Benefits of a Canadian Co-operative Education

Share this Article

University of Guelph’s Co-operative Education Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected University students across the country in many ways, including students in the co-operative education program. When the pandemic hit in March, hundreds of University of Guelph co-op students had already secured their Summer work terms. As a result of the pandemic, some work terms were delayed, offers were rescinded, and for students who had not yet secured their employment, job opportunities became scarce.

Despite these challenges, University of Guelph co-op students, faculty and employers, worked together to ensure that this summer, co-op students would continue to bring initiative, teamwork, energy, and passion into a wide range of businesses, not-for-profit and government organizations.  Working in our community, co-op students are conducting COVID-19 research, addressing manufacturing process challenges, writing proposals, creating digital assets and developing online content for organizations and much more.

With co-op students from over 40 disciplines, the University of Guelph ensured employers were receiving the support they needed for their organization, as well as ensured organizations secure funding and hiring incentives available to them (some receiving up to 75% wage subsidy). U of G also adapted, allowing work-from-home placement solutions and providing support, as many adjusted to working remotely.

In an effort to help faculty move course delivery online, 85 co-op students were hired by the University and are assisting faculty to transform their courses over the summer. “This is a win-win,” said Cate Dewey, Associate Vice-President (Academic). “Co-op students are searching for subject-specific work placements to complete their co-op term. Faculty are looking for help to develop pedagogically strong academic courses for the Fall semester.”

As a result of working with and providing relevant and timely resources to students and employers, the University of Guelph had a higher employment rate than the national average as recently reported by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada.

With over 3,500 co-op students, the University of Guelph’s co-op program is now one of the largest and fastest growing co-op programs in the country. 

If your organization could benefit from hiring a U of G Co-op student, visit — we are here to support the career readiness of our students and the economic recovery of industry partners.