Cooperative Education Program

Cooperative Education (‘Co-op Program’ for short) aims to connect student classroom learning with valuable work experience, preparing students for a successful career ahead of them. A co-op placement is a partnership between a student, an employer and the educational institution. The success of the Co-op partnership is dependent upon a mutual commitment from all parties.

Students enrolled in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences are encouraged to complete a co-op placement that fits with their academic goals and interests. They gain 3-credits for each 4-month term. Students must apply for individual work terms; positions can be within academia, the non-profit sector, the agriculture or agri-food industry or the government, but must be approved by the employer as a co-op placement. Students are encouraged to research potential co-op positions that they would benefit from and then consult with the Faculty’s Co-op Coordinator.

Employers can provide any summer or term position to a student as a co-op placement if they fit as an agency, organization or company within the standards outlined in the program. Working with the Co-op Coordinator, employers can market their co-op position to particular Faculty programs.

Co-op placements require collaboration between the Faculty’s Co-op Coordinator and employers who are looking to specifically hire co-op students, with both parties gaining a better sense of the other’s ever-shifting needs. The Faculty is thrilled to work with long-time, committed employer partners and is always open to forming new ones within industry and government. 


What is a co-op placement?

A Co-op placement is a paid work experience that earns a student 3 credit hours for completing at least 420 hours with a participating employer. The employer is fully engaged in the process, participating in mid- and end of-placement evaluations.

The Faculty’s Cooperative Education coordinator acts as a liaison between the student, the employer and any involved academic departments. He/she promotes employer listings, supports the setup of interviews, monitors students’ commitment to their placements and conducts evaluations.

Co-op placements can take place on any term (Fall, Winter, Summer):
May – August (summer)
September – December (fall)
January – April (winter)

More positions within the agricultural sector are available during the summer, with employers looking to hire their students by mid-November of the previous year, although opportunities exist on a year-round basis for students from all programs.

How does a student qualify to do a placement?

Please refer to the UM Calendar 2019-2020 for the most updated requirements for entering the Cooperative Education program.

International Students PLEASE NOTE: You will need to meet with someone at the International Centre first to discuss your work permit for the co-op placement before you meet with our Co-op Coordinator. Please note that our Coordinator cannot provide advice on work or study permits.

How does the program work?

Step 1: Students must apply to the Co-op Program via the Career Connect portal. All students of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences have had accounts made for them and simply need to reset their password by clicking on “Forgot Password” and then logging in to access the Agriculture Co-op module.

Applications for Summer 2020 co-op program are due by January 8, 2020. Applications will not be accepted by email.

Step 2: Students should attend all events that are held only for co-op students. This includes the U of M Career Fair in January, employer info nights and workshops to prepare students for applying to and securing a co-op placement.

Step 3:  Employers who have committed to the co-op program will post co-op placement via Career Connect. Students must apply to these positions using the portal, where employers can collect applications in bulk. Students can also turn a non-co-op 4-month position into a co-op placement if the employer (namely the supervisor) commits to participating in the required activities of co-op, including goal-setting and student evaluations. Students should email the Co-op Coordinator prior to approaching an employer about co-op if they are unsure about whether or not the employer hires co-op students.

Step 4: Employers select the students they wish to interview. Interview rooms in one of the faculty’s buildings can be booked by the employer so that the interview can be held on campus.

Step 5: Employers select their ideal candidate and provide the name to Co-op Coordinator. Employers provide a formal Letter of Offer to the student, which outlines terms of employment, salary, start and end dates, hours of work, reporting structure, request for confidentiality agreements or criminal record checks, if applicable

Step 6: Students who have secured a co-op placement register online for the co-op course in order to obtain the credit. This can be done up to 2 weeks before the start of the co-op placement. Special permission is required.

What are the faculty’s expectations of students?

Expectations of Co-op Students once accepted into the Program:

Placement Search:

  • Inform the Co-op Coordinator of any changes to your degree, program or contact information.
  • Conduct a thorough job search for potential co-op work term placements that suit your interests, academic goals and personal life adaptability (i.e. – capacity to live short-term in rural Manitoba).
  • Ensure your resume and cover letters are complete in all areas and professional in appearance. Check out workshops offered by Career Services.
  • Apply for an appropriate number of jobs across a range of sectors of the agri-food industry.
  • Meet with the International Centre at U of M about work permits if you are an International Student

Pre-Placement (1-4 months prior to ideal start of placement):

  • Connect with the Co-op Coordinator with any potential employer who requests more information on co-op.
  • Attend all orientations and meetings that inform and prepare students for starting co-op placements.
  • Register for the appropriate Co-op Work Term about 1 month prior to starting your placement.
  • Pay associated course fees for Work Term (students earn 3 credit hours for each Term/placement.
  • Review your email frequently for information from Co-op Coordinator and/or Co-op Instructor

On the co-op placement job site:

  • Work to your full capacity during work terms and participate in workplace events and meetings.
  • Follow all policies and procedures provided by the employer.
  • Represent the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences in a professional and ethical manner.
  • Submit Co-op Self-Evaluation forms, online reflection pieces and final report in a timely manner.

Ready to apply?  Click here to visit Career Connect and start your application within the Agricultural and Food Sciences Co-op module.

Current students of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences have been given an account within Career Connect and simply need to reset their password.

Applications for Summer 2020 co-op program are due by January 8, 2020. Applications will not be accepted by email.

Questions?  Concerns?  Please contact Co-op Coordinator:  Kalynn Spain,


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