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FAQs | Current Students

What elective courses should I take to market myself better for Co-op work terms?

That would depend entirely on your academic focus. It is recommended that you meet with someone from the KPU’s advising department for guidance.

How does Co-op benefit my academic studies?

Co-op enriches your academic experience by taking the knowledge you acquire in the classroom and applying it to the Co-op position. Also, from work terms you take the knowledge you acquire and feed it back into your education allowing you to be more marketable. Applying what you've learned on the job makes your education more meaningful.

Does Co-op count as one of my electives for my program?

No - all Co-op courses are additional credits and do not apply to your diploma/degree requirements.

Is the Co-op program available for international students?

Yes - international students are eligible for Co-op upon approval of a Co-op Work Permit. Attend an information session to learn more information.

What are the benefits of international Co-op?

The same as the benefits for the local Co-op but with the opportunity to learn about diverse cultures and to gain insight into international work practices and procedures.

Where have students been placed for international Co-op?

China, Africa, New York and more! Please contact the Co-op office for more information.

If I get a job on my own, can I get a Co-op credit for it?

Yes - but first the Co-op office must approve the position. The Co-op office will review the job description, contact the employer to determine suitability, and approve the position for the Co-op placement. Reach out to the Co-op office for guidance on the process of creating your own Co-op work term.

What happens if I don't find a Co-op job?

When a student has been actively applying for jobs but still doesn’t get a placement for the semester in which they wanted to be placed, they normally continue with their academic studies and continue to apply to positions available in subsequent semesters. Each new semester Co-op students are asked if they want the Co-op Job database (Career Connection) to be left open for them to seek jobs. All students who wish to look for a position are asked to respond to the seeking survey to indicate their preference. Once the survey is reviewed, these students are approved by the Co-op office to continue having access to the job board and view/apply for available job postings.

What happens if I accept a job and a better opportunity arises?

If you get offered two jobs at the same time and have not yet committed to one, you are able to choose which placement you prefer. If you have already accepted the Co-op placement, you are required to honour your commitment to that employer. If you withdraw from the accepted Co-op job placement without a valid reason, you will no longer be given access to the Co-op job opportunities.

How much can I expect to make?

Typical wages for the Co-op students range from minimum wage to $20 per hour. Co-op employers set the wage, not the Co-op office. We encourage students to focus on the quality of work experience in their field of study rather than the wages. Our experience and many Co-op students' testimonials confirm that the recent Co-op work experience(s) may help jumpstart your career!

What if I had a change of plans after I am admitted to Co-op?

You can withdraw from the Co-op without additional charges as long as you are not in a class or registered for a work term course. Otherwise, you will have to complete the Co-op class or work term course. Withdrawals from any course are subject to the KPU's policies for course change dates and deadlines. https://kpu.ca/registration/dates

I would like to work abroad or in another province but it is too expensive. How does this work?

It depends on the company you are applying for. Some companies include accommodation and travel expenses (but it is not the norm). If you are interested in working abroad, we encourage you to give it a try and explore your options. Please consult your Co-op Instructor and the Co-op office team to learn more about Co-op jobs outside of the Lower Mainland.

How are Co-op work terms graded?

Co-op work terms are graded based on satisfactory completion of all work term assignments, also employer's mid- and end-term evaluation, and the Co-op Instructor's final evaluation. You will receive either a MAS (mastery) or an NCG (no credit granted) as per KPU's Student Evaluation and Grading Policy. MAS or NCG grades do not impact your GPA.

Can I change the sequence of my work and academic terms?

Yes, you can but you must always consult your Co-op Instructor when you are changing the sequence of work and academic terms. You must ensure that you finish your program on an academic semester with 9 credits or more.

We encourage EPT students to connect with their program's department regarding the best time to complete their work terms.

How many work terms can I take?

For the diploma Co-op programs, you must complete two (2) Co-op work terms. If you are in a degree Co-op program, you must complete three (3) work terms. Post-Baccalaureate diploma programs require completion of one (1) work term. Please consult with the Co-op office if you wish to do an additional work term.

For international students, Co-op work terms should total 50% or less of your study program. Refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for eligibility requirements to work as a Co-op student.

Can I work for 8 months?

Yes, you can work for 8 months. You can work with the same employer for two consecutive semesters if the employer approves it. You can also work for two separate employers for four months each. This is considered two full-time Co-op work terms.

If you're an international student, you need to be aware of your Co-op work permit expiry date and make sure you re-apply for the Co-op work permit to be able complete both terms. Co-op work terms for international students should total 50% or less of your study program. Refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for eligibility requirements to work as a Co-op student.

How many work terms do I have to complete to get the Co-op designation?

For the diploma Co-op programs, you must complete two (2) Co-op work terms. If you are in a degree Co-op program, you must complete three (3) work terms. Post-Baccalaureate diploma programs require completion of one (1) work term. You must first consult with the Co-op office if you wish to do an additional work term.

For more information, visit Co-op Programs.

What should I expect on a Co-op work term site visit by my Co-op instructor?

Your Co-op Instructor will meet with your supervisor first to obtain feedback on your performance, discuss your learning goals and inquire about future Co-op opportunities. Your Instructor will then meet with you to obtain your feedback, discuss your performance, and review your learning goals, progress with assignments and plans for future Co-op work terms.

What are the work term assignments?

Work term projects assignments vary by instructor but for the most part include reflection assignments through on-line participation as well as a presentation/report that may be presented in video, PowerPoint or lecture format.

I hear that being involved in the Co-op process can take as much time as a course, is this true?

Yes, most work terms are full time jobs and also require additional course work in the form of on-line journals, goal setting exercises, work term reports, and the employer's evaluation of student performance. The time involved in applying and interviewing for the Co-op jobs can be time consuming as well. During the semester when you plan to look for a Co-op job, be prepared to spend several hours per week to look for, apply, format your resume and cover letter, and interview for the positions. The amount of time spent seeking a Co-op job will depend on how many positions you apply for and how soon you get hired.

Do I have to make payments to my Student Loans while on a work term?

No, a full time Co-op work term is a one course and counts for 9 credits.

Do I have to pass my work term to get the credits?

Yes, it is the same as any other KPU course. While on a Co-op work term, you are registered in a course. You must successfully complete all assignments.

What are the tuition and fees for Co-op and when do I pay them?

COOP 1101 is a one-credit class. Tuition and fees for this class is based on one-credit of university tuition and fees for that semester.

Co-op work terms are assigned 9 credits for each full-time work term (semester). Tuition is charged at 4.5 credits per semester for domestic and international students. International students pay work term tuition in accordance with the current Tuition and Mandatory Student Fees table for each full-time Co-op work term (semester).

University fees are also charged in addition to your tuition.

I haven't been offered a job and my course registration date is approaching, what should I do?

We encourage students to register for classes while continuing to seek a work placement. If you then accept an offer, you can drop your courses and register into a Co-op work term course (instructions will be sent to you). Please note that currently all add/drops of courses must adhere to the KPU's guidelines. Fees and penalties may be encountered by students if course changes are made independently after the first day of classes. For more information, visit https://kpu.ca/registration/dates.html.

Am I still considered a full-time student when on a work term?

Yes, if you are a Co-op student on a full-time Co-op work term, you earn 9 credits and maintain your full-time status.

Why do I have to pay tuition and fees when working in a Co-op job?

Co-op Education is part of your academic program. You are paying a course fee for your work term and will be doing a variety of assignments to support your learning during the work term. Your Co-op instructor will be supporting your learning and guiding you through the workterm to maximize your learning.

Students do not pay any tuition fees until they have secured a Co-op work term placement.

Can I take courses while working?

On your first Co-op work term, it is best to fully focus on working in a career-related job. We recommend that you not take any courses while on that first work term to ensure you are not dividing your commitment between school and the employer. However, if for a good reason you need to take an additional class, please discuss this with and academic advisor, your Co-op Instructor and the employer before taking on more than you can handle. We want to ensure we set you up for success in both academic studies and in work placement.

The maximum number of courses alongside a full-time Co-op work term course is 2. Anything beyond that requires special approval and is considered an overload situation. Please consult your Co-op Instructor and the Co-op office for more information.

Are there any special scholarships or financial assistance for Co-op students?

Most scholarships and awards are tied to the area of study (see Student Awards & Financial Assistance and KPU Foundation). Co-op awards are also handled by the Student Awards & Financial Assistance (SAFA).