What is Co-op?
Cooperative Education is an optional program for students admitted to the University of Alberta, Bachelor of Commerce Program. Cooperative Education combines learning in the classroom with learning on the job. Students put their academic knowledge into action through periods of relevant full time work experience lasting 4 or 8 months. Students must complete a total of 12 months of work experience in addition to all the Bachelor of Commerce Degree course work in order to receive their Co-op designation.
The following are common questions asked about the Co-op Program. If, after reading the FAQs you still have questions or are wondering if co-op is right for you, please call, email or come and visit us in person. Current BCom students can also book an appointment with a Prospective Co-op Student Advisor in CareerConnect. We are glad to help you to determine if Co-op is the right choice for your student success.
- Why should I choose Co-op?
The benefits of cooperative education are many:
- Co-op Graduates consistently show a salary benefit upon graduation of 5-10% over non- co-op graduates.
- Co-op Graduates have a 5-10% higher rate of employment upon graduation, when compared to non-Co-op graduates.
- Allows students to apply concepts learned in the classroom to a real world experience, thus enhancing academic understanding.
- Opportunity to evaluate work sites and career alternatives prior to making a final career or academic major decision.
- Provides valuable job search skills and increases a student’s networking opportunities.
- Approximately 50% of Co-op students receive permanent offers of employment from one of their Co-op employers.
- The vast majority of Co-op Students believe their work terms had a significant impact on their Career, Learning and Employment
Check out this Experiential Learning Report to learn more about the benefits of Co-op.
Visit the Co-op YouTube Playlist to find out more about the Co-op Experience from current and past co-op students.
- How does the Co-op Program work?
Students complete a total of 12 months full time work experience through a combination of 4 or 8 month work terms, which generally alternate with school terms. Students on work terms are paid salaries, which are set by their employers. Students are registered in an academic course (WKEXP) in each 4 month work term, which are graded on a pass-fail basis.
Successful completion of each WKEXP course will require a site visit by a Co-op Coordinator, the completion of a work term report and an evaluation by the student's supervisor.
Students registered in the cooperative education program are provided with considerable assistance in the location of suitable work placements. The Business Cooperative Education Office develops business related jobs and prepares cooperative education students through the Introduction to Cooperative Education workshops and seminars to conduct an active personal job search. Additionally, all Co-op students have an assigned Co-op Coordinator who provides 1 on 1 support and guidance throughout their time in Co-op.However, the ultimate responsibility for obtaining suitable work term employment rests with the student. The Co-op office does not, and cannot guarantee a placement for all Co-op students.
All work terms must be approved by the Alberta School of Business and during each 4 month work term students are registered in a Work Experience (WKEXP) course.
- Co-op Program Timelines
For students applying to the Co-op program:
- What fees are associated with Co-op?
- Application Fee ($50.00)
- Seminar and Workshop Fee ($150.00)
- Work Experience Fee (see Policies & Procedures Manual for details). This is a tuition fee that applies each time a Co-op Students is registered in a WKEXP course.
- Where do U of A Business Co-op Students work?
In recent years, Business Co-op placements have been located in:
- Greater Edmonton area (82%)
- Alberta (excluding Greater Edmonton area) (15%)
- Canada (excluding Alberta) (2%)
- Outside of Canada (1%)
- Do you admit International students?
International students are eligible to apply to Co-op. If admitted, International students are required to apply for a Co-op work permit through Immigration Canada before undertaking a work term.
- How much work is the Co-op job search?
Co-op students will spend 20-30 hours in initial preparation of their job search skills (cover letter writing, resume preparation, interview skills), before even starting to apply to jobs.
Once in a job search, students can expect to monitor job postings daily, apply to upwards of 50 jobs and participate in multiple interviews over a 10-14 week period. Diligence, perseverance, and a broad approach are key characteristics of the successful co-op student. Students often say that the workload during a job search is equivalent to that of an extra course.
- Can I speak to someone in person or over the phone?
Apply to Co-op
All students who have been granted admission into the UofA BCom program may apply to Co-op.
Applicants may only be considered for the Co-op program if they have no more than *75ucw completed towards their Bachelor of Commerce Degree by August 31st, 2018.
After-Degree Co-op applicants are only eligible to apply for the Co-op program if they have at least 15 courses (*45ucw) remaining in their program by August 31st, 2018.
Please note that admission to the Co-op program is not based solely on GPA, but grades will be considered along with the other required application materials. Find out today if you are eligible to apply!
- Application Process
The first 150 eligible applicants who meet the admission criteria will be admitted to the Co-op program. For more information please review the Admission Criteria.
Applications for the Co-op program are submitted through CareerConnect:
To log in, use your existing University of Alberta CCID and password.
Students newly admitted to Business will be able to access the CareerConnect site one business day after changing their program code to Business in BearTrack.
The Co-op application process has 2 steps:
- Submit $50 application fee through the Online Store in CareerConnect.
- Complete the Co-op Application Form, upload your resume and all post secondary transcripts. Additional information and more detailed instructions are included in the Application Instructions in CareerConnect.
Applications for the Fall 2018 Co-op Program will be accepted beginning February 20th, 2018 at 9:00 am.
Deadline for Fall 2018 Applications: Until the quota is filled or July 31, 2018 at 12:00pm (noon), whichever occurs first.
What Happens After Applying
- Students will receive an email within 2 business days of submitting their application, confirming that their application status.
- Students may also view the status of their application through the Cooperative Education section of CareerConnect.
- When additional information is required, students may be asked to attend an admission interview. If a student is selected for an interview more information will be provided by email.
- Students who accept an offer of admission to the Co-op program are required to sign and submit the Release Form and Student Agreement and Confirmation of Acceptance. International Students also must complete and return the International Student Addendum. More specific information on the Co-op Acceptance process will be included in the Offer of Admission to Co-op email.