Cooperative Education Program

The Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program aims to connect student classroom learning with valuable work experience, preparing students for a successful career ahead of them

What is a co-op placement?

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. It is a paid work experience that can earn a student 3 credit hours for completing at least 420 hours with a participating employer – these hours must be completed within the 4-month academic term.

Placements can be within academia, the non-profit sector, the agriculture or agri-food industry or the government, but the employer needs to be made aware that it is a co-op placement as early as possible.

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

PLEASE NOTE: As of May 2020, the Faculty’s Co-op Program no longer offers Fall co-op placements. Students who wish to do a co-op placement in Winter term must be accepted into the program as of October 31st of that same academic year. Students who are applying to the co-op program that fall are not guaranteed acceptance into the program as intake for new co-op students will continue until the deadline in January; students may not be approved until after the application deadline.


INFO FOR STUDENTS

APPLY TO THE COOP PROGRAM

INFO FOR EMPLOYERS

EMPLOYER MANUAL


 

Applying to the Co-op Program

Joining the Co-op Program is a commitment. Here's what you will need to get started.

Eligibility Requirements

Degree Program

  • Students who have been admitted to an undergraduate program within the faculty are eligible to apply to the Co-operative Education Program. The first work term can start after the first year of a 4-year or second-degree program.
  • Students admitted into the Program must maintain good academic standing (minimum DGPA of 2.0) throughout their co-op work terms.

Diploma Program

To be considered for admission in the Cooperative Education Program, a first year diploma student must:

  • have a minimum Degree GPA of 2.5, and
  • have completed at least 47 Credit Hours of studies by the end of the academic year of application.

Students are advised that satisfying the entrance requirements does not guarantee a place in the Cooperative Education Program. Acceptance into the program is dependant upon the student receiving a job placement through the Cooperative Education Office.

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

Employment Term Requirements

The Cooperative Education Program is a five month program between the first and second year with a faculty-approved employer. Students are required to register in the employment term course and pay the fee prior to starting the employment term.

Please refer to the UM Calendar 2020-2021 for the most updated requirements for entering the Cooperative Education program.

 

Benefits & Costs

 

The Co-op Program provides students with opportunities to:

  • Access career and employment support designed to help prepare them for the workplace   
  • Develop and build practical, technical and employability skills
  • Earn hands-on, workplace experiences that further expose students to the world of work
  • Receive three (3) credit hours per successful work term. During a work term, a co-op student may take an additional maximum of 6 credit hours.
  • Explore various opportunities in the Agri-Food sector prior to graduation and making long-term commitments/goals
  • Gain confidence and learn more about areas that are in need of further development.
  • Create and foster relationships and networks with members of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, and the Agri-Food industry contacts and partners
  • Gain access to student awards such as the UofM Co-op Students of the Year and the CEWIL Canada student of the year.
  • Gain a Co-op designation on transcripts and parchments that are an advantage when seeking permanent or long-term employment.

Co-op Program Fees

Coop Program fees are assessed based on a per credit hour charge plus administrative fees that go towards student programming and services, as well as towards costs associated with running the program and the course.

Program of Study Fee per co-op work term
Agriculture Diploma $ 796.70 
Agricultural & Food Sciences $ 796.70 

These fees are subject to change every year as they are reviewed on an annual basis. The increase from last year’s fees were simply because the generated revenue was not sufficient to cover the administrative costs associated with running the program and our coop courses. It is worth noting that the Faculty expends substantial resources to prepare students in skills such as resume writing, interviewing for positions, and enhancing other soft skills that will make their co-op terms a successful learning experience. 

 

Expectations of Co-op Students

Participating in the Co-op Program is a commitment to enhance students' experiential learning. Students who are admitted to the program automatically become representatives of the faculty and are expected to adhere to set standards and expectations. The following is an non-exhaustive list of what we expect from Co-op students:

  • Maintain a good standing academic record and financial standing with the University to maintain program eligibility.
  • Understand and adhere to assigned guidelines and deadlines for application, reporting, and additional requirements in co-op courses.
  • Represent the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and the School of Agriculture in a professional and ethical manner.
  • 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. Attend career preparation workshops offered by the Co-op Coordinator and/or Career Services.
  • Complete pre-application, pre-placement and work-term requirements which includes attendance to mandatory meetings, interviews, workshops, and much more.
  • Apply for an appropriate number of jobs across a range of sectors of the agri-food industry.
  • International Students: Meet with the International Centre about work permits to confirm program and employment eligibility.

Pre-Placement (1-4 months prior to 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.

During Co-op Work Terms:

  • Work to your full capacity during work terms and participate in workplace events and meetings.
  • Follow all employer policies, standard operating procedures, and health and safety protocols that are applicable to the workplace.
  • Submit Co-op Self-Evaluation forms, online reflection pieces, final reports, and other deliverables in a timely manner.

 

Before you Apply

Attend an Information Session: Students who are interested to apply to the Co-op Program are encouraged to attend an orientation session. This session will cover the following topics:

  • How to apply to the program
  • Does the Co-op Program best fit your career and academic plans?
  • How it works, what to expect, etc.
  • Tips & Advice for successful applications

To register, you must have access to the Faculty's module in careerCONNECT to view/register for events in the calendar. Refer to Steps 1 & 2 below for more information.

 

What You Need to Apply

Get the following documents/information ready:

  • Career and Academic Planning Worksheet: instructions on how to complete this are found in the document.
  • Proof of eligibility: documents that include your student number, GPA, credit hours completed

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Ready to Apply?

After you've completed the pre-application process, follow the steps below to apply to the Co-op Program:

Step 1. Create a student account on careerCONNECT.

All Co-op Job Postings, events, and opportunities will be posted in the Faculty's Co-op module within careerCONNECT. Students can now log-in to the system using their UM student email (UMnetID@myumanitoba.ca) and password they use to access their webmail.

Ensure that you have access to the platform prior to completing the next steps. If you forgot your password and/or are unable to access your existing account, contact us for additional support.

LOG-IN TO careerCONNECT

Step 2. Complete and Submit a Co-op Module Access Request

Once you have successfully created and/or accessed your careerCONNECT account, complete and submit a request to view/access the Agriculture Co-op Program module. The formal application form to apply to the Co-op Program is only accessible once you confirm access to the module.

SUBMIT REQUEST

Step 3. Complete a Co-op Program Application Form

After gaining access to the Co-op Program module in careerCONNECT, you must complete a formal application form for the work-term that you wish to secure a placement for. Completing this step formally admits you to our system and will allow you access to our exclusive events, postings, and other features.

Step 4. Complete the Student Onboarding Program

Student applicants are encouraged to complete the student onboarding program prior to the start of their work-term placements. This program is designed to help students prepare for the application and placement procress, which includes the following steps:

  • Schedule and attend a brief 15-minute interview with the Co-op Coordinator
  • Register and participate in the following workshops:
    • Researching and Identifying Opportunities in the Agri-Food Industry
    • Resume and Cover Letter Critique
    • Interview Preparation
    • Incorporating career conversations in the workplace
    • and much more!

To register for these events and workshops, you must log-in to careerCONNECT and access the official AgCo-op Calendar.

Step 5. Submit applications for Co-op Jobs.

At this point, you are now equipped and ready to submit complete, tailored applications to individual Co-op jobs. You are encouraged to apply for more than one (1) posting to ensure that you secure a placement prior to your specified start date.

Students can also turn a non-co-op position (max. 4 month term) into a co-op placement if the employer (including the supervisor) commits to participating in the required activities of co-op, including goal-setting and student evaluations. Students should consult with the Co-op Coordinator prior to talking with an employer about a co-op placement if they are unsure about whether or not the employer will be open to participating in the co-op program requirements.

Step 6. Schedule a job interview

Successful candidates will be contacted by employers to schedule job interviews. While timely follow-ups are necessary in confirming interview appointments, students are discouraged from sending multiple emails and spamming the employers.

If you are having issues contacting prospective employers, please contact the Co-op Coordinator.

Note: It is recommended that you practice and thoroughly prepare for your interview. Appointments for one-on-one Mock Interviews are limited to students who have secured an interview date and time. Ensure that you give yourself some time to prepare for an interview.

Step 7. Register for a Co-op Course

Students who have secured a co-op placement must register for a co-op course in order to obtain the credit. This can be done up to two (2) weeks before the start of your work placement term. Note: Special permission to register for these courses is required.

As part of the course, all registered students must participate in a mandatory orientation that introduces the course instructor and participants. The co-op courses are offered online on UM Learn and are graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Co-op Courses (in progression) are as follows:



  • AGRI 2002 – First Co-op Placement: Introduction to HR and Career Competencies

  • AGRI 3002 – Second Co-op Placement: Values-Based Leadership Development

  • AGRI 4002 – Third Co-op Placement: Special Project

Students will earn their co-op designation (indication on their parchment at graduation) with the completion of at least two co-op placements. Full credit hours are required for completion.


Step 8. Pay associated Co-op fees

Students with secured work placement and co-op course registrations are required to pay associated course fees for each Co-op Work Term. Failure to pay fees may result in an account hold, a Fail mark for the course, or the cancellation of the work placement.

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Contact Us

FAFS Co-op Program
160-66 Dafoe Road
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6 Canada

E: AgCoop@umanitoba.ca
P: 204.480.1488

 

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