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Co-operative Education FAQs

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Frequently asked questions

How do I get a Co-op work term?

In most cases, students apply for employment opportunities posted on Career Hub, 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.

How do I earn credits with Co-op?

Nine credits are awarded for each work term successfully completed. Co-op credits are additive. They cannot be used to meet regular academic course requirements needed to complete your program. 

Are there tuition fees for Co-op?

Yes. Co-op fees are based on the College’s current fee schedule. Payment is made only when a work term is secured. The fee structure is different for international students; please contact the Co-op office for details.

How are students selected for Co-op?

Co-op students are required to take a minimum of nine credits in each study semester and to maintain a GPA of 2.33 (C+). You must also have completed a minimum of 18 credits in your program. In addition to academic performance, students are selected on the basis of maturity, motivation, adaptability and prior work experience.

What is the length of a work term and how do work terms fit with my studies?

A Co-op work term (4 months) must be a minimum of 420 hours completed in a 12-16 week work term. Often employers will hire Co-op students for two work terms (8 months) back to back.  While the sequence may vary, work terms are normally scheduled after completion of the second or third semester of your academic program. Students generally do not attend courses while in their Co-op work term, though there are exceptions. Please note: You must return to your studies after you complete your Co-op work term; a Co-op work term is not eligible for your last semester.

Am I guaranteed a work term?

Co-op is an educational program, not a placement service. The Co-op office will do its utmost to help you to secure a suitable work term. 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.

What is expected of Co-op students?

Co-op students must attend all mandatory prerequisite seminars, complete all assignments, play an active role in the job search process, complete projects or reports assigned by faculty advisors during the work term, and conduct themselves appropriately on the job, as representatives of Douglas College. A student handbook detailing Co-op program policies and procedures is available from the Co-op office and on our website.

How much can I expect to be paid?

Rates of pay are determined by the employer. We recommend to employers they pay students in accordance with their organization’s regular pay scale and based on job duties and level of responsibility. Wages normally range from $13-$20 per hour or higher. Wages, benefits and working conditions vary.

What if I already have a job related to my studies?

If you already have a job related to your studies and would like to use it for Co-op credits, discuss with your employer and have them contact the Co-op office. Or talk to us, and we will contact the employer on your behalf.

How will I be evaluated?

On-the-job performance is monitored and evaluated by both your work supervisor and Co-op faculty advisor. Evaluation criteria includes 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).