Creating a Great Co-op Experience: [Part 3] Evaluation and Work Report

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Creating a Great Co-op Experience: [Part 3] Evaluation and Work Report

By: carose
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The following article is the final in a three-part series on how Co-op supervisors can make the most of a Co-op experience with their student. This article was initially published on the SFU Beedie School of Business Career Management Centre's enewsletter May 2012 edition. 

It’s about two weeks before the end of the work term and with any luck that nervous, excited Co-op student you introduced to your colleagues at the start of the work term is now a more confident and professional version of themselves.

At this time, your student will ask you to complete a Co-op Supervisor Evaluation form. The form consists of a series of 12 multiple choice questions that take into account key competency areas, such as the ability to take initiative, work as part of a team, demonstrate leadership, and communicate effectively. Since evaluation is a vital part of the student’s learning, this form should be filled out by the person who can best assess the student’s abilities.

An honest and thorough evaluation helps a student make decisions about where improvements are needed and what additional experience or training should be pursued to achieve greater success. Hearing the good and the “not so good” is an essential part of the Co-op experience. Your observations will also assist the student’s Co-op Coordinator when working with the student in the future.

Once the evaluation is completed, take some time to discuss your thoughts with your student. Discussion leads to greater understanding and learning, serving not only as closure for the work term, but also as an opportunity to discuss future Co-op or post-graduation opportunities.

Along with the Co-op Supervisor Evaluation form, the student will ask you to read a final Work Report. The Work Report is a required document that can take many forms. For this reason, we encourage students to discuss work report topics with their supervisor before they begin to write it. Due to issues regarding confidentiality or proprietary information, you are required to complete a Work Term Report Employer Release form. If the release form is marked “confidential,” the report will only be read by the student’s Co-op Coordinator and then placed in the student’s file; otherwise, the information is used as a resource for other Co-op students.

Once the evaluation form has been discussed and the work report read, the student will submit these documents to the Co-op office for evaluation. While these items are not graded and will not impact the student’s academic performance, an unsatisfactory evaluation can impact a student’s status in the Co-op program.

Your contribution to the Co-op experience is extremely valuable. Often, a supervisor’s candid feedback and mentorship can positively change the course of a student’s life. For your participation in the SFU Co-op program, we thank you!
Caroline Wakelin is an Associate Director with the SFU Beedie School of Business Co-operative Education Program. She has 13 years of experience helping students and employers make the most of their Co-op relationship.

Posted on May 19, 2012