- Co-operative education combines academic study with alternating work terms. The employment is a practical application directed towards the student's academic course of study. The co-operative education student is paid for their work experience, which is supervised and evaluated by both the employer and the co-operative education institution.
- Co-operative Education gives students an opportunity to test skills learned in the classroom, and to expand their knowledge through related work experience. This experience provides students with a chance to practice the latest theories and approaches in their particular discipline. Working in several industries gives them a competitive edge when going out into the workforce and the opportunity to earn for their education.
- By alternating work terms with study terms, students are able to test theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom. It allows the student to develop skills, explore career options and network with potential employers.
- Employers are a key partner in this process, because their participation ensures that students receive a well-rounded education in both the classroom and the workforce. Businesses also benefit from the program. Students bring new ideas, fresh perspectives and enthusiasm to the workplace.
- Co-operative education is the bridge between the employer, the student and the academic institution and benefits everyone involved. The employer benefits from the latest theories and fresh ideas from the academic world, the institution gets practical input from the professional community, and the students receive hands-on experience in their chosen field of study.
- Co-op students can be used for a wide range of assignments including specific projects to standard duties and procedures. Co-op employers have continuous access to diversely talented and highly motivated students. They can meet their short-term human resource needs by working on certain projects and give employers opportunity to assess student performance for long-term recruiting needs.
- Co-op students are an ideal source of manpower to fill temporary human resource needs during staff leaves or for short-term projects.
- Co-op programs offer year-round access to students employing co-op students can reduce future recruiting costs --- co-op employment aids in the vetting of students for future hiring of motivated and skilled employees.
- Co-op students can help create a bridge between the employer and the student's academic institution, and employers can provide valuable feedback about course curricula and content.
- Employment of co-op students gives a supervisor the opportunity to mentor bright and enthusiastic students, as well as the chance to take part in the training of their future colleagues.
- Increased enrollment as co-op programs attract top quality, superior, well-motivated students.
- Co-op students who enrich the general educational community of the campus upon returning from work terms.
- Well-qualified graduates who are prepared to assume a productive role in society.
- Enhanced visibility and reputation through interactions with the community.
- Feedback from employers on the quality and relevance of program curriculum.
- Information on current research and development in employer sectors, with opportunities for collaborative projects.
Looking to enroll in a co-operative education program or hire a co-op student, check out CAFCE's "Co-op Program Directory" for a complete list of member institutions and their co-operative education programs.