Procedure for Policy 2.5 Procedures for Co-operative Education Programming
The official version of this procedure is housed with the University Secretariat. In the event of a discrepancy, the official version will prevail. Click here for a printable version of this procedure.
Parent Policy: Policy 2.5 - Policy on Co-operative Education Programming
Approving Authority: Senate
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs), Office of the Associate Vice-President (Academic)
Responsible Officer: Provost & Vice-President (Academic)
Original Approval Date: 2006
Effective Date: May 1, 2022
Date of Most Recent Review: November 22, 2021
Previous Reviews: June 4, 2012
Procedures for the Establishment of Co-op Programs
Co-operative Education Programs shall be established according to the criteria listed under section 5 of Policy 2.5 Policy on Co-operative Education Programming and will align with governance requirements under the Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP) and Senate.
1. Schedule of Studies for Undergraduate Co-op Programs
1.1. Every undergraduate Co-op Program Schedule of Studies shall include the following features:
1.1.1. A minimum of three Co-op Work Terms to a maximum of five Co-op Work Terms shall be sequenced within the Schedule of Studies.
1.1.2. At least one Co-op Work Term shall occur in each of the Summer, Fall, and Winter semesters, unless industry needs show a seasonal demand over two different work term semesters.
1.1.3. The first Co-op Work Term shall be scheduled no sooner than the second Winter semester of the program.
1.1.4. No more than five full-time academic semesters shall be completed before the first Co-op Work Term, unless it is a co-op internship.
1.1.5. The Co-op Schedule of Studies shall not finish with a Co-op Work Term semester.
1.1.6. The Schedule of Studies for a Co-op Program shall not exceed eight academic semesters, a schedule that is no longer than five years.
1.1.7. At least thirty percent of the Schedule of Studies for the Co-op Program shall be comprised of semesters in work terms.
1.1.8. Co-op internships normally commence once at least fifty percent of the academic program is complete and are twelve to sixteen months in length for four-year undergraduate degree programs.
1.1.9. It is the responsibility of the academic department in conjunction with the Experiential Learning Hub (EL Hub) to design the Co-op Program Schedule of Studies taking into account that sufficient and appropriate courses are offered in the academic semesters on campus so that co-op students are available year-round to employers participating in the program.
2. Schedule of Studies for Associate Diploma Co-op Programs
2.1. Every associate diploma Co-op Program Schedule of Studies shall include the following features:
2.1.1. A minimum of one Co-op Work Term to a maximum of two Co-op Work Terms shall be sequenced within the Schedule of Studies.
2.1.2. The first Co-op Work Term shall be scheduled no sooner than the first Winter semester of the program.
2.1.3. No more than two full-time academic semesters shall be completed before the first Co-op Work Term.
2.1.4. The Co-op Schedule of Studies shall not finish with a Co-op Work Term semester.
2.1.5. The Schedule of Studies for a Co-op Program shall not exceed four academic semesters, a schedule that is no longer than three years.
2.1.6. At least twenty-five percent of the Schedule of Studies for the Co-op Program shall be comprised of semesters in work terms.
2.1.7. It is the responsibility of the academic department in conjunction with the EL Hub to design the Co-op Program Schedule of Studies taking into account that sufficient and appropriate courses are offered in the academic semesters on campus.
3. Co-op Work Term Requirements
3.1. Co-op work terms must meet the following requirements:
3.1.1. Each work term is developed and/or approved by the EL Hub as a suitable learning opportunity.
3.1.2. The student is engaged in productive work rather than merely observing.
3.1.3. The student receives remuneration for the work performed.
3.1.4. Work term opportunities without traditional remuneration must be approved by the EL Hub.
3.1.5. The student’s progress on the work term is monitored by the EL Hub.
3.1.6. The student's performance on the job is supervised and formally evaluated by the student's co-op employer.
3.1.7. Students must complete a Work Term Report and satisfactorily pass the academic requirements governing this assessment.
4.1. Normally the minimum admission average required for students to be considered for admission to a Co-op Program is eighty percent for undergraduate degree programs and sixty percent for associate diploma programs. Exact cut-offs are determined on the basis on the quantity and quality of applications received and the number of places available in the program. Students not admitted to co-op will be automatically considered for the regular program. The number of admission offers to the Co-op Program will depend upon the capacity determined each year by the EL Hub in collaboration with the Co-operative Program Coordinating Committee (CPCC) and the Registrar.
4.2. University of Guelph students and external students to the University may be admitted for transfer to a Co-op Program if there is capacity available in the specified program. The minimum admissions average for internal transfer is a seventy cumulative average in the first two full time semesters. Other conditions and application deadlines may apply. Students should consult the Program Counsellor for information on internal transfer.
5. Continuation of Study
5.1. It is mandatory that co-op students be registered full-time for the duration of their program as outlined in the Schedule of Studies listed in the Academic Calendar. Exceptions will be made for students registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) requiring an accommodation. Exceptions will also be considered for students who have temporarily reduced their course load if there are sufficient extenuating medical, psychological, or compassionate circumstances. It is the student’s responsibility to consult the EL Hub as soon as extenuating circumstances affect academic course load, in order to initiate action, and provide any required documentation.
5.2. Students are required to complete and pass the mandatory Introduction to Co-operative Education (COOP *1100) non-credit course as the pre-requisite for the first employment process and complete required co-op professional development modules.
5.3. Students are required to follow the academic and work sequence as outlined in the Academic Calendar.
5.4. Students who receive a Marginal Work Performance Evaluation will be required to meet with their Co-op Coordinator. Students who receive two Marginal work performance evaluations will be withdrawn from co-op and transferred to the regular academic program. The grade as well as the phrase “Req to Withdraw from Co-op” will appear on the Official Transcript.
5.5. A student who receives an Unsatisfactory Work Term Report will be required to withdraw from co-op. The grade as well as the phrase “Req to Withdraw from Co-op” will appear on the Official Transcript.
5.6. The co-op employment process is competitive and while the EL Hub makes every effort to assist students in gaining employment, there is no guarantee that every student will become employed through the employment process.
6. Graduation Requirements
6.1. Students are eligible to graduate with the “Co-op Certification” if they meet the following conditions:
6.1.1. Meet the academic conditions for graduation for their program as outlined in the Academic Calendar. For undergraduate degree co-op programs, students must graduate with an honours program.
6.1.2. Receive evaluations of “Good” or higher in all but one of the Work Performance Evaluations.
6.1.3. Receive evaluations of “Satisfactory” or higher in all Work Report Evaluations.
6.2. Students wanting to graduate with less than the required number of work terms must contact their Co-op Coordinator with the request, and it will be brought to the Associate Director Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning for consideration and final approval.
6.3. Students who do not achieve the requirements for continuation of study or graduation in the co-op program may appeal the decision (Section 8).
7. Roles and Responsibilities of Co-operative Education Program Partners
7.1.1. Student success in a co-op program requires commitment. Students are required to read and understand the Policy Agreement for Student Involvement in Co-operative Education.
7.1.2. There is no guarantee that all students enrolled in co-op will have a work term. They must take responsibility for the employment process. This includes:
22.214.171.124. Meeting the co-op continuation of study requirements.
126.96.36.199. Successfully completing the COOP*1100 preparatory course and required professional development modules.
188.8.131.52. Understanding the competitiveness of the co-op application process and their responsibilities within the process.
7.1.3. Students must also take responsibility for success in the workplace. As such, students must:
184.108.40.206. Adequately prepare for the work term and represent themselves and the University in the workplace.
220.127.116.11. Set learning goals with the supervisor early in the term and work toward achieving those goals.
18.104.22.168. Request a formal performance evaluation at the end of the term.
22.214.171.124. Prepare a Work Term Report for the Co-op Faculty Advisor.
126.96.36.199. Successfully complete the requirements of the work terms.
188.8.131.52. Inform the EL Hub on matters affecting their status.
7.2. The Academic Department
7.2.1. The Academic Department is responsible for all academic components of the co-op program including the offering of courses to support the co-op program and the evaluation of the co-op Work Term Report. A Co-op Faculty Advisor is provided for each co-op program.
7.2.2. The role of the Co-op Faculty Advisor is to support the student on the academic requirements of the program. The responsibilities of the Co-op Faculty Advisor are to:
184.108.40.206. Assist students in academic/work sequences and course selection.
220.127.116.11. Provide detailed guidelines on the writing and marking of work term reports.
18.104.22.168. Advise the student of appropriate work term report topics, supporting the process, grading of the work report by deadline, inputting grades into the Experience Guelph system and follow-up discussion with the student.
22.214.171.124. Undertake administrative tasks in support of the educational program, including management of the unit's co-op program, supporting the development of materials about the program (where required), and establishing procedures for the co-op program within the department.
7.3. The Experiential Learning Hub (EL Hub)
7.3.1. The role of the EL Hub is to support all of the administrative functions related to the work term experience. Responsibilities of the EL Hub include:
126.96.36.199. Following the required operational guidelines as an accredited program of Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL).
188.8.131.52. Preparing students for the co-op experience.
184.108.40.206. Coordinating job development relevant to the academic curriculum and facilitating the employment process.
220.127.116.11. Ensuring the quality of the job development effort.
18.104.22.168. Providing all the administrative support required for the smooth functioning of the University's co-operative education program.
22.214.171.124. Operating the competitive employment processes including co-op interviews and employer information sessions, panels, and informational interviews.
126.96.36.199. Maintaining all employer, department, and student data.
188.8.131.52. Processing all administrative matters relating to the relationship between employer and institution.
184.108.40.206. Building employer relationships and providing students with a range of suitable employment opportunities and working closely in conjunction with the academic unit and Alumni Affairs and Development.
220.127.116.11. Offering the COOP *1100 Introduction to Co-operative Education course in a semester prior to the student employment process.
18.104.22.168. Providing student support for resume, cover letter and interview preparation as well as career guidance where needed.
22.214.171.124. Ensuring the employer maintains the appropriate educational quality in the work term experience provided to the student.
126.96.36.199. Working with the Registrar to ensure a reasonable number of students are admitted into the program.
188.8.131.52. Ensuring the academic/work program schedules provide year-round availability of work terms to meet employer needs.
184.108.40.206. Assigning Co-op Coordinators to co-operative education programs.
7.4. Co-op Coordinator
7.4.1. The role of the Co-op Coordinator is to work within specific programs to support the work term process. Responsibilities of the Co-op Coordinator are to:
220.127.116.11. Develop jobs in specific discipline areas.
18.104.22.168. Advise students regarding their activities in the employment process and on the work term.
22.214.171.124. Market the co-op program to employers and obtain work term commitments.
126.96.36.199. Prepare co-op students for their involvement in co-operative education and educate students concerning employer and performance expectations.
188.8.131.52. Actively monitor the work term maintaining contact with the student during the work term.
184.108.40.206. Be available any time during the work term to respond to student or employer inquiries.
220.127.116.11. Conduct a work term visit with the student and supervisor.
18.104.22.168. Conduct pre- and post-work term student advisement and debriefing.
22.214.171.124. Manage the student's file and ensure complete institutional records on each student.
126.96.36.199. Undertake administrative tasks in support of the co-op program, including consultation with academic units on their co-op offering, consultation with Co-op Faculty Advisor on policy and procedure aspects of the program.
188.8.131.52. Approve special situations where students may complete a work term without traditional remuneration.
- 7.5. Co-op Program Coordinating Committee (CPCC)
7.5.1. The role of the CPCC is to provide administrative oversight and advice as it relates to the University’s co-op programs. Responsibilities of CPCC include:
184.108.40.206. Ensure that all co-op programs conform to the established policy and standard practices.
220.127.116.11. Coordinate co-op program Schedule of Studies to support the maximum availability of students in all three semesters.
18.104.22.168. Review new program proposals to confirm that sufficient resources are available to mount a quality co-op program, including the assignment of a Co-op Coordinator and Co-op Faculty Advisor for each stream.
22.214.171.124. Monitor co-op programs to support high quality program delivery.
- 7.6. Employer
7.6.1. Good quality employers who understand the educational focus of the co-op programs are critical to the program. Responsibilities of the employer are to:
126.96.36.199. Provide co-op work term job opportunities that meet the University's educational objectives.
188.8.131.52. Provide the University with an accurate job description along with any available company information.
184.108.40.206. Conduct interviews and select the best candidate.
220.127.116.11. Pay competitive wages in accordance with the student’s work term level and academic level.
18.104.22.168. Provide safe employment including WSIB and liability insurance coverage for the duration of the employment period.
22.214.171.124. Comply with the Provincial Employment Standards Act.
7.6.2. During the work term:
126.96.36.199. Orient the student to the organization, workplace protocols and the job during the first few weeks of the work term.
188.8.131.52. Supervise the student and provide guidance when the student is setting learning goals at the start of the work term with a review mid-term and at the completion of the work term.
184.108.40.206. Provide performance feedback to the student throughout the term and keeping the Co-op Coordinator current on any changes in the student’s performance.
220.127.116.11. Meet with the Co-op Coordinator during the work term visit and provide feedback concerning the student’s performance and if there are concerns maintaining communication with the Co-op Coordinator.
18.104.22.168. Provide career information and guidance as appropriate.
22.214.171.124. Complete a work term performance evaluation form and exit interview for the student at the conclusion of the work term.
126.96.36.199. Assist the student with the selection of a topic for a work term report when applicable and provide comments on the final work term report if required.
8. Co-operative Education Program Appeals
Students may be required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program for any of the following reasons:
- 8.1. Work Term and Work Preparation Related Issues
8.1.1. The student leaves the employer without approval during the work term.
8.1.2.The student is dismissed from a work term.
8.1.3.The student receives an “Unsatisfactory” Co-op Work Performance Evaluation by the employer.
8.1.4.The student did not complete COOP *1100 or did not receive a passing grade.
8.2. Academic and Work Term Schedule of Studies Related Issues
The student does not follow the approved academic and work schedule including:
- 8.2.1. Maintain full-time academic status during academic semesters (minimum 2.0 credits per semester).
8.2.2. Successfully completing the requirements for each of the approved scheduled academic semesters.
8.2.3. Completing no more than five full-time academic semesters in their co-op program before beginning the first work term.
8.2.4. Completing COOP *1100 in the semester scheduled.
8.2.5. Completing a Fall, Winter and Summer work term, unless otherwise agreed to.
8.3. Academic Related issues
8.3.1. The student receives an “Unsatisfactory” Co-op Work Report Evaluation.
9. Appeal Process
9.1. A student who is required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program has the option to appeal. In the case where a student wishes to apply for re-admission to the program, the student must appeal the “Required to Withdraw from Co-op” decision no later than the fifteenth class day after notification. Students cannot re-apply for admission to the Co-op Education program in subsequent terms.
9.1.1. Work Term and Work Preparation Related Appeals
188.8.131.52. If the student is required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program on the basis of Work Term or Work Preparation related reasons and wishes to appeal this decision, the appeal must be submitted to the Co-op Appeal Committee using the Co-op Appeals Form. The form can be obtained from the Experiential Learning Hub. The decision of the Co-op Appeal Committee is final.
9.1.2. Academic and Work Term Schedule of Studies Related Appeals
184.108.40.206. If the student is required to withdraw from the Co-op Education program because they have not followed the Academic and Work Term Schedule of Studies and wishes to appeal this decision, the appeal must be submitted to the Academic Review Sub-committee, according to the procedures outlined in Section VIII of the Academic Calendar under “Academic Consideration, Appeals and Petitions”.
9.1.3. Academic Related Appeals
220.127.116.11. If the student wishes to appeal an “Unsatisfactory” Work Report Evaluation, the appeal must be submitted according to the regulations outlined in Section VIII of the Academic Calendar under Grade Reassessment.