Co-operative Education (Co-op), constitutes part of the student’s formal education and is available in over 50 majors for students. A form of work integrated learning, Co-op is a model of education that integrates a student’s academic learning with periods of paid workplace learning in fields relevant to the student’s academic and personal/professional goals. The academic and work schedules will vary with degree program and major. The first co-op work term is normally scheduled after the third or fourth academic semester, providing an academic foundation on which to build the work experience.
Each work term is developed in collaboration with the employer and is approved by the institution as a suitable learning environment. Students participate in a competitive employment process to secure an approved co-op work term that is relevant to the student’s area of academic study. COOP*1100 Introduction to Co-operative Education, a mandatory, non-credit course, is a prerequisite for the first co-op work term and prepares the student for the employment process.
The student’s performance in the workplace is supervised and evaluated by the student’s employer using the Work Performance Evaluation tool. The student’s progress during the work term is also monitored by the Experiential Learning Hub (EL Hub), which may include a site visit during the co-op work term and a review of the student’s official Learning Goals. A Co-op Work Report is required for each co-op work term and is graded by an assigned Co-op Faculty Advisor. All evaluation grades will appear on the student’s official transcript.
The Co-operative Education program at the University of Guelph is accredited by the Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL), therefore standardized guidelines regarding co-op programs will be followed at all times.
Course requirements and schedules of studies for specific majors are listed under the appropriate degree program in this section.
In addition to Co-operative Education the EL Hub supports, trains and leads students and alumni as they make career and further education planning decisions. Successful students connect with the EL Hub early in their academic career and take full advantage of the career planning and job search services offered. The EL Hub helps students to discern “what to do with their degree”. As well, the EL Hub job posting service, Experience Guelph, provides online job postings including full-time, part-time, contract, seasonal, summer and internships. Job & Career Fairs and employer networking events also provide exposure to the working world. Please refer to https://www.recruitguelph.ca/cecs/ for more information.
Normally students are admitted to a Co-operative Education program directly from high school in the Fall semester through Admission Services. For a complete listing of University of Guelph admission requirements refer to http://www.uoguelph.ca/admissions/.
Some programs may admit a limited number of in-course students after first or second semester. Refer to the schedule of dates in the Undergraduate Calendar for in-course application deadlines.
External transfer students may apply to Co-operative Education following admission to the University of Guelph. Students must not be beyond second year of their studies and be interested in one of over 50 co-operative education programs available at the University of Guelph. Interested students should visit https://www.recruitguelph.ca/cecs/co-op/external-transfer-students/ for up-to-date information on admission eligibility.
The decision to admit an in-course or external transfer student is dependent upon space in the program, the grades of the student, the approved Academic & Work Sequence Agreement, and any other information relevant to the program.
Note: Due to the Schedule of Studies for Hotel & Tourism Management co-op there is no Winter start date available. Students must begin their program in the Fall term.
High school students must have a minimum average of 80% to apply to the co-op program.
First year in-course students must maintain a 70% cumulative average in their academic semester(s) prior to admission to the co-op program. There must also be space in the co-op program in which they wish to be admitted.
External transfer students must meet normal admission requirements, as well as submit an official transcript from their previous educational institution, and may be required to achieve a minimum 70% cumulative average prior to participating in the co-op employment process. An academic and work schedule must also be approved by the academic department prior to the student being accepted into the co-op program.
Continuation of Study
Co-op students are required to be registered full-time for the duration of their program and follow their academic and work sequence as outlined in the Undergraduate Calendar1. Students are also required to meet the conditions for continuation of study for their degree program as listed in the Undergraduate Calendar. Students must complete and pass the mandatory Introduction to Co-operative Education COOP*1100 and required co-op professional development modules. Co-op students are also required to meet other conditions, (e.g. satisfactory co-op work reports, work performance evaluations and learning goals) in order to continue in the co-op program. Complete conditions for continuation of study for a co-op program are outlined in the "Policy Agreement for Student Involvement in Co-operative Education University of Guelph". The complete policy can be viewed at https://www.recruitguelph.ca/cecs/co-op-students/co-op-governance/co-op-policy-agreement/.
For students that cannot follow the prescribed schedule for their co-op program, exceptions will be made for students registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) requiring an accommodation. Exceptions will also be considered for students who have temporarily reduced their course load if there are sufficient extenuating medical, psychological, or compassionate circumstances. EL Hub must approve the accommodation plan and students may be requested to provide additional information during the approval process.
Release of Academic Information
By applying to the co-op program, students grant permission to the Office of Registrarial Services to release to the Experiential Learning Hub (EL Hub) their University of Guelph transcript and any transcript from other post-secondary institutions that may be part of the academic record held by the Office of Registrarial Services.
Students also grant permission to the EL Hub to release their resumes, cover letters and any transcripts released by the Office of Registrarial Services to prospective employers to whom the students are applying. Employment information, the Co-op Work Performance Evaluation grade, and the Co-op Work Report Evaluation grade will appear on the student's official academic transcript for each co-op work term accepted by the student. Students also grant permission for employment information to be released for use in statistical analysis at the University of Guelph.
Procedures for Work Term Reports
A Co-op Work Report is required for each co-op work term which the student accepts. Co-op Work Reports must be submitted to the Co-op Faculty Advisor according to the deadline indicated in the Undergraduate Calendar. The Co-op Faculty Advisor is responsible for grading the co-op work report within the agreed to deadlines listed in the Schedule of Dates. Students completing two or more consecutive co-op work terms with the same employer should consult with their Co-op Faculty Advisor regarding co-op work report requirements for eight or twelve month co-op work terms. A grade of Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory will appear on the student's Academic Record.
A student who does not submit a Co-op Work Report will be required to withdraw from co-op and a grade of “Required to Withdraw from Co-op” will be assigned to the student’s official transcript. A student who receives an Unsatisfactory Co-op Work Report Evaluation will be given one opportunity to make revisions and resubmit the co-op report during the semester following the co-op work term. Students who are resubmitting a co-op work report within the prescribed timeline will not be eligible to proceed to the next employment process until receiving a grade of Satisfactory or higher on the report. If, upon resubmission, the co-op work report evaluation remains Unsatisfactory, the student will be required to withdraw from Co-op and will be transferred to the regular program.
Confidential Co-op Work Reports are not permitted.
Conditions for Graduation
In order to graduate with co-op certification, co-op students must follow the conditions for graduation for their degree program as outlined in the Undergraduate Calendar (co-op certification is not an option for general degree programs). In addition, co-op students must receive evaluations of Good or higher in all but one Work Performance Evaluations and an evaluation of Satisfactory or higher in all Co-op Work Report Evaluations. Students must also have paid all required co-op fees, including eight academic semesters and all co-op work terms, prior to receiving co-op certification.
As determined by the University of Guelph's Board of Governors, involvement in the Co-op Program requires Co-op students to pay a co-op fee for a maximum of 8 academic semesters and all accepted co-op work terms (see Chapter VI--Schedule of Fees). It is important to note that co-op fees are amortized over the entire program beginning in Semester 1 and not related to the specific services received in any one term.
Co-op fees will be paid each academic and co-op work term semester and will be billed to the student’s financial account. If registered for an academic course during a co-op work term both the academic and co-op work term semester fees will be billed. If registered in an academic course during an OFF semester the co-op academic fee will be charged. In both cases the co-op academic fee will count towards the maximum of 8 academic fees.
If a student does not follow the prescribed schedule in the Undergraduate Calendar, this may result in an under or over payment on the student’s account. To resolve these issues, the student is required to contact the EL Hub. Should a student not identify an over/under payment, the EL Hub conducts an audit at the time of convocation and will bill or credit the student’s account accordingly. Students are responsible for paying all other university fees as outlined in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Withdrawing from Co-op after accepting a second co-op work term will result in the student being responsible for paying the balance of their remaining co-op academic fees at the time of withdrawal.
Withdrawing from Co-op after accepting an eight or twelve month co-op work term will result in the student being responsible for paying the balance of their remaining co-op academic fees at the time of withdrawal.
Schedule of Studies
Students are required to follow the schedule of studies as outlined in the Undergraduate Calendar. Where a program has two co-op stream options, students will be defaulted to an established “Stream A”.
If, under exceptional circumstances, the schedule cannot be followed, the student must obtain written approval of an alternative Co-op Academic & Work Sequence Agreement from the academic department and submit the form to the EL Hub for final approval. These exceptions are listed on the sequence form.
There is no guarantee that a sequence revision will be approved.
Co-operative Education Policies and Procedures
The following policies and procedures support the implementation of the Co-operative Education programming
“Policy on Co-operative Education Programming ”, approved by Senate on November 22, 2021.
Procedures for Co-operative Education Programming, approved by Senate on November 22, 2021.
Co-op Areas of Study
- Agriculture, Honours
- Animal Science
- Biological and Medical Physics
- Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- Biological Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biomedical Toxicology
- Chemical Physics
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice and Public Policy
- Crop Science
- Culture and Technology Studies
- Engineering Systems and Computing
- Environment and Resource Management
- Environmental Economics and Policy
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Geomatics
- Environmental Governance
- Environmental Management
- Environmental Sciences
- Equine Management
- Food and Agricultural Business
- Food Industry Management
- Food Science
- Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
- Government, Economics and Management
- Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Indigenous Environmental Science and Practice
- International Development Studies
- Justice and Legal Studies
- Management Economics and Finance
- Marine and Freshwater Biology
- Marketing Management
- Mathematical Economics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Molecular Biology and Genetics
- Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences
- One Health
- Plant Science
- Political Science
- Real Estate
- Software Engineering
- Sport and Event Management
- Water Resources Engineering
- Wildlife Biology and Conservation