Indigenous Student Supports

The Interdisciplinary Co-op Program is committed to encouraging and supporting Indigenous students to participate in co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities.

Our commitment

Our commitment is rooted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015) Call-to-Action 92(ii). We are determined to ensure that “[Indigenous] peoples [are to] have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities” (p.294).

Supporting Indigenous student engagement with co-op is our way of supporting this TRC call-to-action. Further we commit to Action 38 in the UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan (2020), ensuring our policies and operational practices are supporting the equity and inclusion of Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members. (p.33)

We recognize the need to continue to develop and offer practices which create equitable and inclusive access to learning experiences for all students in programs such as Co-op Education. The recommendations in the report on Identifying Challenges, Creating Opportunities – Indigenous Students and Work-Integrated learning at UBC, 2020-2021 offer strong building blocks as Interdisciplinary Co-op continues to advance these efforts.

Indigenous co-op admissions

All Indigenous students who submit a complete and satisfactory application to Interdisciplinary Co-op, meet the requirements of the program and perform satisfactorily in the intake process, will be admitted.

Additionally, Indigenous applicants will not be assessed the co-op administration and workshop fee.

Frequently asked questions

Any individual nation may set their own policy on co-op. It is important to discuss your desire to participate in co-op with your funding coordinator.

You can bring options to your funding coordinator (and any possible deciding boards) to consider, such as:

  • Full funding including living allowance
  • Tuition/co-op fees only, without living allowance
  • Temporarily pausing your funding for co-op work terms, while holding your space in the budget until after the work term

Co-op students are considered full-time students while on work terms. Under the federal Post-secondary Student Support program guidelines, full-time students remain full-time students as long as they are considered so by their institution.

Yes. Participation in the co-op program typically adds an additional year of study. It is possible to complete co-op requirements during a 4.5-year timeline. However, 5 to 5.5 years is more common.

Some nations may require your degree to be completed during a 4-year period. Refer to your nation’s post-secondary funding policy. If this is the case with your nation, connect with your nation’s funding coordinator to discuss your options.

If your nation requires you to complete your degree within a 4-year period, we still welcome you to apply and participate in the co-op program during those 4 years.

Jobs found outside of the UBC Co-op Job Board, can be counted as work terms if they meet co-op program criteria. Please share the information about your job with your Co-op Advisor to determine if it could count towards your co-op requirements.

Many current employers are interested in recruiting Indigenous students and we are working with Indigenous organizations and communities to arrange for culturally relevant and Indigenous-centred opportunities.

“I worked alongside an Indigenous lawyer on this project, and being mentored by an Indigenous person that worked in the same field that I aspired to work in was amazing.”

Damyn Libby, BA, Indigenous Studies and History
Work term: FH&P Lawyers LLP

Read Damyn’s full story

Damyn Libby