Co-operative Education formally integrates the student's academic study with work experience in co-operating employer organizations. Academic programs are scheduled to allow the student to alternate periods of study with periods of work in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, social services or the professions. Students are engaged in productive work in jobs developed and/or approved by the institution as suitable learning situations. Progress on the job is monitored by the institution and is supervised and evaluated by both the employer and the institution. Co-operative Education is intended to provide students with the practical knowledge of their discipline and to assist them in making more precise career decisions as a result of the frequent and extensive exposure to the work environment.
Through an introductory co-op class, continuing contact with supervisors and fellow workers, work performance evaluations, on the job visits and return to campus interviews, Co-op students become increasingly aware of their strengths and weaknesses in their personal characteristics. Practical communication skills are enhanced through the medium of work reports which are intended to accentuate awareness of real life situations and responsibilities. Also, a greater degree of financial independence may be realized, and the possibility of a wider variety of permanent employment opportunities exists. Co-operative Education Services is primarily responsible for administering the work semester aspects of Co-operative Education programs. This involves marketing the concept of Co-operative Education to potential employees, identifying appropriate jobs, and organizing the on campus employer interview system. Co-op field co-ordinators contact students on the job site, and along with the On-Campus co-ordinator provide a wide range of counselling and career development services.
Enrolment in the Co-operative Education programs will be limited, and the number of students admitted is generally dependent on the projected employment market. Admission is directly into semester 1. However, in-course transfers are considered, space permitting. Interested students should contact Co-operative Education Services prior to the application deadline dates as printed in Section III--Schedule of Dates.
A Background Information Sheet may be requested from high school applicants and will be sent to the applicant by the Admissions Office if necessary.
In order to apply to the Co-op Education program, all students must have at least a 70% average. For high school students, it is required for the appropriate subjects in the final year; for in-course students in their first year, it is required of their overall average, and their major; and for transfer students, they must meet normal admission requirements, as well as complete one academic semester at Guelph in which they achieve the minimum recommended average, normally prior to participating in the Co-op process. Applicants must normally be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident/landed immigrant. Normally there is no admission into co-op programs from academic semesters 4 and beyond.
In addition to the conditions for continuation of study listed for the appropriate degree programs elsewhere in the calendar, Co-op students admitted directly from highschool and in-course must maintain at least a 70% overall average in first year to continue in the co-op program. Consideration may be given in some programs to other factors (i.e. Interview results). In addition, all students must satisfactorily complete COOP*1100, Introduction to Co-operative Education, before the first work term. See the schedule of studies for the programs of study offered under Co-operative Education.
Co-op students must normally be registered as full time. Co-op students are also required to meet other conditions, for example, satisfactory work term reports and work performance evaluations in order to continue in co-op. Complete conditions for continuation of study for a co-op program are outlined in the Policy for Student Involvement in Co-operative Education. The complete policy can be viewed on the world wide web at www.coop.uoguelph.ca.
By registering in a Co-operative Education program, students agree that academic transcripts form part of the application package made available to potential employers; and that academic transcripts may also be made available to the appropriate work semester employers. Employment information and evaluation will appear on the academic transcripts.
Following each work term the co-op student must submit a work term report to the department co-op faculty advisor (or the department chair) by the deadline reported in the schedule of dates. This report will be assessed by the faculty advisor and the evaluation submitted to the Office of Registrarial Services through Co-operative Education Services. The department will keep the report in the student's file and is encouraged to discuss the report with the student following evaluation. The report may then be returned to the student or kept in the student's file. Except as outlined in the following paragraph, failure to submit a work term report by the deadline will result in an "unsatisfactory" evaluation on the student's record and a requirement to withdraw from the co-op program.
If the work term report cannot be submitted by the deadline for reasons beyond the control of the student, a "Request for Academic Consideration" form should be completed giving the reasons and providing evidence where appropriate (see also Section VIII--Undergraduate Degree Regulations & Procedures). If the Academic Review Committee finds in favour of the request, a deferred date for the submission of the work term report will be negotiated. Normally, this deferment would be completed as soon as possible as students with missing work term reports may not compete for further work terms.
Conditions for graduation from a Co-operative Education program are similar to the corresponding regular degree program. In addition, all required work semesters must be satisfactorily completed, all work reports must have a grade of satisfactory or better, and no work performance may be evaluated as unsatisfactory.
Students in Co-op are required to pay a co-op fee each semester (see Schedule of Fees in Section VI). Students who enter Co-op in-course will be required to pay an application fee.
Students entering Co-op are advised to review carefully the academic semester/work semester sequence as set out in the schedule of studies for the programs of study offered under Co-operative Education. Normally students must follow the sequence as scheduled. If, under exceptional circumstances, the schedule cannot be followed, the student must obtain written approval of an alternative work and academic semester sequence.