What is Co-operative Education?
Co-op is a program that combines on-campus study with paid work experience. Students also gain credit towards their degree.
What is a work term?
Students are enrolled in a work term when they accept an employment offer from a co-op employer. Work-terms are four, eight or two months long depending on the employer’s needs and the students’ status. Each work-term is evaluated as a suitable learning opportunity by TRU and students continue to communicate with TRU for the duration of their employment.
How does Co-op work?
If accepted into co-op, students first complete a Career Management course (COOP 1000) before being eligible for a work term. This comprehensive, 13-week one-credit (additive) course covers all aspects of the co-op job search process along with workplace expectations, and career development strategies.
Students that complete COOP 1000 are eligible to apply for co-op jobs. Students that successfully secure a job will be registered in a co-op work term. During the work term, students stay connected to their co-op coordinators by identifying learning goals, participating in a mid-term site visit, and submitting end of term reports and evaluations.
Students can earn up to six lower level, elective credits towards their graduation requirements by completing co-op work terms. However, they don't have to. Students that do not wish to count co-op work terms towards their credit requirements will receive additive credit on their transcript.
Participation in Co-op is voluntary and placements are competitive, with many co-op employers located outside the Kamloops region. Students are not guaranteed job placement in any given work term.
When can I do my co-op work terms?
At TRU, students enter Co-op at various points in their education depending on program requirements. While the summer semester is the most common time to complete work-terms, students are required to complete work-terms in the fall and/or winter semesters to fulfill their Co-op designation. Co-op work-terms in the fall and winter semester provides students with additional experience they would not normally receive during the summer.
How can I achieve my Co-op designation?
To achieve the Co-op designation at Thompson Rivers University, students must complete a minimum number of work terms in their degree or diploma. Students in a four-year degree program must complete a minimum of three work-terms, while students in a two-year diploma program must complete a minimum of two work-terms in order to receive their Co-op designation.
What is Co-op 1000?
Co-op 1000 is a pre-requisite course that a student must pass before accepting a work term. The course covers career development-related topics and is intended to give students a strong foundation prior to going out on their first work term. Several sections of this course are offered each semester.
Am I eligible to apply to Co-op?
Eligibility requirements for the Co-op program can be found in the TRU Online Academic Calendar or in Programs.
What is included in my application to Co-op?
View the Co-op Apply Now page for application details.
What if I miss the application deadline?
You can submit your application at any time, and may be accepted into the program. If you miss the last day to register for classes, then you will have to wait and take the Co-op 1000 course the following semester.
What if I do not pass Co-op 1000?
Students who do not pass the COOP 1000 will not be able to apply for a co-op work-term until they have repeated the COOP 1000 course. This course must be completed prior to being eligible for a work-term and elective credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their program co-op coordinator to discuss individual circumstances.
What if I complete the Co-op 1000 course and do not obtain a Co-op work term?
A co-op work-term is not guaranteed, and students must be diligent in securing a co-op position. Co-op coordinators are available to assist and support with the application process.
How do students find a Co-op work term?
Students can apply to Co-op jobs that are advertised through Career and Experiential Learning, or find their own work position and have it evaluated and approved as a co-op position. The position must demonstrate a suitable learning opportunity. Career and Experiential Learning supports students in finding work-terms by communicating open positions. However, it is up to the student to follow through with the job search process to secure their own position.
Do I have to pay tuition fees if I find my own co-op position?
Regular tuition fees apply to each co-op work-term. Students will be notified of tuition charges when enrolled in a co-op work term.
When are Co-op work terms available?
Work terms start in January, May or September and last for four, eight or two months. Students in co-op complete their normal academic curriculum while integrating a number of work terms into their program. Students alternate periods of work and study starting and ending on an academic session. Students have the option to combine work terms and remain with an employer for up to two months continuously depending on individual program regulations.
Will taking Co-op extend my graduation year?
Not necessarily. Depending on when you choose to complete your work terms and your year of acceptance into co-op, you can still graduate with the co-op option within four years. Students can however, extend their graduation by a semester or two in order to gain additional real world work experience prior to graduation.
What will I get paid on a work term?
Co-op wages vary depending on the employer, the student’s level of experience, and year of study. Wages vary between $11 and $30 an hour.
I have my maximum elective credits already, can I still apply to Co-op?
Yes, you can still apply for Co-op. Your future work terms will count for additive credit.
What is elective and additive credit?
Elective credit means you can count a co-op work term towards your graduation requirements. Additive credit means you will graduate with more credits than required because some of your co-op work terms will not count as electives and not reduce the number of credits you need to graduate.
Do I need to pass my work term to receive credit?
Yes, students must successfully complete a work term to be awarded credit.
Are there opportunities for international co-op work terms?
Yes, TRU Co-op has a Co-op Abroad program which will assist you in developing international co-op work terms. Each year TRU Co-op students travel to work around the globe. Check out the Co-op Abroad page for more information.