What Co-op Students Need to Know
Are you a current third or fourth-year student enrolled in UBC Okanagan’s Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program? On this page you will find helpful information to support your journey through co-op; including resources to apply for and secure co-op experiences, co-op program terms and conditions, tips for a successful work term, and more.
Connect with Program Coordinators
Need support in your job search or assistance during a work experience? Attend weekly office hours, or connect with the program coordinators.
Key Information for Current Co-op Students
There are many different ways you can sequence your co-op work terms with terms of academic study. Visit the Co-op Work Term Sequencing Options resource for some additional information on how you might plan for your upcoming terms. A few quick reminders:
- You must complete a minimum of three (3) terms of co-op work experience and must graduate on a study term in order to achieve Co-op Designation
- You can complete up to a maximum of six (6) terms of co-op work experience prior to graduation
- Co-op credits are additive and do not replace required or elective course work in your undergraduate degree program
At the start of each term, the Co-op Program Office will require you to complete a short update to notify us of your intended plans (planning to job seek, planning for an academic study term etc.). In the event that your plans shift we ask that you submit a new update.
There are resources available to support you as you explore your job search, customize your resumé and cover letter, and start applying for new co-op work opportunities. Module 2: Preparing for your Job Search – Applications focuses on creating high-quality job applications, including resumés and cover letters the essential documents for your co-op job search.
There are many places to source co-op job opportunities. As you commence a job search, be sure to visit Module 4: Co-op Job Search for tips and advice for successfully developing an effective co-op job strategy.
As a part of this job search strategy, we recommend actively visiting the co-op job board every few days, as new roles are constantly being added. In addition, the Co-op Program Office will support your job search through weekly job round-up emails, which are a great way to stay informed on industry and community employer partners who are actively recruiting.
Dedicating and committing time each week for researching new opportunities and customizing applications is key. If you’d like additional support in developing an application to a specific opportunity join office hours, or email us.
The Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program continues to enhance, broaden and explore relationships with community and industry partners to collaborate and develop a wide range of meaningful work experiences for students. We encourage students to explore the many regionally based opportunities available. These curated regional experiences offer students the opportunity to broaden their network with employers and community locally, develop skills in-demand within the region, and build a resumé with experiences to support post-graduation career possibilities.
Landed a job interview, and feeling nervous or looking for assistance as you prepare? Module 6: Interviewing is a great resource.
Be sure to inform the Co-op Program Office of all upcoming co-op job interviews by emailing us.
Remember that preparation is key to a successful interview. In a lot of ways, preparing for an interview is similar to preparing for a final exam – study, practice and having a plan are all key. The Co-op Program Office is here to support students as you prepare for the upcoming interview – join office hours to run through a mock interview and sample some typical interview questions.
When you receive a job offer, complete the required form upon securing a co-op position, therefore, providing the Co-op Program Office with the required workplace and position information necessary to proceed with verifying the experience and advancing your registration into the applicable Co-op (COOP) work term course.
Registration for the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program (COOP) occurs on a rolling basis at the middle of each month. Once you secure a co-op work term, we ask students to assist this process by deregistering for all academic courses for the period of the work experience. Should you be looking to take one academic course while completing the co-op work term, please read and follow the Additional Academic Course Request Guidelines and complete the Additional Course Request form.
Get prepared for a successful work term experience by visiting Module 5: Goal Setting, Module 7: Building Connections & Cultivating Your Network, Module 9.3 Roles & Responsibilities During Co-op Work Terms, and Module 10: Well-being & Behaviour in the Workplace.
We’ve put together a quick guide to a rewarding co-op experience at the link below. To ensure both students and the workplace have a positive experience, please be sure to review the ‘Roles & Responsibilities During Co-op Work Terms’ Canvas module. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program Office for support or for any questions now or as you transition to the workplace.
During the work term, students are required to follow and complete all assignments as laid out in the COOP Co-op Education Work Experience shell.
- Assignment #1 – Learning Goals, to be discussed and actioned with support of your supervisor. These goals are due shortly after you begin your co-op work term.
- Assignment #2 – Mid Point Check-in meeting with both a Co-op Coordinator and work term supervisor at the midpoint of each work term.
- Assignment #3 (a&b) – (a) Student Evaluation, and (b) Employer Evaluation. At the end of each work term, both student and employer will complete an end-of-term evaluation. This assignment allows you the opportunity to evaluate your satisfaction with your co-op position, and your employer the opportunity to evaluate your performance.
- Assignment #4 – Submitted at the end of each work term, the Work Term Project provides space for you to reflect meaningfully on your role and showcase your progress.
A one-time non-refundable UBC Co-op administration and workshop fee of $272.00* is required upon acceptance into the program. Indigenous students may be eligible for a fee waiver.
Each co-op work experience term is an approved UBC course (COOP), with an associated course tuition fee of $838.00*. The work term tuition fees are due at the beginning of each four-month work term. Positions for 8 or 12-month durations will be assessed a course fee for each four-month duration.
For more information on co-op fees, please refer to the UBC Academic Calendar.
* Tuition fees posted are for the 2023-24 academic year. UBC fees are reviewed annually by the Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2%. The UBC Academic Calendar will be deferred to for any discrepancies.
The Co-op Learning Community Canvas Course is a resource for all your job search and career readiness needs. The content has been curated specifically to Interdisciplinary Co-op Education at UBC Okanagan. All students are required to complete the asynchronous online learning modules and synchronous workshops and likely will want to revisit and refresh the content throughout the co-op job searches and work term experiences.
Throughout your journey in Co-op, you will have the opportunity to take part in workshops as well as events that will allow you to connect with co-op employers and network with industry professionals.
For up-to-date information on upcoming events, visit the ‘What’s New’ section of the Co-op Job Board home page on Symplicity, and keep an eye out for highlighted events on the weekly job round-up email.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, UBCO Interdisciplinary Co-op students had the opportunity to work abroad and explore another country while gaining paid professional experience. With travel restrictions lifting, employers are beginning to hire internationally again. From May 2023, the Interdisciplinary Co-op Program will allow students to pursue international work term opportunities to countries that are deemed low risk by Global Affairs Canada travel advisories. Low-risk destinations are those with an advisory that states travelers should practice normal or increased security precautions. Destinations with an advisory that states travelers should avoid non-essential or all travel will not be approved for work term experiences. Most students opt to complete work terms in countries with similar conditions to Canada, or in a country where they have family or other established support network.
All Co-op work term opportunities must be vetted by the Co-op Office and meet the criteria of a Co-op position.
Interdisciplinary Co-op Education is committed to encouraging and supporting Indigenous students to participate in co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities through continued supports and strategies to create more equitable, inclusive, and empowering WIL experiences.
For the 2022-23 academic year, Indigenous students have access to an Indigenous Co-op Coordinator and the co-op administration and workshop fee may be waived for all program-eligible students.
The Indigenous Co-op Coordinator can assist you with:
- Searching culturally relevant co-op work terms, internships and other opportunities.
- Connecting with Indigenous organizations and First Nations communities.
- Navigating Band funding and the process of participating in co-op
If you are unsure of how or why to self-identify, please visit this resource to better understand why we ask for (and protect) this information. You may also find more information on work-integrated learning for Indigenous students at this link.
The Global Engagement Office and the Co-op Program Office assists international students in applying for a Co-op work permit when first being admitted to the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program. For instructions, required documents, and other important information about applying for or extending a co-op work permit visit this online UBC resource.
Note: Within the resources contact information for the Vancouver campus may be provided. For all Okanagan-based students, please connect with the UBCO Global Engagement Office.
If you have questions about your work permit eligibility, contact the Co-op Program Office.
Students have participated in Go Global during academic terms, however it is highly recommended to connect-in with both the Co-op Program and Go Global offices to discuss your specific situation.
UBC Okanagan undergraduate students registered in COOP work term courses are responsible for withdrawing from academic courses for the periods when they are engaging in co-op work experience. In accordance with the UBC Co-operative Education Terms & Conditions, students are required to limit their enrollment in academic courses to those delivered outside of their employer’s business hours, and max one (1) course per work term and obtain permission from both employer and Faculty in conjunction with the Interdisciplinary Co-op Education Program prior to commencing the course.
The Interdisciplinary Co-op Student of the Year award recognizes one outstanding UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Co-op student for all aspects of their performance, including academic standing, workplace performance, initiative and contribution, and professional/community engagement.
The selected recipient will receive recognition from our program, and will also have the chance to be considered for the provincial annual ACE-WIL Student of the Year Award and the national annual CEWIL Student of the Year Award.
The award nomination process typically takes place in November each year and information will be circulated to all eligible Interdisciplinary Co-op students.
Learn more about the past award recipients:
The following are additional UBC resources to support your educational journey throughout your time at UBC. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please email us.
With collaborations such as the Interior and Northern Work Integrated Learning Initiative, the Interdisciplinary Co-op program seeks to continue enhancing, broadening and exploring student learning experiences with regional community and industry partners.