Students participating in co-operative education (co-op) gain experience in workplace settings. Students are paid for their work, and their experience is often related to their program of study. The timing of the experience can vary depending on the program: students in some co-op programs alternate between academic terms and paid work terms, while others complete co-op internships consisting of several work terms back-to-back.
The number of required work terms can also vary by program; however, the time spent in work terms must be at least 30% of the time spent in academic study for programs over two years in length, and 25% of the time spent in academic study for program two years and under.
CEWIL established criteria and a process for the accreditation of co-op programs in 1979. These standards were developed to establish co-op as an educational strategy and to provide leadership in ensuring the quality of co-op programming. Maintaining accreditation criteria helps build quality into existing co-op programs and provides a benchmark for the establishment of new programs. To learn more about the accreditation process and its benefits, visit the CEWIL website.