What is Cooperative Education?
Cooperative Education is an optional program for students admitted to the University of Alberta, Bachelor of Commerce Program. Cooperative Education is a strategy that combines learning in the classroom with learning on the job. Students put their academic knowledge into action through periods of relevant work experience of 4 or 8 months each. 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.
What are the benefits of Cooperative Education?
The benefits of cooperative education are many:
- Allows students to apply concepts learned in the classroom to a real world experience, thus enhancing academic understanding
- Enables students to better integrate the concepts that they continue to learn in the final years of the Bachelor of Commerce program from having experienced the work situation first-hand
- Opportunity to evaluate work sites and career alternatives prior to making a final career decision
- Provides valuable job search skills and increases a student’s networking opportunities
- Many Cooperative Education work term placements lead to permanent positions after graduation
Why should I choose Co-op?
Co-op students receive intensive and comprehensive job search training, giving them the best skills possible to succeed in the very challenging job search environment. When senior Co-op students reflect on their Co-op experiences, a common theme expressed is the high value they place on the Co-op workshops and seminars. 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.
Co-op has a clear advantage. From the Annual Alberta School of Business BCom Graduate Employment Surveys:
- Co-op Graduates show a salary benefit over non- co-op graduates
- More Co-op Graduates were employed 6 months after graduation, compared to non-co-op graduates
As well, an Ipsos Reid Study on “Impact of Co-op Education programs on Canadian Post-Secondary Education” presents the following facts:
- Over half of Canadians with Post-Secondary Education who did NOT participate in Co-op programs wished they had done so
- The vast majority of Co-op Students believe their work terms had a significant impact on their Career, Learning and Employment
- A majority of Co-op grads feel that their Co-op experience helped them secure their first job after graduating
Questions? Wondering if co-op is right for you? Call, email or come and visit us in person. We are glad to help!