University of Alberta Engineering Co-op students are an essential part of the day to day operation for hundreds of businesses across the country. They help meet project deadlines, free up staff time for peak work loads or vacations, and provide opportunities for businesses to screen potential employees. Our students are knowledgeable. They have completed nearly half of their engineering education before taking on any work placements, and are qualified, enthusiastic, and ready to work.
Hiring a co-op student is just like hiring any other temporary employee. The only differences are that a Co-op Coordinator will conduct a mid-term onsite visit and, at the end of your student's placement, you will be asked to complete an evaluation form.
Supervising Your Students
As with any employee, co-op students require a certain amount of mentoring and supervision. The degree of direct supervision varies depending upon the nature of the assignment and your personal supervisory style. It is safe to say, however, that because our students have completed a full 50% of their studies before beginning their first Co-op placement, they are quite capable of working independently. As a partner in the process of educating future engineers, you will have many opportunities to introduce our students to progressively more challenging tasks.
If your co-op student is completing his or her final work term, he or she will complete a work-related technical report. Although the report is usually graded by a University of Alberta faculty member, if confidentiality is an issue the student's report may be evaluated by someone in your organization.
Meeting with Your Co-op Coordinator
About half way through your student's work term, a Co-op Coordinator will arrange an on-site evaluation. Meeting with you and your student at the job site is an integral part of the Co-op Program. More than just a performance evaluation, this is an opportunity for us to ensure that both student and supervisor are finding the Co-op experience valuable.
During the site visit a Coordinator will have informal, usually separate discussions with you and your student regarding his or her work assignment and performance. Provision for telephone evaluations can be made if circumstances warrant.
Evaluating Your Student
At the end of your student's placement, you will complete an evaluation form based on non-technical skills such as attitude, initiative, communication skills, planning, and organizational abilities. Your Co-op Coordinator will send you the evaluation form. This final evaluation, in conjunction with the interim on-site evaluation and a work term report prepared by the student, will determine whether or not your student receives credit for the work term.
Last Update: November 30, 2017