommodate individuals who use wheelchairs
- If a presentation is a necessary component of the interview process, work with the student on strategies that make it possible for them to demonstrate their knowledge
The following outlines a few key expectations of our employer partners who are supervising Co-op students:
- Employers are required to provide ongoing supervision and feedback to students as key partners in the education process
- Employers are required to have full financial commitment prior to making offers to students
- Employers are required to treat the students as regular employees in terms of labour standard practices. Co-op students are not expected to have access to vacation or paid sick days. Granting requests for time-off is at the employer’s discretion
- Employers are required to establish learning objectives with the students within the first three weeks of a work term, participate in a work site visit conducted by Co-op staff, as well as complete the final employer evaluation near the end of the work term
- Employers are required to notify Co-op staff as soon as possible should there be ongoing issues or concerns related to student performance. It is important that direct feedback be given to the students, so they have an opportunity to improve their performance
- Employers are required to notify Co-op staff of any significant changes to the duties assigned to students. Deviations from the approved job description need to be communicated to Co-op staff
- Employers are required to notify Co-op staff as early as possible of situations arising from labour negotiations or other possible work disruptions during a Co-op work term
Employers are asked to contact the Co-op Office with your offer. A Co-op Coordinator will extend the offer to the selected candidate. We work on a first-come, first-served basis.
When an offer has been verbally accepted by a student, the employer will be notified and asked to formalize the offer with a written letter/e-mail. The offer letter should contain details such as:
- Job title
- Start/end date
- Regular hours of work per week (start and end time)
- Time and duration of breaks
- Where and who to report to on the first day of work (include start time of first day)
- Name and contact information of person supervising student
- Dress code
- Travel/housing allowance (if provided)
- Confidentiality and non-compete agreement (can be a separate document but should be presented at time of offer)
- Any other information the student needs to know before starting their new position
It is at the discretion of the employer whether the student is required to sign the offer letter.
Click on the link below to access a sample offer letter. Organizations that have standard offer letters are not required to adopt a new template providing the required information is included.
Onboarding is a process of integrating new employees into an organization. It focuses on providing the necessary information to be successful in the role. This process is very important when hiring Co-op students for the following reasons:
- It introduces students to the formal and informal culture, values, and practices of the organization
- It outlines expectations upfront, establishing clear communication
- It has a positive impact on students and their view of the organization
- It capitalizes on the motivation of students
- It encourages students to become more involved
- It influences how productive students will be
Some organizations may have established onboarding practices that are used when hiring new employees. For those that may not, here is a checklist that can be used in planning for the arrival of a student as well as how to integrate them into the organization within the first week. Please note that some components of the checklist may not be relevant to your organization.
Establishing clear expectations and providing ongoing feedback are critical components of the onboarding process. Performance feedback is essential to student success and should be provided on a regular basis. Feedback that balances both what was accomplished with how it was accomplished will maximize its impact. It should focus on the specifics of performance and encourage self-reflection.
Here are some tips:
- Demonstrate interest in what the student is doing and learning by asking questions
- Encourage the student to contribute to the conversation by offering feedback they have
- Provide praise and positive feedback to reinforce desirable behavior
- Ensure the timing is right (don’t let too much time pass as the feedback loses context)
- Keep feedback descriptive and specific
- Offer support and guidance showing that you care about their success
- Focus on mutually agreed-upon goals
- Deliver constructive feedback in-person, if possible (E-mail is not an effective way to deliver constructive feedback or address performance issues)