Douglas College > Programs & Courses > Co-operative Education > Join Co-op > Co-op FAQs
In one word, experience! As a Douglas College Co-op student, you can gain 4 to 16 months of paid work experience, directly related to your field of study.
Co-op students are required to carry a minimum of 9 credits in each study semester, and to maintain a grade point average of 2.33 (C+). They must also have completed a minimum of 18 credits in their program. In addition to academic performance, students are selected on the basis of maturity, motivation, adaptability, and prior work experience. The following diploma and degree programs have a Co-op option:
While the sequence may vary, work terms are normally scheduled after completion of the second or third semester of your academic program. Students generally are not attending courses while in their Co-op work term but, there are a few exceptions. Students need to be returning to their course work after they complete their Co-op work term(s). The Co-op work term is not eligible for the student's last semester.
In most cases, students apply for employment opportunities posted on the Co-op web site, and the Co-op Office forwards the portfolios of qualified students to employers and arranges the interviews. Employers make the final hiring decision, often in consultation with the Co-op Office. Students are also encouraged to discover or create their own employment work opportunities.
Co-op is an educational program, not a placement service. While no guarantees are possible, the Co-op Office will do its utmost to help you to secure a suitable work placement. Your success will depend on current market demands, your particular skills and experience, and your ability to "sell yourself" in an interview with the employer.
Students accepted into the Co-op Program are required to attend all mandatory pre-requisite seminars, to complete all assignments, to play an active role in the job search process, to complete projects or reports assigned by the faculty advisors during the work term, and to conduct themselves appropriately on the job, as representatives of the College.
A student handbook, further detailing the Co-op program policies and procedures, is available from the Co-op Office and on the Co-op web site.
Rates of pay are determined by the employer. We recommend to employers that they pay students in accordance with their organizations' regular pay scales, bearing in mind the job duties and level of responsibility. Wages normally range from $13 - $20 per hour, or more. Wages, benefits, and working conditions will vary considerably.
Yes. To recognize the educational value of the Co-op experience, 9 credits are awarded for each work term successfully completed. Co-op credits are additive. They cannot be used to meet regular academic course requirements necessary to complete your program. Co-op fees are based on the College's current fee schedule (please see the current Douglas College calendar). Payment is made only if and when a work term is secured. The fee structure is different for international students; please contact the Co-op Office for details.
If you already have a job related to your studies and would like to use it for Co-op credits, discuss the possibility with your employer and have the company contact the Co-op Office for further information. Or talk to us, and we will be happy to contact the employer on your behalf.
On-the-job performance is monitored and evaluated by both the employer's supervisor and the Co-op faculty advisor. Evaluation criteria will include your contribution to the employer's business, your ability to communicate, negotiate, and deliver performance objectives, and your perceived development in terms of employer-valued abilities. A formal work term report or other project is also required for each work term.
Co-op work terms are graded as "Mastery" (pass) or "Non Mastery" (fail).