About SFU Co-operative Education

Think ahead to the day you graduate from SFU... Do you stand out from the other students graduating? Have you already gained experience relevant to your field? Do you have an expertly crafted resume full of work experiences? Do you know how to write an amazing cover letter? Have you had so much interview practice that you are confident and ready to meet with any potential employer? If you did Co-op, chances are the answer is YES.

Develop Your Skills

Grow Your Network

Gain a Year of Resume Boosting Experience

What is Co-operative Education?

Co-operative Education is an educational model that formally integrates academic study with relevant, paid work experience. The standard co-op program consists of periods of academic study combined with periods of work experience in appropriate employment fields such as business, industry, government, the professions, not-for-profit and community-based organizations. Co-operative Education programs must meet the following requirements:

  • students are engaged in work relevant to their academic studies;
  • students are engaged in work rather than mere observation;
  • students are paid for work performed;
  • the co-op program specific to the students’ academic discipline monitors students’ progress on the job;
  • students produce a work term report or project-based report on their learning objectives and work experience; and
  • students' performance on the job is supervised and evaluated by the employer.

Benefits of Co-operative Education

  • learn new skills and gain knowledge
  • enhance students’ understanding of the course work
  • apply classroom learning to practical situations
  • gain valuable career-related work experience
  • explore career options
  • build a strong application for graduate studies
  • increase competitiveness in the marketplace
  • network with other professionals in the field
  • help finance the education of the students
  • work locally, nationally, and internationally (www.sfu.ca/coop/international)
  • foster leadership development and global awareness

Associations for Co-operative Education

SFU Co-operative Education Program has received accreditation from Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL). SFU Co-op is a member of World Association for Co-operative Education (WACE), Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL), and Association for Co-operative Education in British Columbia / Yukon (ACE).

World Association for Co-Operative Education (WACE)

World Association for Co-operative Education (WACE) is an international organization devoted to promoting Work Integrated Learning (WIL). WACE unites academic, government and corporate leaders to examine the impact of WIL on global workforce development.

WACE is the only organization devoted to Work Integrated Learning on a global basis (from WACE website: www.waceinc.org).

Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL)

Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) is the voice for post-secondary Co-operative Education in Canada and its mission is to foster and advance post-secondary co-operative education and work-integrated learning in Canada.

In 1979, CEWIL (known as CAFCE at the time) established the Accreditation Council, which provides leadership for the development of quality Co-operative Education programs.

Accreditation standards establish Co-operative Education as a valid and valuable educational strategy, and provide guidance in ensuring quality Co-operative Education programming across Canada (CEWIL website: http://www.cewilcanada.ca).

Association for Co-Operative Education in British Columbia/Yukon (ACE)

The Association for Co-operative Education in British Columbia/Yukon (ACE) is a provincial non-profit organization of all post-secondary institutions in the region that offer Co- operative Education programs (from ACE website: www.co-op.bc.ca).

What is the process?

1. Attend an Info Session (Optional)

During this presentation, you will learn about the Co-op program and the process involved. Co-op Info Sessions are available each semester. Check out myExperience to find an upcoming Information Session

2. Apply to the SFU Co-op Program

To join the Co-op Program, you must complete the online application form before the application deadline. Students considering participation in Co-op are encouraged to complete the application to SFU Co-op during the second semester of their first academic year, and before completing approximately 24 – 30 credit hours. (Visit your program's Co-op page for full admission requirements. Requirements vary per program.) Students are encouraged to apply to the SFU Co-op program two semesters before the intended start date of their first co-op work term. Students usually have approximately 45 – 60 credit hours at the start of their first co-op work term.

3. Preparation Semester

After acceptance into our Co-op program, you will be registered into a pre-requisite Canvas course where your Co-op coordinators will work with you through the semester to develop your job search skills to a competitive level.

4. Seeking Semester

Upon successful completion of the New Student requirements, you will have access to the Co-op job postings to apply to positions that will begin the following semester.

5. Working Semester

Students that successfully compete for a Co-op job will be registered into their Co-op practicum course and begin a 4 or 8 month work term during this semester.

What is the Co-op Fee and Tuition?

Co-op Application Fee

Students are required to pay a one-time Co-op application fee. Information on the current fee amount can be found at www. sfu.ca/coop/apply.

The application fee will be posted in the student's SFU account the same way as tuition and will be posted within 10 business days after the online application to Co-op has been submitted.

Tuition for Each Co-op Practicum

Once a job offer is accepted, a student is required to pay the tuition for each Co-op practicum course in which the student enrolls. Information on Co-op work practicum tuition is available under "Undergraduate Fees" or "Graduate Fees" at www.students.sfu.ca/calendar/index.html.

The tuition for a Co-op practicum includes workshops, personal consultations, ongoing support and resources. This tuition is payable after the student has accepted a job offer and is officially registered in a Co-op practicum.

The Co-op fee and tuition are tax deductible.

As Co-op requirements and procedures differ for Engineering Science students, students should consult the Engineering Science Co-op page for more information.

Want to learn more? Attend an info session or check out the Co-op student guide for more information!