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Cooperative Education Option

Cooperative education, a form of work-integrated learning, is a model of education that integrates and alternates a student's academic learning with workplace learning in fields relevant to the student's academic and personal goals.

Both work and academic terms are full-time and follow a formalized sequence. The time spent in the workplace comprises at least 30% of the time spent in academic study. Co-op work terms are approximately the length of each study term. Students are exposed to the work environment during more than one season of the year and their co-op programs begin and end on an academic term.

Co-op students in the Business Technology Management program begin their alternating work and study terms after completing the first academic term of Year 3. Students in the program accumulate 12 months of practical work experience through one eight-month and one four-month work term, and graduate in just over four years.

The only entry point for BTM co-op is at the beginning of second year. Students who withdraw or are removed from their academic program are not eligible to continue in co-op, even if they are later reinstated into that program. 

Co-op students follow the same academic program as regular students. Because of the alternating pattern of work and study terms, there may be some differences in the scheduling of individual courses.

Students prepare for the job search by attending workshops and individual counselling sessions.

Each work term is developed in collaboration with the employer and approved by the Department of Co-operative Education as a suitable learning environment that will engage the student in productive work. Students apply to employers with whom they are interested in working. Employers are encouraged to interview on campus. Although employment cannot be guaranteed, every effort is made to ensure that suitable employment is available for students admitted to the option.

The student's performance in the workplace is supervised and evaluated by the student’s employer. Co-op staff members monitor each student's progress during the work term. The co-op curriculum supports student learning goals, personal evaluation and reflection; students are required to set goals each term and write work term reports. Students are compensated by their employers for work performed.

A co-op fee is payable in each academic term of Year 2 and Year 3.

To obtain the co-op designation, students must complete all the requirements of both their academic program and the option. Students completing the option will have the notation "Cooperative Option" appended to their transcript and noted on their degree.

Application Procedure

Students on study permits may apply to and be admitted into co-op programs at Laurier. Note, however, that there may be a limit on the number of spaces available to international students.

Students in the BTM program who have met all academic requirements of Year 1 indicate their intention to participate in the Co-op Option by enrolling online by the second Monday of classes in Year 2.