Benefits of Co-operative Education for Students, Employers, and Institutions.

Co-operative Education is a bridge between the employer, the student, and the academic institution. It benefits everyone involved.
The employer benefits from the latest theories and fresh ideas from the academic world, the institution gets practical input from the professional community, and the students receive hands-on experience in their chosen field of study.


  • Co-op programs alternate study terms with paid work experience terms that are related to the student's academic field.
  • Co-op gives students a well-rounded education. It is an opportunity to expand their knowledge and to practice the latest theories and approaches in their particular discipline, and it also allows the student to develop employment skills, explore career options, and network with potential employers, which gives them a competitive edge when entering the workforce.
  • Co-op work terms are supervised and evaluated by both the employer and the post-secondary institution.


  • Students bring new ideas, fresh perspectives, and enthusiasm to the workplace.
  • Co-op programs offer continuous access to diversely talented and highly motivated students and aid in vetting students before the hiring process begins, which reduces recruiting costs.
  • Co-op students are short-term employees, which can be helpful to businesses in temporary times of need.
  • Co-op terms may be an opportunity to evaluate a potential long-term employee before committing: many employers choose to hire co-op students after graduation.
  • Co-op students can work on a wide range of assignments, from specific projects to general support: see What Students Can Do For You for examples.


  • Co-op programs attract top-quality, well-motivated students, which leads to increased enrollment.
  • Co-op students improve the institution’s visibility and reputation through their interactions with the community.
  • Institutions gain information on current research and development in employer sectors, which leads to collaboration opportunities.
  • Because of their increased engagement, co-op students enrich the general educational community of the campus.
  • Institutions receive feedback from employers on the quality and relevance of program curriculum.

For more information about hiring a co-op student or enrollment in a co-operative education program, please view About Us for a complete list of member institutions and their co-operative education programs.