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Students hired into a Co-op job will register in and complete a practicum course for each semester in a co-op work term:
- CMPT 426: Co-op Practicum I (1st Work Term)
- CMPT 427: Co-op Practicum II (2nd Work Term)
- CMPT 428: Co-op Practicum III (3rd Work Term)
- CMPT 429: Co-op Practicum IV (4th Work Term)
- CMPT 430: Co-op Practicum V (5th Work Term)
Before Your Work Term
Now what? Are you unsure of what things will be like at the job? Do you know what is expected of you? What do you expect from the position? Keep in mind that Co-op is part of your education and that feedback and reflection are a critical part of your personal and professional development.
Prior to your work term make sure you are registered in the correct Co-op course number and section. Contact the Co-op office if you have not received a placement email message or you are having trouble enrolling in the assigned course and section.
If you are placed out of the GVRD it is important that you are registered in the correct course section and that you have changed your mailing address in the go.sfu.ca system. For more information refer to your placement email or contact the UPass office.
During Your Work Term
Preparing for Your First Day
Complete Bridging Online II and/or Bridging International Learning
Please register and complete BOL II just before you begin your Co-op work or within the first weeks of your placement.
Students placed outside of Canada will also need to complete BIL. Instructions will be sent to you from the International Co-op office.
Goal setting to maximize learning
We are interested in helping you as much as possible with your practical education and learning while you are in the Computing Science Co-operative Education Program. By setting learning objectives and goals for your Co-op work terms, you can more easily measure your on-the-job progress towards achieving them.
- Prior to your practicum, consider what skills you would like to acquire/improve upon.
- How do you hope to acquire/improve these skills?
- Consider what career-path/industry knowledge you would like to gain.
Goal setting will help you articulate your goals, track them, and measure your learning during each Co-op term. This will also give you a better sense of controlling your own career development, and assist you in identifying learning opportunities.
Before commencing your work term you should start to think about your learning objectives. You should record them during the first few weeks of your placement in myExperience in the learning outcomes section corresponding to your placement. Once you have something in mind you should discuss them with your supervisor. By doing so, s/he will have an idea of your expectations for that semester and will have the opportunity to outline their expectations of you for the semester. You will also have the opportunity to check on your progress with your Co-op coordinator during your site visit.
When starting a new job it is important to remember that the people you work with will be your references for your next Co-op and post-graduation employers. Treat your co-workers and people at every level in the office with the same courtesy and respect that you would like to be treated.
Furthermore, while you are on Co-op you are an ambassador for your program of study, the Co-op program and SFU. Your behaviour and attitude on the job will affect the reputation of SFU Co-op and may impact on opportunities for future Co-op students.
Site Visits are a critical part of your work term experience. Your coordinator will set up a time and date to meet with you and your supervisor at your work site. Your learning objectives, progress, performance, future goals, and work report requirements will be reviewed. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.
When does my site visit happen?
You will be contacted by a Co-op coordinator to arrange a meeting sometime during weeks 6-12 of your work term. Timing will vary depending on the coordinator’s number of visits and on campus activities. You may get a visit from a coordinator from a different discipline (e.g. Biology, Engineering) who is visiting their students in the area. If a visit is not possible, then your coordinator will conduct the site visit by telephone or e-mail. If any concerns or problems arise during your work term, contact your coordinator immediately. Do not wait until the site visit.
How do I prepare for it?
Each site visit is based on your individual circumstances, but there are things you should prepare in advance of any visit:
Compare your progress to your original Learning Objectives Complete any paperwork sent to you and return or print as instructed Think about what else you've learned so far, both in terms of hard and soft skills Note any questions you have about your work term and be prepared to discuss any problems may be having
What do I gain from the site visit?
A site visit provides you with an opportunity to discuss your experience. It's also a chance to talk about how to handle certain problems, your future academic and career plans, and even how to expand your current experience. In addition, it’s an important time to get some feedback from your employer, and possibly to discuss whether or not you should stay on for another work term. (Not all students are eligible or interested in extending. Discuss this with the visiting Coordinator or your home program if you have any concerns.)
Other Benefits of the Visit
The coordinator gets a chance to see how you are doing at the work site and to get to know you in a professional environment. They are also there to help you if you have any questions or concerns.
Coordinators take turns visiting work sites so that they are each familiar with the different locations and circumstances that the students might find themselves in. If your coordinator is new to a place, try to arrange a brief tour or introductions to key personnel. After meeting with you, the coordinator will also meet with human resources and managers/supervisors in the company to help promote SFU Co-op and to develop more Co-op opportunities.
End of Work Term Requirements
Work Reports and Supervisor Evaluation
Research suggests that it is very helpful for Co-op students to pause and reflect at the end of each work practicum on what has been learned and accomplished before moving on to the next work practicum or study semester. This will help you re-evaluate your skills, strengths and allow you to acknowledge areas for improvement. We offer a variety of reports to help facilitate this process. Public reports and presentations will also help other students to learn about the company for Co-op or future employment opportunities.
As part of your commitment to the Co-operative Education program, you are required to submit a work report and the supervisor's evaluation form for each four-month term - guidelines are available under Documents.
NOTE: Work Reports and Presentations may be viewed by others. Please advise your Co-op Coordinator if you have any concerns about this.