Co-operative Education Programs
Co-Op placements are minimum-wage (or higher) job placements done for a full semester between periods of study. Co-Op students take part in closely monitored and supported hands on work in their fields of study.
Experience Education offers customized co-op programs that fit into most college curricula. Programs can run from 4-12 months, and are done in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
For information on stipend and unpaid practicums, please click here.
While co-op programs are customized for each school, they broadly fit into the following categories:
Business students are placed in administration positions at small and medium-sized service and manufacturing firms. Students may be involved in a mix of entry-level office support work, and more targeted field-specific work in areas such as accounting, human resources, or marketing.
Customer service co-op is designed primarily for international students in mixed ESL and career college programs where the focus is on customer contact. Students are placed in front line retail and food services roles where they will have constant contact with the public, and daily experience in customer service.
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
Electrical and mechanical engineering students are placed in medium-sized to large manufacturing firms. There they use CAD tools to design and build machine components, engines, industrial equipment and more. Electrical engineering placements trend heavily towards green technology and renewable energy.
Health administration students are placed in private health clinics where they assist experienced administrators in patient intake, processing patient files, and performing regulatory compliance duties. NB: placements are not done in alternative or complementary medicine.
Hospitality and Tourism
Designed for students in hospitality management programs, students in hospitality and tourism programs do their co-ops in hotels, or in administrative roles in food service (including catering) or tourism firms.
IT placements are done in network administration, software engineering, and web and mobile applications development. Placements may also be available in Web and Graphic Design depending on the content of the career college program.
Other fields may be available on request.
In addition to college requirements to do the coop, Experience Education has the following requirements:
- English or French at an Advanced or above
- Aged 18 and above
- If an international student, a study permit with full-time work authorization, or a work permit
Coop placements are done over an 8-week period at the start of the preceding semester. Program terms in Coop are written to meet the strictest regulations, these guide the placement process and partly determine which services are included. Here is the process from start to finish:
- Step 1: 8 weeks or more before placement, student completes application form and submits it to Experience Education (EE).
- Step 2: EE arranges a consultation with the student. During the consultation an 'Internship Plan' is completed. EE will use this document when speaking to hosts. EE will follow up the consult with a ‘welcome email’ which includes a resume template and information on health and safety, employment standards, and conflict resolution.
- Step 3: EE locates a matching coop placement and arranges a meeting time for the student and host to discuss the potential match. If the match is great for both sides, the placement is tentatively confirmed.
- Step 4: EE submits the placement agreement to the college for approval. If approved, the placement is confirmed and the student and host sent the agreement for signature. If the placement is not approved, EE works with the student and host to modify the coop to meet school requirements. If the placement is still not approved, EE returns the student to the interview queue and a new placement is arranged.
Monitoring and Troubleshooting
Experience Education does close monitoring and tracking of each placement. Students complete on-line reports each 2 weeks, giving us details of their working hours, and giving them the chance to let us know if there are any problems.
We also ask host companies to complete regular reports to give us a different perspective on their placements. During each placement, EE student services staff visit the placement to check on the student, and talk to them privately to ensure their placement is on track.
If ever a placement is not on track, EE has a comprehensive Conflict Resolution and Replacement Policy to resolve any issue.
All reports are delivered to the school at the end of the placement, along with a more detailed final report - allowingthe school to carefully evaluate the student's performance, and also ensure that the placement meets government requirements.
Registration is accepted from partner schools or agencies only. Direct registrations by prospective program participants are not accepted. To register a student or participant, agencies and schools should submit the application to Experience Education at least 8 weeks in advance of their desired start date. The registration email should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and should include all of the following:
- Signed application form. Click here to download an application form.
- Signed Work Experience Policy. Click here to download our Work Experience Policy.
- A note in the body of the email stating the student's name, start date, end date, and proposed arrival date.
After we receive the registration email, EE will contact you (the school or agent) to arrange a time to meet the student and complete the registration process.