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WACAC 2014 Conference San Jose June 11, 2014. Co-operative Education in Canada & the United States Stephanie Ranslow, Northeastern University Tony Munro,

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Presentation on theme: "WACAC 2014 Conference San Jose June 11, 2014. Co-operative Education in Canada & the United States Stephanie Ranslow, Northeastern University Tony Munro,"— Presentation transcript:

1 WACAC 2014 Conference San Jose June 11, 2014

2 Co-operative Education in Canada & the United States Stephanie Ranslow, Northeastern University Tony Munro, University of Waterloo

3 Outline  Experiential learning co-operative education  Co-operative education vs. internships  Basics of co-operative education  How it works?  Benefits of co-operative education to academic institution  Benefits of co-operative education to students

4 Why experiential education is important  Growing focus on ‘outcomes’ in education  Accountability  Education as an investment  Establish connection between academic learning and work application  Learning by doing  Unfamiliar situations = new learning  Informed career decision-making

5 Experiential learning and co-operative education  Experiential learning is, simply put, learning by doing. This type of learning integrates theory and practice because “theory lacks meaning outside of practice (Eyler, 2009).”  While experiential learning can happen in classroom, lab and studio situations, it is much more powerful and robust when students have opportunities to use their knowledge and practice their skills in authentic, real-world situations.  One way students can experience learning by doing, learning outside of the classroom, is through co-operative education.

6 Academic perspective  Experiential education prompts new learning when students are put in unfamiliar situations for which they are not prepared and yet must act in order to get a job done.  Situated within a university education, experiential learning enables students to bring back and integrate into the classroom the authentic applications of their knowledge and skills as well as the new knowledge and skills they have gained.  Thus experiential learning not only strengthens and deepens what students already know and can do, but also provides an expanded platform for future/further learning.  In other words, experiential learning opportunities and the students’ formal academic program inform and complement each other.

7 Co-op vs. Internships  Co-op  clearly defined, full-time positions away from the classroom, with specific learning outcomes  the experience integrated into the curriculum.  Internships  often Ill-defined, unpaid, part-time  may be during academic semester  may or may not be related to major or interest  lack of integration into the academic experience  usually no longer than three months

8 Co-op basics  Employment integrated into the academics  Multiple work terms  Test career options  Head start on the job market  Exploration/preparation prior + Reflection/integration after  Students need to be responsible for decision making (competitive process) with significant resources to help them  Opportunity to establish contacts and develop your professional network  Graduates are ‘work-place ready’

9 History and evolution of co-op at Northeastern 1909 Earn to Learn  Combine work with school in order to pay the bills  Co-op program begins with just eight students working for four Boston employers 1980’s National Growth  37 States Across the Country  Concentrations in: New York City, Washington D.C., and the West Coast, including San Diego and Silicon Valley 1980’s International Co-ops offered  “Handful” of students participate Now  7200 Students participate yearly in Co-op  300 Students participate yearly in International Co-op

10 Co-operative Education structure Preparation  Complete mandatory Co-op Prep course  Participate in advising sessions with Co-op Faculty Coordinator  Navigate Employer Database  Search, sort, and select co-op positions based on major, interests, skills  Build preference list of positions and submit job preferences to co-op coordinators  Track placement process, interview, accept position Calendar  Consists of alternating periods of academic study with periods of substantive full-time employment  Promotes integrated learning and application of concepts

11 Sample 5 year co-op schedule Fall Semester (Sept. to Dec.) Spring Semester (Jan. to Apr.) Summer Session I (May to June) Summer Session II (Jul. to Aug.) Year 1 CLASS VACATION Year 2 CLASSCO-OP CLASS Year 3 CLASSCO-OP CLASS Year 4 CLASSCO-OP VACATION Year 5 CLASS

12 Sample 4 year co-op schedule Fall Semester (Sept. to Dec.) Spring Semester (Jan. to Apr.) Summer Session I (May to June) Summer Session II (Jul. to Aug.) Year 1 CLASS VACATION Year 2 CLASSCO-OP CLASS Year 3 CLASSCO-OP CLASS Year 4 CLASS

13 Sample employers

14 Co-operative education at Waterloo  5 or 6 four-month work terms completed in alternating sequence with academic terms  Centrally administered through Co-operative Education and Career Action department (125+ staff)  Job development  Online recruitment process  On-campus interviews  Career development workshops  Student Advising on campus and on work term  Employer relationship management  WatPD: online professional development program focused on enhancing connection between the workplace, the academic courses and eventual career path  Geographically distributed staff maintain local contacts

15 Integration of work experience and academic learning at Waterloo  Work term performance evaluation  WatPD courses (4 course requirement)  Common threads through all courses:  Critical Reflection, Professionalism, Technology, Continuous Learning, Diversity, Ethics, Collaboration  Completed online while on work terms (one course/term) Co-op Fundamentals*Critical Reflection and Report Writing* CommunicationTeamwork Project ManagementProblem Solving Conflict ResolutionIntercultural Skills Ethical Decision MakingProfessionalism and Ethics in the Workplace Engineering Workplace Skills I: Developing Reasoned Conclusions* Engineering Workplace Skills II: Developing Effective Plans*

16 Implications of co-operative education  Additional fees per academic term; no fees paid on work terms  Active involvement of student in recruitment process during academic terms  Time management  Realistic expectations  Flexibility  Students move to/from job locations every term  Arrange housing  Personal adjustment/adaptability  Year-round studies and delayed graduation

17 Benefits of co-op education to the university  Enhanced reputation among employers  Leaders of tomorrow  Experienced graduates  Entrepreneurial mindset  Innovation  Attracts career-focused and motivated students  Promotes research linkages & innovation  Encourages relevant course content  Lower debt loads among graduating students

18 Outcomes of co-op education for students  Opportunity to ‘test’ potential careers  Networking with potential employers and mentors  Professional and personal development  Informed academic & career choices  Increased motivation  Earnings while still in school  Manage debt load  Enhanced employability upon graduation  Earlier job offers & higher starting salaries

19 Outcomes Obvious practical outcomes:  Work Experience  Access to Employers  Impressive Resume  Earned salary But, also…

20 Perspectives  Student: The connections you make with employers can help you move closer to the goals you already have, OR they can help you realize that you should rethink your career plans.  Mohammed, Ghana  Employer: Our co-op students are able to adapt to geographic changes, relocation challenges, and corporate cultures. The co-op program enables GE to monitor Northeastern’s students for future employment.  Kristen Picano, GE Distribution  Northeastern: We believe in experiential learning because it deepens a student’s knowledge and learning. The result may very well be employment or graduate school, but those do not drive our belief in the power of this educational model. The learning that happens does…  Dr. Susan Ambrose, Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education & Experiential Learning.

21 International co-op experience: student blogs  Oyin is doing her co-op at an NGO in South Africa called Child Family Health International (CFHI). She will also be living with a host family in Cape Town for 2 months!  Alyssa is currently on co-op at Queen Mary University in London. She is working in their International, Marketing and Communications offices. Follow Alyssa as she explores London!  Rachel is doing her co-op as an ISA (International Student Advisor) in Costa Rica, for Northeastern's NUin program. Follow Rachel through her adventures!

22 International co-op experience: student blogs continued  Jenny did her co-op in Dehradun, India. Check out her adventures and beautiful pictures!  Gabby did her co-op in Beirut, Lebanon. Follow her through her adventures in her blog "Slow Motion Doesn't Exist”.  Read Ashwin's blog and follow him through his co-op with Cafe Coffee Day in Bangalore, India.  Diana did a co-op with Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Deming.  Megan is doing her Co-op with IVHQ, teaching children in a local school in Cape Town, South Africa.

23 Career Success and Co-op NORTHEASTERN:  Ranked #1 by Princeton Review in Career Services  On average, more than 51% of students receive a job offer from a previous co-op employer  More than 90% of our graduates are either employed or enrolled in graduate school nine months after graduation  87% of these graduates are doing work related to their major

24 Student & co-op  Professional and personal growth  Active and enthusiastic engagement  Competitive process  Self-directed – “make it the right fit for you”  Deadline driven  Jobs relevant to field of study  Paid employment  University support throughout

25 Tips for success for incoming students  Be flexible (job, employer, location)  Be prepared  Embrace the adventure  Start now…  Resume preparation  Part-time job  Extra-curricular activities  Volunteering  Community involvement  Sports teams  Social/cultural organizations  Look for ways you can demonstrate:  professional conduct, responsibility, commitment, maturity, communication, leadership

26 Questions/Discussion


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