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.)

  1. Meet with the Co-op Coordinators and Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning) to gather information and understanding of our structure.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. Think about which courses would be recommended prior to placement that might provide the skills that employers value.
  5. In coordination with Co-op program, discuss/research possible work opportunities and potential employer partnership possibilities that would open opportunities for students.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.

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