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Programme Description

Co-op Work Component

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The Co-op Work Component

Innovation at Work

St. Thomas University takes a unique approach to helping its co-op students gain work experience. While a limited number of conventional co-op placements are offered each year, St. Thomas’ co-op programme does not rely on a placement-model for getting jobs for students. Rather, students are trained and supported to obtain employment themselves. Our students learn to promote themselves and market their strengths and skills to employers. Students develop the critical thinking and communication skills needed to write effective cover letters and resumes, and to conduct themselves professionally in interviews. In this way, students derive self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment from obtaining their own employment.

Internships and Volunteer Work

The BA (Co-op) Programme focuses less on jobs and job duties, and more on the opportunties for students to develop transferable soft skills. For this reason, it recognizes that unpaid internships and volunteer work are excellent training grounds for learning about work cultures, work ethics, and human relations. Be it paid or unpaid work, there is value in every working opportunity for St. Thomas co-op students.

Amount of Work Required

Students are required to undertake three blocks of no less than 500 hours each of work between the end of their first year and the start of their fourth year. Each work opportunity must meet certain criteria for suitability as a learning opportunity and be approved by the university prior to students starting their work terms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I return home to work in the summer for my work component?

Yes. Students are not required to re-locate for work opportunities unless they desire to do so. If employment opportunities are few in your hometown, you may consider doing an internship during the school year in which to gain work experience.

What kinds of jobs am I allowed to do for co-op work experience?

Practically any position that allows you to meet your learning objectives and develop your skills would be acceptable. Co-op students have worked as researchers, call centre agents, curriculum developers, youth programme workers, student police officers, personal bankers, project workers, assistant sales managers, and administrative assistants, to name a few.