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we’re committed to co-op

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Facts about Co-op at UW:

Waterloo has the largest co-operative education program in North America, with more than 11,000 students enrolled in co-op programs and more than 3,000 active co-op employers. Because Waterloo is a research-intensive university with strong links to business and industry, what we teach is always relevant. Our students bring fresh ideas and an innovative spirit to the job—and to the classroom.

we’re growing

As the university grows, so grows Co-operative Education & Career Services (CECS). Now, approximately 60 percent of Waterloo undergraduate students are enrolled in co-op programs, and that figure will rise as our student base grows and new co-op programs such as mechatronics engineering, nanotechnology, financial management, and the environmental studies tourism option are developed.

we have a new building

To accommodate the rapidly growing program, our co-operative education and career services departments moved to a new 45,500-square-foot building in January 2003. The William M. Tatham Centre for Co-operative Education & Career Services provides 100 interview rooms, more group interview space, and a room equipped for teleconferencing. Nearby parking, a lounge for employers, and student change rooms with lockers are making the process more comfortable and convenient. Our career services department is conveniently located on the main floor.

The new building is also home to a new Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education (WatCACE). Under the direction of former UW president James Downey, the centre will provide a focus for studies on the learning relationship between academia and the world of work.

we take care of our employers

Although some economic sectors have contracted in the last few years, CECS has maintained and strengthened its close relationships with employers, many of whom have increased their co-op job openings. We are working to upgrade our online administrative system in order to improve communication between students and employers and more efficiently process data, monitor conditions, and forecast trends.

we give our students credit

At Waterloo, we’ve always considered co-op work terms an important part of education. In recognition of the central place the co-op work experience holds, in 2002 Waterloo approved a plan to formally award academic credit for co-op work terms.

encouraging entrepreneurs

An innovative program called Enterprise Co-op helps students who want to develop their own businesses for co-op credit. Students get help and advice in developing a business plan and, if they qualify, may receive up to $3,000 in matching start-up funds. Enterprise Co-op has helped launch more than 30 new business ventures over the past three years.