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Co-op Program Directory

The Co-operative Education Directory is a comprehensive listing of the post-secondary co-operative education programs of member institutions in Canada.



News > CAFCE Responds to Globe & Mail Article: “The downsides of post-secondary co-op work placements”

CAFCE Responds to Globe & Mail Article: “The downsides of post-secondary co-op work placements”

posted on October 28, 2016

The article in question is:


As President of CAFCE (Canadian Association for Co-operative Education), the national organization that represents 80 Post Secondary Co-op Institutions in Canada, I am keen to contribute to this conversation.

Unfortunately the authors have equated the term co-op with other forms of experiential learning like internship, placement, and practicum, especially in reference to unpaid experiences. In Canada “Co-op” has been clearly defined and carefully administered by CAFCE through the decades of academic work and research and cannot be merely interchanged or assumed to be the same as other forms of “new age work-integrated learning”.

Co-op programs that are accredited through CAFCE require employers to hire students into PAID full time positions, and therefore as employees, they are covered under the employment standards for that region. CAFCE accredited Co-op programs work closely with employers and regularly monitor student progress and activities to confirm meaningful work opportunities. Last year, the participation in CAFCE accredited work terms by post-secondary students is estimated at approximately 80,000– this is significant!