Co-operative Education in Canada and the US

Report
WACAC 2014 Conference
San Jose
June 11, 2014
Co-operative Education in Canada &
the United States
Stephanie Ranslow, Northeastern University
Tony Munro, University of Waterloo
Outline

Experiential learning
co-operative education

Co-operative education vs. internships

Basics of co-operative education

How it works?

Benefits of co-operative education to academic institution

Benefits of co-operative education to students
Why experiential education is important

Growing focus on ‘outcomes’ in education


Accountability
Education as an investment

Establish connection between academic learning and
work application

Learning by doing

Unfamiliar situations = new learning

Informed career decision-making
Co-op vs. Internships

Co-op



clearly defined, full-time positions away from the classroom,
with specific learning outcomes
the experience integrated into the curriculum.
Internships





often Ill-defined, unpaid, part-time
may be during academic semester
may or may not be related to major or interest
lack of integration into the academic experience
usually no longer than three months
Co-op basics

Employment integrated into the academics







Multiple work terms
Test career options
Head start on the job market
Exploration/preparation prior + Reflection/integration after
Students need to be responsible for decision making
(competitive process) with significant resources to help them
Opportunity to establish contacts and develop your
professional network
Graduates are ‘work-place ready’
History and evolution of co-op at
Northeastern
1909 Earn to Learn

Combine work with school in order to pay the bills

Co-op program begins with just eight students working for four
Boston employers
1980’s National Growth

37 States Across the Country

Concentrations in: New York City, Washington D.C., and the West
Coast, including San Diego and Silicon Valley
1980’s International Co-ops offered

“Handful” of students participate
Now

7200 Students participate yearly in Co-op

300 Students participate yearly in International Co-op
Co-operative Education structure
Preparation






Complete mandatory Co-op Prep course
Participate in advising sessions with Co-op Faculty Coordinator
Navigate Employer Database
Search, sort, and select co-op positions based on major, interests, skills
Build preference list of positions and submit job preferences to co-op
coordinators
Track placement process, interview, accept position
Calendar


Consists of alternating periods of academic study with periods of
substantive full-time employment
Promotes integrated learning and application of concepts
Sample 5 year co-op schedule
Fall
Semester
(Sept. to Dec.)
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Spring
Semester
(Jan. to Apr.)
Summer
Session I
(May to June)
Summer
Session II
(Jul. to Aug.)
CLASS
CLASS
VACATION
VACATION
CLASS
CO-OP
CO-OP
CLASS
CLASS
CO-OP
CO-OP
CLASS
CLASS
CO-OP
CO-OP
VACATION
CLASS
CLASS
Sample 4 year co-op schedule
Fall
Semester
(Sept. to Dec.)
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Spring
Semester
(Jan. to Apr.)
Summer
Session I
(May to June)
Summer
Session II
(Jul. to Aug.)
CLASS
CLASS
CLASS
VACATION
CLASS
CO-OP
CO-OP
CLASS
CLASS
CO-OP
CO-OP
CLASS
CLASS
CLASS
Sample employers
Co-operative education at Waterloo


5 or 6 four-month work terms completed in alternating
sequence with academic terms
Centrally administered through Co-operative Education and
Career Action department (125+ staff)








Job development
Online recruitment process
On-campus interviews
Career development workshops
Student Advising on campus and on work term
Employer relationship management
WatPD: online professional development program focused on
enhancing connection between the workplace, the academic
courses and eventual career path
Geographically distributed staff maintain local contacts
Integration of work experience and
academic learning at Waterloo

Work term performance evaluation

WatPD courses (4 course requirement)

Co-op Fundamentals*
Critical Reflection and Report Writing*
Communication
Teamwork
Project Management
Problem Solving
Conflict Resolution
Intercultural Skills
Ethical Decision Making
Professionalism and Ethics in the Workplace
Engineering Workplace Skills I: Developing
Reasoned Conclusions*
Engineering Workplace Skills II: Developing Effective
Plans*
Common threads through all courses:


Critical Reflection, Professionalism, Technology, Continuous Learning,
Diversity, Ethics, Collaboration
Completed online while on work terms (one course/term)
Benefits of co-op education to the university

Enhanced reputation among employers








Leaders of tomorrow
Experienced graduates
Entrepreneurial mindset
Innovation
Attracts career-focused and motivated students
Promotes research linkages & innovation
Encourages relevant course content
Lower debt loads among graduating students
Outcomes of co-op education for students






Opportunity to ‘test’ potential careers
Networking with potential employers and mentors
Professional and personal development
Informed academic & career choices
Increased motivation
Earnings while still in school


Manage debt load
Enhanced employability upon graduation

Earlier job offers & higher starting salaries
Perspectives

Student: The connections you make with employers can help you
move closer to the goals you already have, OR they can help you
realize that you should rethink your career plans.


Employer: Our co-op students are able to adapt to geographic
changes, relocation challenges, and corporate cultures. The co-op
program enables GE to monitor Northeastern’s students for future
employment.


Mohammed, Ghana
Kristen Picano, GE Distribution
Northeastern: We believe in experiential learning because it
deepens a student’s knowledge and learning. The result may very
well be employment or graduate school, but those do not drive our
belief in the power of this educational model. The learning that
happens does…

Dr. Susan Ambrose, Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education &
Experiential Learning.
Career Success and Co-op
NORTHEASTERN:

Ranked #1 by Princeton Review in Career Services

On average, more than 51% of students receive a job
offer from a previous co-op employer

More than 90% of our graduates are either employed or
enrolled in graduate school nine months after graduation

87% of these graduates are doing work related to their
major
Questions/Discussion
[email protected]
[email protected]

similar documents