Co-operative Education

What is it? | Prospective Employers | Current Employers | Prospective Students | Current Students


What is it?

"Co-operative Education combines academic study with alternating work terms. The employment is a practical application directed towards the students’ academic course of study. The Co-operative education student is paid for their work experience, which is supervised by both the employer and the Co-operative education institution. (CAFCE)"

Co-operative Education is a program that integrates work experience and academic studies related to a student's major. A partnership between the college, the students and the employer provides an opportunity for the students to apply the knowledge they have gained in the classroom to the reality of the workplace.

It is a flexible program that allows employers from business and industry, human services and government to participate in the education and development of our future professional workforce. Employers are able to meet staffing demands with bright, energetic students.

Students are provided the opportunity to gain insight into their chosen career while allowing employers to have necessary work completed. The college benefits through the important feedback from employers regarding its instruction, curriculum and programs.

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Prospective Employers

Cooperative education enables highly motivated students to combine post-secondary studies with practical experience in their chosen field.
Students, employers and the community benefit tremendously through this professional and personal development process.
Since 1991, the College of the North Atlantic has been providing cooperative education opportunities to students enrolled in Engineering, Information Technology and Natural Resources Programs. The success of our Cooperative Education Programs is the result of the strong relationship developed over the years between students, alumni, employers and the College faculty and staff.

As a prospective employer, you may be interested in the following information:

pointer Benefits of Hiring A Co-operative Education Student
  • Offers a cost effective, screening program for hiring highly qualified students upon graduation.
  • Offers employers a variety of student work schedules to meet specific needs and industrial/business cycles.
  • Results in a greater retention of newly hired employees (student graduates).
  • Influences the campus curricula to meet needs of business, industry, and government agencies.
  • Enables students to have increased knowledge, more mature attitudes, and the ability to adapt to changing situations.
  • Allows professional staff to concentrate on higher level work while Co-operative education students do more entry level work.
  • Provides an infusion of bright, enthusiastic young people who provide new ideas and new viewpoints.
  • Opportunities to observe potential permanent hire for an extended period and in actual working conditions without long-term commitment.

pointer The Co-op Process
  • Employer submits a Co-op job posting to Co-operative Education Office which outlines job duties and responsibilities.
  • Students submit resumes to the office, which are forwarded to the employer
  • Employer reviews resumes and advises the Co-operative Education Office concerning which students will be interviewed.
  • Co-operative Education Office can schedule interviews, notify students, and arrange interviews to be held on campus or at the employer’s location.
  • Employers notify the Co-operative Education Office when a decision regarding employment is made. Some programs have a ranking process by which student-employer matches are made.
  • Students sign a letter of acceptance.
  • Co-operative Education Office will monitor the student while on work term.
  • Co-operative Education Office will perform a site visit midway through the Co-op placement.
  • Employers will evaluate job performance during the site visit and at the end of the work term. The College provides evaluation forms.
  • Employer evaluations will make up 50% of the students Co-op grade. Students will also be required to submit a Co-op report to the Co-operative Education Office. The report will make up the other 50% of the student’s grade. Students are responsible for the report, however employers may have valuable insight that can assist students when choosing topics and drawing conclusions.

pointer Government Funding
Small Enterprise Co-operative Placement Assistance Program (SECPAP)

A program funded by the Department of Human Resources, Labour & Employment Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and delivered by Co-operative Education Office, College of the North Atlantic.
SECPAP Wage Subsidy Application 

pointer Co-operative Education Program Offerings
pointer Contact Us

Co-operative Education students from College of the North Atlantic are available for paid work terms that can be for a minimum of 12 weeks or a maximum of 16 weeks in duration; while it varies by program, students are available in the winter, summer and fall semesters. Simply contact the co-op office to confirm when students are available for your discipline of interest.

SECPAP Wage Subsidy Application (PDF) 

Campus Contacts
  • 709-758-7003 / Ridge Road Campus
  • 709-758-7112 / Prince Philip Drive Campus
  • 709-737-8575 / Corner Brook Campus
Program Specific Contacts
Co-op Program Contact

  • Industrial Engineering Technology
  • Mechanical (Manufacturing) Engineering Technology
  • Electrical (Power & Controls) Engineering  Technology

Tony Slade
Tel: 709-758-7011
Fax: 709-758-7059

  • Geometrics Engineering Technology
  • Computing Systems Engineering Technology (Co-op)

Wanda Flannigan
Tel: 709-758-7717
Fax: 709-758-7059

  • Safety  Engineering  Technology
  • Petroleum Engineering  Technology
  • Chemical Engineering Technology Program

Sabreen Mowlaii
Tel: 709-758-7423
Fax: 709-758-7059

  • Electronics Management Engineering Technology
  • Environmental Technology
  • Civil Engineering Technology

Joanne Kendrick
Tel: 709-637-8575
Fax: 709-643-2126

  • Programmer Analyst  (Business)
  • Civil Engineering Technology

David Kenny

Tel: 709-758-7247
Fax: 709-758-7299

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Current Employers

We have many co-operative education services for current Employers. Employers are able to:
  • Post Co-op positions for Students
  • Collect resumes and forward to employers
  • Notify students and schedule interviews
  • Provide interview room on campus
  • Monitor students while on Co-op placement and perform site visit
  • Explain employer expectations to students
  • Mediate the student-employer relationship
Current Employers may also need to use the following PDF documents and forms: Note: Please check with your SDO Co-op to determine which forms are required and submit them for approval.

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Prospective Students

The Schools of Information Technology, Engineering Technology and Natural Resources at College of the North Atlantic offer Co-op programs on the cutting edge of technological advancement.
If you are looking for a program that will not only give you a strong theoretical background, but will also present you with opportunities to work with industry leaders, consider a Co-op program.

As a prospective student, you may want to check out the links below to find out more about:

pointer The Benefits of Co-operative Education Programs
Students participating in Co-operative education programs benefit from:
  • A well-rounded education, enriched by practical application of classroom learning;
  • Opportunities to gain relevant employment skills and realistic expectations of the work force before graduation;
  • Opportunities to test and gain broader understanding of career options, often in a variety of employment settings;
  • Maturity and self-esteem as productive members of the work force as well as confidence and skills developed through working with others;
  • Documented practical experience, a résumé, job search skills and a network of contacts upon graduation;
  • Financial remuneration during work term.
Source: CAFCE Co-op Manual

pointer Our Co-op Services
The Co-operative Education Office provides a variety of services to students enrolled in college Co-operative education programs. Student Development Officers (Co-o p) provide career and employment advice as related to Co-operative education. They also assist students secure program relevant, remunerated work terms, which provide real experiential learning opportunities

Some of the services include:
  • Resume Writing
  • Cover letters
  • Interview Techniques
  • Funding packages
  • Networking Tips
  • Professionalism and Employer Expectations
  • Work place responsibilities
  • Work term reports
  • Work term monitoring
  • Site Visit
  • Post work term debriefing
Students are required to conduct a job search. The Co-op office facilitates this process by identifying viable Co-op opportunities for students. These positions are posted on the Co-op board and students apply for them through the Co-op office. Employers review resumes and select candidates to interview. The successful candidate is offered the Co-op work placement.

pointer Co-operative Education Program Offerings

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Current Students

As a current student participating in a Co-op program you can gain access to CO-OP resources, download a work term package, and locate your Student Development Officer (Co-op) from one convenient location.

Students participating in Co-operative education programs can benefit from the information provided in the following links:

pointer Required PDF Documents and Forms
pointer Building your Network of Contacts
Networking. You have heard the word many times. It is the most effective method for finding a job. But what is networking and how do you do it? Networking means using people you know, both on a personal level and professional level, as a source of information and support for employment.

How to build your network of contacts:
  • Volunteering gives you the chance not only to meet people and build your network, but also to gain some valuable experience and skills.
  • Information interviewing involves talking to people who are doing the type of work you are interested in doing.
  • Job shadowing involves spending part or all of a day with someone doing the type of work you are interested in doing.
  • Attending events such as career fairs, conferences or seminars where you could meet people working in the field in which you want to work.
  • Joining associations in the field in which you want to work. Make sure you become an active member and take every opportunity to meet other members.
  • Joining or organizing a job finding club.
  • Asking people you already know if they know anyone who is working in the field which you want to work.

pointer Job Search Tips
  • Conduct a self-assessment that evaluates your skills, values and accomplishments.
  • Prepare a powerful resume and targeted cover letters.
  • Adapt your resume for scanning.
  • Network for the hidden job market via newsgroups.
  • Investigate the self-employment options.
  • Register with programs such as FSWEP, SWASP, and Campus WorkLink and avail of job bank facilities such as HRDC Job Bank, Student Employment Centers and relevant Internet sites.

pointer Preparing your Resume
The purpose of your resume is to introduce you to employers. It highlights your qualifications, work experience and education. The resume is also a useful tool when you are filling out application forms.

Checklist for preparing your resume:
  • Name, address and telephone number – include an alternate number for messages. Make sure all information is current.
  • Educational background – include the dates you attended, and any diplomas, degrees, certificates or awards that you have received.
  • Work experience – list your previous jobs with a brief description of duties, and include employer names and addresses.
  • Volunteer work or extracurricular activities – include those activities that relate to the job you are seeking.
  • References are optional – if you want to include them, list the individuals name, position, address and telephone number.
Take special care when writing your resume:
  • Use simple words
  • Keep sentences short
  • Avoid long descriptions
  • Be clear when describing your duties
  • Use action verbs
  • Pay attention to presentation
  • do not exceed two or three pages
  • neatly typed without grammar or spelling mistakes

Your Student Development Officer (Co-op) may have information on resumes and/or be able to direct you to various Internet sites. Also, when you have drafted your resume, consult with him/her to see if it reflects your skill set.

pointer Preparing for an Interview
Here are a few notes for you as you prepare for your upcoming interviews. Remember this is one of the best chances the employer has to size up your potential and could go a long way to ensuring a quick placement for you now as well as future work terms and post-graduate placement.

Checklist for preparing your resume:
  • Know the company – Finding out about a company is very important. Check for a web page, promotional materials, and recent news/magazine articles. There are a number of sources, maybe you know of someone who is or has worked there. What you are looking for is their products, markets, and how they operate.
  • Know the job – Take a good look at the job description. What skills are they emphasizing? If there are areas you are unsure of, do some research. Talk to anyone who has some knowledge of it. Make sure you have basic knowledge of the highlighted skills.
  • Make a good first impression – Very important – Be on time! In fact, it is advised that you arrive at least 10 minutes ahead. Make eye contact, shake hands and acknowledge all the interviewers. Speak plainly and directly. Dress appropriately. For guys – Shirt and tie (jacket would be nice). For ladies – Skirt or dress pants and nice shirt. Show some professionalism – jeans and T-shirt just won’t cut it! Have a positive attitude about you, the company, and the job.
  • Show your “soft skills” – You will probably be working as part of a team, or at least with one other person. Highlight your ability to listen, understand, learn, and speak. Interpersonal skills are a necessity. You must show that you can work with others effectively.
  • Answer all questions completely – Don’t leave anything hanging. Finish your answers on a positive note. The job description should give you some idea of the types of questions that will be asked.
  • Don’t be negative – For example don’t say “I’m having trouble with…”, say “I am finding that challenging and am eager to improve my knowledge in that area”
  • Make a good last impression – Shake hands with all the interviewers; thank them for the opportunity. Leave on a positive note.
  • Telephone interview – Telephone interviews are unique. While there is not the eye-to-eye contact, it is still very important to set that good impression. Be sure to speak clearly and maintain a good voice level. Clarity is very important. When you answer the phone identify yourself immediately (first and last name). Be sure to thank them at the end. It is very important to arrive ahead of schedule so that you can become aware of any special instructions.
  • Videoconference interview – This is probably an even more unique situation. While you and the interviewers are in different locations you can still see each other. All the details of both on site and telephone interviews hold. Be natural. Don’t let the voice delay throw you off.
Check list for a successful interview:
  • Never arrive late to the interview
  • Be mindful of the physical appearance you project
  • Unfreeze your face-smile
  • Shake hands firmly
  • Present a positive attitude
  • Listen attentively
  • Show enthusiasm
  • Show that you are mindful of the company and its operation, do necessary research
  • Don’t talk too much and talk yourself out of a job
  • Approach the question of salary cautiously
  • Get the interviewer to like you

pointer Professionalism in the Workplace
It is important for you to remember as you start your work term that you are about to be involved in a real life work setting. You will develop the personal qualities, attitude, motivation, values, and interpersonal skills to help you function as a member of a working team. You must show self-esteem, a desire for self-improvement, be able to get along with others, relate to customers and communicate effectively. You must exhibit good work habits and ethics as well as exercise integrity.

All these things being said, you must take the time to find out how to act as a professional in your work term.

First you should find out what your employer expects of you and know the workplace ethics. You need to be aware what is the right way to act on the job, how you act with your superiors, co-workers and company clients. How are conflicts and problems dealt with in the organization? You should also be aware that in many cases there is no clear-cut answer.

Make sure you are aware of formal or informal dress code that exists in the workplace and adhere to it.

Treat all information on the job as confidential as most companies discourage discussion of office procedures outside the business. Be loyal to the employer but also be loyal to yourself, if you are asked to do something that you may be uncomfortable with, talk to your supervisor about it. Make sure you maintain your honesty and integrity.

Remember to treat all office equipment with respect and keep in mind that it is not for personal use. Also, remember that you are being paid and as such are required to devote your full attention to your job. Personal phone calls, emails and discussions should be kept to an absolute minimum.

On work terms, students are expected to use their email and internet access in a professional manner/ this applies to accessing accounts directly on the worksite or via remote access. Email and internet are to be used in accordance with employer policy and regulations only. Please consult with your employer on the rules and regulations governing appropriate use of email and internet access. If in doubt, discuss usage policies and guidelines with your supervisor.

It is also important to be aware of the issue of harassment. Harassment can be best described as any unwelcome behavior that puts down, insults or offends another person. Because this is such a broad-based definition it is wide open to interpretation. You should remember that you might be on the giving or receiving end of harassment. As such, be aware of what’s happening around you, what others may view as harassment and if you are put in an uncomfortable situation you have a right to say so.

In closing, you will note that professionalism is a very broad topic and has only been briefly discussed here, but it is important that at all times you act as the professional that you are.

pointer External Website Links and Resources
pointer Important Contact Information
Petroleum Engineering Technology
Safety Engineering Technology Co-op
Chemical Process Engineering Technology
Sabreen Mowlaii, Engineering Technology Centre
Ph: 709-758-7423 Fax: 709-758-7059

Electrical Engineering Technology (Power & Controls Co-op)
Industrial Engineering Technology
Mechanical Engineering Technology (Manufacturing)
Tony Slade, Engineering Technology Centre
Ph: 709-758-7011
Fax: 709-758-7059

Geomatics Engineering Technology (Co-op)
Computing Systems Engineering Technology  
Wanda Flannigan, Engineering Technology Centre
Ph: 709-758-7717
Fax: 709-758-7059

Programmer Analyst (Business) Co-op
Civil Engineering Technology
David Kenny, Prince Philip Drive
Ph: 709-758-7247
Fax: 709-758-7299

Electronics Management Engineering Technology
Environmental Technology Co-op
Civil Engineering Technology
Joanne Kendrick, Corner Brook
Ph: 709-637-8575
Fax: 709 634-2126

Student Loan – 1-888-657-0800
Career Information Hotline – 1-800-563-6600

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