DRAFT: UFV Academic Calendar Fall 2014

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Co-operative Education

Co-operative Education combines full-time study and full-time, study-related employment. It is presently an option within Arts, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Criminology/Criminal Justice, Fine Arts, General Studies, Library and Information Technology, and Science programs. Students should contact the Career Centre for further information, or visit ufv.ca/Jobs/Co-op-Education.

Co-operative Education offers many benefits for students:

• Learning and applying job search skills through pre-employment seminars and a competitive job interview process.
• Testing and refining career choices in the context of the workplace.
• Gaining valuable on-the-job experience in their chosen field, which can enhance post-graduation employability.
• Earning competitive wages, which can help to offset educational costs and reduce dependence on student loans and part-time employment during study terms.
• Applying classroom learning in the workplace.

Co-op students must be engaged in productive, study-related work rather than merely observing others at work. While Co-op coordinators develop most of the placement opportunities, student-generated jobs are encouraged and must be approved as suitable learning experiences by the Co-op coordinator. Appropriate on-the-job accommodations will be implemented for students with disabilities.

All registered Co-op students have access to an online Co-op job postings system. These positions are open to Co-op students ONLY. Eligible students compete for placements through an application process coordinated by the Co-op staff. Employers make the interview and hiring decisions. The staff also monitors the progress of each student on the job, through e-mail contact and at least one work site visit.

The Co-operative Education staff are located within the Career Centre.


Each Co-op work term is generally four or eight months in length. In addition to specified program courses, two work terms (diploma), three work terms (degree) are normally completed to earn a Co-operative Education designation. This may extend the duration of the program, depending on the number and timing of the work placements. Students are encouraged to apply in their first year. After completing the equivalent of a first year of study, Co-op students alternate between semesters of full-time study and full-time paid work experience employment.


Many Co-op positions are situated in the central and upper Fraser Valley; however, students should give serious consideration to the possibility of relocation for the work term period. Co-op students may also work in the Lower Mainland and other areas of B.C. Students willing to commute or relocate will have access to the widest range of work experience opportunities. Questions regarding relocation should be discussed with the Co-op staff.

Entrance requirements and application process

All Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and visa students are eligible to participate in the Co-op program. Visa students are eligible for work permits which are only valid for Co-op employment arranged through the Co-op program.

To apply for the Co-op option, students must attend an information session and complete an application form that is available online through CareerLink at https://ufv-csm.symplicity.com/students.

Applications are accepted in the Fall, Winter, and Summer semesters. Deadlines are posted on the Co-op website. 

To qualify for the first work-term placement, students must:

• be enrolled full-time in the diploma or degree program.

• have successfully completed a minimum of 18 credits in their academic program.

• have a GPA of at least 2.33 (C+) for diploma or 2.67 (B-) for degree.

• complete a Co-op online application form by the September, January, or May deadline (see website for deadline dates).

• attend an interview/orientation with Co-op staff to determine level of interest and ensure that the option is understood.

• complete the mandatory, full day Co-op pre-employment workshop delivered by the Co-op program.

To qualify for subsequent Co-op work terms, students must:

• have successfully completed all previous courses in their program prior to placement

• maintain a GPA of at least 2.33 (C+) for diploma or 2.67 (B-) for degree

• receive satisfactory evaluations from designated work-site supervisors in each work term

• submit a satisfactory graded work report after each work term.

Students are encouraged to apply to the Co-operative Education program during their first year at UFV; however, all students are admitted on an individual basis, and the requirements may be flexible. In some circumstances, students may be admitted conditionally to Co-op if their GPA is lower than 2.67 (degree) or 2.33 (diploma). Each applicant is judged on their individual situation. Please speak to the Co-op coordinator for your program of study regarding your eligibility prior to applying to the Co-op program if you are uncertain whether you qualify.

Students must apply for admission to the Co-op program.

Students are encouraged to contact appropriate Co-op coordinators as early in their university career as possible but no later than two semesters prior to the first work term. Note that if you wish to be employed in Summer 2015, you would need to begin the Co-op process in Fall 2014.

Transfer students

Transfer students should contact the Co-op office as soon as possible and must complete at least one study term prior to engaging in a work term. Students may apply the academic credit hours earned at another institution towards the 18 hours required of academic credit hours prior to first work placement, as per UFV Co-op entrance requirements (see above). Students transferring from an approved accredited co-op program elsewhere, and who have successfully completed work terms, will receive transfer credit for those work terms. At least 25% of the academic program and one co-op work term must be completed at UFV. Please speak with a Co-op coordinator regarding the transferability of work terms from other co-op programs prior to applying to Co-op at UFV.

Employment process

Once students have been accepted into the Co-op program and completed the required pre-employment curriculum, they can then participate in the employment competition. Job opportunities are identified and posted through Co-op. Students select those positions for which they wish to compete. Employers then identify candidates to interview and make an offer of employment to the candidate of their choosing. If an employment offer is made, the student may accept or decline, based on contractual obligations and ethics associated with progression in the employment process. These obligations are made clear to all participants at each point in the employment process.

Once a student accepts an employment offer, they are required to fulfill that work term obligation, and they must register in a Co-op practicum course.

Application form submission and/or participation in the employment competition indicates a commitment to the program and acceptance of the following:
• permission for release of copies of transcript to prospective employers
• agreement to enrol in the appropriate Co-operative Education course
• agreement to inform UFV of the acceptance of any Co-op employment position
• agreement to complete the Co-operative Education program
• all accepted students are responsible for following the policies and procedures outlined in the Co-op Student Handbook, found online at ufv.ca/Jobs/Co-op-Education.

Operation of the program

The Co-op coordinators and program staff facilitate all pre-employment student preparation, negotiate work terms, meet employers to establish employer needs, and meet with students to monitor progress. They oversee job competition and visit students on the job, counsel and advise students, and deal with issues which may arise for the student or the employer during a work placement.

Self-directed work search

Students may also find or create their own work terms, locally or abroad. Guidance is provided. Self-initiated jobs must be approved by the Co-op program in advance of the work term, and students are required to enrol in and pay for the appropriate Co-op practicum.

International opportunities

Students may travel internationally to complete a work term. Contact your Co-op coordinator for more information.

Additive credits

The Co-op courses are considered additive credits. These units do not count toward the total units required for the degree.

Fees and additional costs

Please see the fees and other costs section of the calendar for co-operative education fees.

Diploma/degree designation

Three work terms must be successfully completed for a degree with a Co-op designation. Two work terms must be successfully completed for a diploma with a Co-op designation. Successful work term completion includes a passing grade (comprised of both a work project evaluation and a work performance evaluation) and compliance with minimum standards of participation. (A work term typically consists of full time employment for 13-16 weeks.)


For further information please visit ufv.ca/Jobs/Co-op-Education.