Starting a Co-op in the Faculty of Arts
Is your department or program in the Faculty of Arts thinking about starting a co-op program, practicum or internship? Here’s a handy step-by-step guide. (With thanks to Carllie Necker, Co-op Coordinator.)
- Meet with the Co-op Coordinators and Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning) to gather information and understanding of our structure.
- Meet with your department to confirm their interest in the plan. Clarify whether you want a co-op program, a practicum or an internship. Discuss the types of opportunities that would come up in Co-op. (Co-op terms are 12-16 weeks, 35 hours per week, paid, one volunteer term allowed, terms can be 4, 8 or 12 months long, 3 needed for designation.)
- Think about students who work in Fall or Winter terms How will this impact their degree? Co-op normally adds a year. The guidelines are that students are full time, registered in the department offering Co-op, 2.7 GPA based on recent 5 FCEs, by first placement will have completed 8.0 FCEs, maximum 14.
- Think about which courses would be recommended prior to placement that might provide the skills that employers value.
- In coordination with Co-op program, discuss/research possible work opportunities and potential employer partnership possibilities that would open opportunities for students.
- Research your alumni. What work experience/skill set would have assisted them in their current careers? Look at the career paths of undergraduate students as well as graduates. Decide what kinds of positions are relevant.
- Consider available Faculty Co-op Advisors who could be a liaison between students and the Co-op program, and prospective employers, attending Integrative Session when students in the program complete their work terms.
- Add the option to your course calendar. Decide when the first application will be accepted. (Currently May 1 and Dec 1, but this may change.) Design a template for your rationale for the new program. (Consult the Visual Studies template as a model.)
- Students obtain their first work terms. Advertise the option on the department website, with a link to Co-op. Promote in the classrooms and at events. Design brochures, posters and website profiles.