Co-operative Education Program
The Faculty of Arts Co-operative Education Program gives students, employers and the university an opportunity to work together in a meaningful partnership.
Students in German and slavic studies, history, labour studies, political studies and psychology can alternate regular academic terms with paid, full-time employment. It is an excellent way to enhance classroom learning with on-the-job experience.
Benefits for students
A student in a co-operative education program earns a competitive wage while applying classroom learning to real-world situations. Students will also benefit from:
- Skill building: Developing technical and professional skills, and learning to market their skills through a professional resumé and cover letter.
- Networking: Building a powerful network of professionals in their field that support their career pathway and lead to opportunities.
- Travel: Combining work with travel; opportunities exist locally, nationally and internationally.
- Jobs: Receiving support with their job search process including access to jobs exclusive to co-op students. They also gain access to co-op placements with potentially better salaries.
- Confidence building: Entering the workforce as confident graduates, with the developed ability to transition quickly into a chosen occupation.
Areas of study
The following areas of study in the Faculty of Arts currently offer the co-op program:
- German and Slavic Studies
- Labour Studies
- Political Studies
When you choose the co-op option, your regular four-year program is completed over five years to allow you the time to complete three work terms.
Intake into the program happens each September. You will go through a series of steps and activities, including workshops, an interview and support with your application, to help prepare you for your work terms. Work terms are three to four months in length and can begin in January, May or September. Your first work term will start no earlier than the January after you begin the program.
Alternating four-month terms
Beginning in your third year of Arts studies, you alternate four-month academic terms with four-month work terms relevant to your field of study. You receive one credit hour for each successfully completed work term.
The four-month terms are as follows:
- January - May (work term is available)
- May - August (work term is available)
- September - December (work term is available)
Students must successfully complete the equivalent of three work terms to receive the co-op designation on their degree.
Work term placements may be with private companies, government departments, non-government organizations and universities.
Work terms add 12 months of career-related experience to an academic program.
After you are accepted into the Faculty of Arts Co-op Program, you attend a series of workshops designed to help you be successful as you enter the professional work force. You are then ready to go through the placement process.
During each term, the placement process is carried out for the next term.
After you are admitted to the Faculty of Arts Co-op Program, you are required to:
- Ensure that all academic requirements of your degree are met. A minimum GPA must be maintained. You must inform the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office of anything that may affect your status.
- Read the Co-op Student Handbook and adhere to all co-op guidelines and deadlines.
- Attend all mandatory co-op meetings, seminars and scheduled interviews.
- Maintain an active UM email account at all times.
- Review your email frequently for notices from the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office.
- Ensure your resumés and cover letters are professional in appearance and effective as marketing tools.
- Conduct your own independent job search, informing the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office of contacts you have made.
- Apply for an appropriate number of jobs.
- Pay all work term and course fees.
- Follow all employer policies and procedures.
- Work to full capacity during work terms.
- Represent the Faculty of Arts Co-op Program in a professional and ethical manner.
- Submit all required co-op forms and reports on time.
- Inform the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office of any changes to your address or phone number.
Work term requirements
You must successfully complete a minimum of three four-month work terms to obtain a co-op designation on your degree.
You register for each work term as a university course and must receive a passing grade (P/F) for all three work terms. If you do not achieve a passing grade, you must withdraw from the co-op program.
You must complete a work term report or presentation at the end of each work term. The work term report fulfils the academic requirement for each work term. You are evaluated on your ability to communicate effectively through the clear, logical and concise presentation of a topic related to your work experience.
Each report is due after the work term is completed on a date set by the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office. Reports are graded by a faculty member from each department, resulting in a grade of pass or fail.
In each work term, you will:
- Work full-time for a minimum of 30 hours per week for 12 to 16 weeks, completing the work assigned to you to the satisfaction of your employer.
- Meet with the Faculty of Arts Co-op Coordinator for a site visit midway through the work term.
- Submit a completed work term evaluation form and work term report to the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office at the end of each work term.
Early in the term:
- Potential employers are invited to recruit Arts Co-op students for the following work term (e.g., January for May).
- Students ensure their resumé and transcripts are current for the upcoming work term.
Throughout the term:
- Available Arts Co-op positions are posted and students submit applications directly to the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office. Applications will consist of a cover letter, resumé and student history or web transcript.
- Applications for posted positions are forwarded to the employers.
- Employers notify the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office regarding the students they wish to interview.
- Students attend job interviews either at the work place or on campus. Interviews may also be conducted by phone/video conference for positions outside Winnipeg.
- Employers decide whom they wish to hire. Offers of employment are made either through the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office or directly to the successful candidate (student).
- Students reply to the Faculty of Arts Co-op office, either accepting or declining their position. Students are expected to respond to offers of employment within 48 business hours.
End of the term:
- Students who have succeeded in securing a co-op work placement are registered for the work term as a course and pay the required fee.
The following are minimum requirements for entry into the Faculty of Arts Co-op Program. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
To qualify for admission to the Faculty of Arts Co-op Program, you must
- Be enrolled in the Faculty of Arts
- Be a full-time student (enrolled in 9 credit hours per term) in good academic standing
- Have 30 or more credit hours left to complete in your program
- For German: Have a minimum GPA, honours of 3.00. For Central and East European Studies: Have a minimum GPA, advanced major of 2.00
- For History: Have a minimum GPA, honours of 3.00 or advanced major of 2.00
- For Labour Studies: Have a minimum GPA, advanced major of 2.00
- For Political Studies: Have a minimum GPA, honours of 3.00 or advanced major of 2.00
- For Psychology: Have a minimum GPA, advanced major of 3.00
Enrolment is limited and acceptance is based on academic performance, availability of work term placements and employer selection.
Admittance to the Faculty of Arts Co-op Program does not guarantee a job with the employer beyond the timeframe of the co-op placement.
International student requirements
International students are welcome to apply for the Faculty of Arts Co-op Program. If accepted, international students must:
- Apply for a co-op work permit from the Government of Canada. This permit allows international students to participate in off-campus cooperative education employment.
- Request a letter from the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office detailing the conditions of Co-op participation and employment. This letter will ask that the work authorization permit be valid until the completion of all three Co-op work terms. It must be included in the above application package.
- Submit the entire package immediately to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, using the correct address provided by the Faculty of Arts Co-op Office. It can take up to two months to process work authorization permit applications.
- Hold a valid study permit to apply for a co-op work permit. There is no fee for work permit applications within internship or co-op programs.
Canadian federal government policy dictates that international students are only allowed to work for federal departments and agencies if no qualified Canadian students are available.
No international students may apply for federal government co-op positions in the regular recruitment process, unless otherwise indicated on the job posting, and must indicate their international student status in their cover letter. No international students will be considered for those jobs requiring secret security clearance within the federal government.
How to apply
Application deadline: June 30
To apply, contact the Faculty of Arts Co-op Coordinator/Office, preferably in the second year of your program.
Contact a Faculty of Arts Advisor to check your academic requirements.
Submit your completed application form, along with your current resumé, to Arts.Coop@umanitoba.ca, by the deadline date.