Presentation on theme: "Co-operative Education and Student Engagement, Recruitment, and Retention: Findings of Interest and Questions to Ponder Presented by:E. Anderson, BCIT."— Presentation transcript:
Co-operative Education and Student Engagement, Recruitment, and Retention: Findings of Interest and Questions to Ponder Presented by:E. Anderson, BCIT N. Johnston, SFU CAFCE UPEI, June 2010
Overview of Session Five Outcomes of Interest from Phase 1 Analysis In Depth exploration of: Co-op for credit Co-op recruitment and family/sisters Co-op and academic engagement Other Applications: Employer persuasion (Mining) Academic persuasion (SFU Career Services & IRP; TRU co-op for credit)
Five Outcomes of Interest from Phase 1 Analysis 1. Co-op participation influences students academic choices to better align them with their career choices, thereby enhancing student retention and success. 2. Participation in at least one work term has a positive impact on students academic engagement which is linked to Kuhs notion of enriching educational experience – a positive contributor to overall institutional student satisfaction.
Outcomes of Interest from Phase 1 Analysis 3. The ability to participate in co-op was a factor considered by approximately 50% of co-op students when they chose their post-secondary institution. 4. Recruitment into optional co-op programs is greatly influenced by friends, family and institutional web- based outreach. 5. More students would consider co-op if they could obtain credit for work terms towards their academic degree and end on a co-op term.
In Depth Exploration of: Co-op for Credit Question from ACE Survey: Which of the following would have furthermore persuaded you or your friends to participate in the co-op program? 2008/9 ACE Research Survey results indicate that the #1 item that would have increased their participation was co-op for credit. 61% over 1700) respondents from across BC agreed that this was the biggest issue – 50% greater than the #2 issue which was ending on a work term.
ACE Survey Questions (contd) ResponseFrequencyCount Credit toward academic degree requirement61.3%1713 Work terms in the summer only17.3%484 Fewer number of required work terms26.5%739 Increased number of required work terms5.7%160 Shorter work terms10.3%289 The option to end on a work term39.6%1105 The ability to complete a work term earlier in the program25.5%713 Other (please specify)6.7%188 Valid Responses2793 Total Responses2793 Which of the following would have furthermore persuaded you or your friends to participate in the co-op program?
Feedback from SFU Fall 2009 Survey Experiential Learning: (5,896 undergraduate students respondents) o Students expressed interest in participating in experiential learning at SFU, if they could get credits towards their degree requirements (90% very/somewhat interested in co-op,85% in work-study, and 77% in research assistanceships.) o Assistance with associated costs and smooth integration into academic programs would also increase students likelihood of participating.
Feedback from SFU Fall 2009 Survey Do you think that the following examples of "learning through experience" have an educational value that deserves academic credits that count towards your degree requirements (in addition to credits for any related coursework)? Co-op 87.1% Practicum/internship (linked to a course) 85.3% Research assistanceship 80.5% International exchange 79.7% Work-study 76.3% Field school 72.9% Community-based learning (linked to a course) 71.7% Field trips 57.4%
Feedback from SFU Fall 2009 Survey If you could get credits that counted towards your degree requirements (ignoring tuition costs), how interested would you be in participating in the following types of "learning through experience" at SFU? Co-op 89.6% Work-study 85.5% Research assistanceship 76.7
Feedback from SFU Fall 2009 Survey Which of the following would make you more likely to participate in "learning through experience" (co-op, field school, etc.) at SFU? (Please check all that apply) Getting extra credits towards your degree 4,731 (81.3%) Assistance with related costs (travel, cost of living, etc.) 4,469 (76.8%) Assistance with tuition needed to participate 4,366 (75.0%) Smooth integration into your program (i.e. - if the experience wouldn't extend your degree completion time) 4,044 (69.5%) Ability to end your degree on a co-op term or other "experiential learning" term 3,535 (60.7%) More relocation support (help finding lodgings, etc.) 2,770 (47.6%)
Feedback from SFU Fall 2009 Survey Students should be required to participate in "experiential learning" (co-op,field school, exchange, internship, etc.) at least once in their degree. 55% agree or strongly agree 10% strongly disagree
WatCACE Survey re. Academic credit for Co-op Conducted by Rowe and Lumsden in 2008, a survey was sent to Canadian Universities – via the CAFCE list Areas surveyed: definition, approval, additive/substitutive, components, granting of credit, grading systems, treatment of failure, admissions, soft skills. Rationale for granting/not granting credit
WatCACE Survey re. Academic credit for Co-op Response data 59 surveys sent / 35 responses (59%) Profile of Institutions Good mixture of small, medium, large institutions When co-op started: 50s/1, 60s/3, 70s/6, 80s/12, 90s/8, 00s/2 17 award credit (49%) / 18 (51%) do not award, one institution changing policy Of those that do,12 (71%0 provide additive credit; 5 (29%) provide substitutive or integral credit (all 5 are smaller institutions/programs)
WatCACE Survey re. Academic credit for Co-op: Decision to Award Credit Primary reasons to award Recognition that learning occurs on work term(14) Work term learning is equivalent to academic course(10) Government funding received(9) Other Students can receive scholarships on the work term Institutional trend in experiential learning Attraction for students to stay in co-op Enhances value of the work term
WatCACE Survey re. Academic credit for Co-op: Decision to NOT Award Credit Was it considered? Yes – 7, No - 14 Reasons: Not pedagogically sound Co-op instituted too quickly Co-op seen as job placement Limited resources Future plans Within a year2 Within next 5 years4 Not in foreseeable future12
So, bringing the research together… ACE survey (2008/9) says 61% of respondents (over 1700) state the recognition of co-op for credit is the #1 item that would have further persuaded them or their friends to participate in co-op. SFU survey (2009) says % of students would take co-op if they received (integral) credit for it. Lumsden/Rowe (2008) survey indicates that about 50% of institutions that responded do provide credit and 50% do not. Of those that do, about 70% provide additive credit.
What Might this all Mean? What, if any, practice and/or policy implications does this data indicate? Is the credit issue critical to co-op student recruitment and retention? What potential implications might there be regarding the co-op curriculum and assessment? How might this impact the academic programs? What are the potential institutional gains/losses:? Is this a lobby we want to undertake/ If so, is it a collective activity?
In Depth Discussion: Co-op Recruitment When we asked students to indicate how they found out about their institutions co- op program, the top five noted were: 1.Friends 2.Website 3. from an institution 4.Institutional recruiter 5. Professor
In Depth Discussion: Co-op Recruitment We found parents and social networking were the lowest ranked in terms of a place to find out about co-op Students were given the opportunity to indicate if there were other sources for learning about co- op and …
In Depth Discussion: Co-op Recruitment Ninety nine students responded There were four main categories of response Family Co-op Coordinator's presentation Career Fairs/Info Sessions Marketing Materials
In Depth Discussion: Co-op Recruitment - Sisters Of the 23 who we clustered under family the largest portion was sisters
Co-op Recruitment and Girl Power We found that sisters are a significant source for information on co-op and a motivation for participation My sister was an alumni from SFU approximately seven years ago. Because she is older than me an she attended SFU when I was in high school, Ive always aspired to get into the co-op program
So What Might this Finding Mean? What might be some implications for marketing our programs? How can girl power be leveraged? What is unique about this demographic? How do we better target men? What further information would be good to know?
In Depth Discussion : Student Engagement We asked the students four questions about how their work term related to their classroom studies For the most part the respondents indicated that the classroom experience was enhanced by their work term
Student Engagement: My work term helped me…
Student Engagement Students were given the chance to give additional comments after each question We analyzed the comments from question 23 which asked students to rate how their work term affected their classroom engagement We grouped the 112 responses into five categories:
Student Engagement 1.Classroom not teaching real world skills (44%) 2. My work term helped theories in the classroom make sense (24%) 3. Jobs not linked to any course work (17%) 4. Skills learned are valuable but not directly relevant (10%) 5. I observed that the workplace has a different learning style (5%)
Consulting engineering work is almost nothing like the engineering coursework. Engineering coursework is far too concerned with digital systems and theory As cliché as it sounds, the real world is different from what you learn in the classroom. Office politics and dealing with angry customers is not some thing you can learn from text books
So What Might this Finding Mean? Are there any implications from this finding with respect to how you talk about your program – the language and rhetoric used? Does co-op help connect the world of school to the world of work? If so, how? What does this finding suggest needs to be worked on by co-op, and how can that be done?
How else has this data been utilized? Other Applications: Employer persuasion (Mining) Academic persuasion (Career Services; IRP) Application for co-op for credit (TRU)
THANKS! For More Information… Copies of the original research presentation is posted on the ACE web site: For further information regarding this research project please contact Norah McRae, Chair, ACE Research Committee at