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Co-operative Education Office

What is co-operative education?

Defined by the Co-operative education and work-integrated learning Canada (CEWIL)

Co-operative Education is a program that formally integrates a student's academic studies with work experience with participating employers. The usual plan is for the student to alternate periods of experience in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, social services and the professions in accordance with the following criteria:

  • each work situation is developed and/or approved by the co-operative educational institution as a suitable learning situation;
  • the co-operative student is engaged in productive work rather than merely observing;
  • the co-operative student receives remuneration for the work performed;
  • the co-operative student's progress on the job is monitored by the co-operative educational institution;
  • the co-operative student's performance on the job is supervised and evaluated by the student's co-operative employer; and,
  • time spent in periods of work experience must be at least thirty percent of the time spent in academic study.

This approach to education relies upon a three-way partnership: the student, the institution and the employer. Success depends upon the co-operative efforts of each party.


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