Bridging the Value of International Co-op between East & West

Abstract

UWaterloo has one of the biggest co-op (type of Work-Integrated Learning) programs in the world whose quality results in outstanding post-graduation employability outcomes. The value of co-op at UWaterloo is as rigorous as the academic programming. Outstanding performance, deep contribution to a company’s business case, rigorous application of academic knowledge, and facilitating an excellent ‘fit’ within the organization are a few things expected of students. Across 60+ countries (excluding Canada/USA) annually, academic institutions and private- & public-sector organizations provide 900+ co-op opportunities to our students. However, the value proposition of co-op / WIL is not the same across geographic areas, which provides excellent opportunities to work with organizations and institutions to develop a co-op platform to meet and exceed the UWaterloo value proposition. Share our framework for onboarding student supervisors in the workplace globally that includes assigned service teams, in-person structured discussions on process and outcomes, toolkits to facilitate the pedagogical underpinnings of co-op, standard evaluation instruments, student and employer feedback via web technologies, etc. The outcomes are higher satisfaction indices reported, and greater engagement by organizations and institutions who now approach us with the confidence that they shall be adequately supported in building a co-op platform par excellence.