Co-op Education FAQs

In order to continuously improve the quality of Co-op Education services and enhance the student experience, the College has implemented the Optional Co-op model. Effective Fall 2017, students in eligible programs will now have the option of applying to the co-op stream of their program. Please note students are no longer accepted directly into a co-op program; all students begin in the regular/non-co-op stream.

What are the requirements to apply and transfer to a co-op program?

All students must be registered full-time in a co-op eligible program and have the following:

School of Business Requirements

Diploma programs

  • Complete 80% of 1st-year courses
  • Achieve a grade of C or higher in English COMM 170/171 OR equivalent
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher

Graduate Certificate programs

  • Complete 100% of 1st-semester courses
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science Requirements

For all programs

  • Achieve a grade of C or higher in *COMM 170/171 OR equivalent
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher

Additional requirements for Diploma programs

  • Complete 80% of 1st-year courses

Additional requirements for Diploma Fast-Track programs

  • Complete 80% of 1st-semester courses

Additional requirements for PTY (Professional Technology Year) programs

  • Complete 80% of 1st and 2nd-year courses

Additional requirements for PTY (Professional Technology Year) Fast-Track programs

  • Complete 80% of 1st-year courses

School of Transportation Requirements

  • Complete 100% of 1st-semester courses
  • Achieve a grade of C or higher in English (COMM 160/161) OR equivalent
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher

Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to a co-op program. Labour market conditions and the number of applicants determine available seats in co-op programs.

What are the steps to apply to a co-op program?

 All students must be registered full-time in a program with a co-op stream and note the following steps:

Step 1:

Attend a mandatory co-op information session

Step 2:

Complete the co-op application form located on the eCentennial Portal

Step 3:

Successful candidates will be notified and transferred to the co-op stream, and must register for the Employment Pre-placement course.

When will students know if they are accepted into the co-op program?

Final notification of acceptance will be given in Week 15 of the semester, after verification that all requirements have been met. Students will be notified by the Co-op Department that they have been transferred to the co-op program and can then register for the Employment Pre-placement course.

Is there an additional step for International students?

Yes – International students accepted into the co-op stream must follow up with the International Department to obtain a co-op letter in order to begin the application process for a co-op work permit. An Advisor in the International Department will guide students through the co-op work permit application process. Please note International students cannot begin a co-op work term without a co-op work permit.

What are the benefits of participating in a co-op program?

Co-op provides practical work experience related to the field of study. Students are able to explore opportunities within their industry which help them make more informed career decisions. 

Co-op gives students an advantage in a competitive labour market. Employers value students who graduate with work experience – 97 per cent of Centennial students who graduate with the co-op distinction on their diploma find a job within six months of graduation. 

The majority of co-op work terms are paid positions which also allow students to "earn while they learn". 

What is a co-op work term?

A co-op work term is a full-time employment for 4, 8 or 12 months in a job related to the student’s field of study. The length of the work term is determined by the program and model route. An average co-op salary ranges from $12 to $18 per hour and is based on the position and/or company, as well as the student’s qualifications and experience.

In some cases, unpaid positions are approved by the Co-op Department because of the value of the learning experience and relationship to program learning outcomes.

Do students find their own job?

Most students find a job advertised by the Co-op Department; however, in some cases, students secure their own employment.

Co-op is a competitive process and all students are expected to demonstrate initiative and actively engage in the job search process in order to secure a suitable work term.

Which programs offer a co-op option?

For a list of programs, please check Co-op Programs.

What happens once students are accepted – do they immediately go to work?

Students accepted into the co-op program will be enrolled in the Employment Pre-placement course during the academic semester before their 1st work term. This course is mandatory for all co-op students, and covers the following:

  • Skills assessment and exploration of employment opportunities
  • Resume and cover letter writing
  • Job search strategies and the online application process
  • Personal branding using social media
  • Interview skills
  • Employer expectations and professionalism in the workplace

Note: Once students have been transferred into the co-op stream, they will be charged an additional, non-refundable administrative fee, beginning in the semester when the Employment Pre-placement course is scheduled. If a program includes more than one work term, the co-op fee is charged in the semester prior to each work term. This fee covers various costs of services related to the co-op program, such as career planning, employment preparation, employer marketing and monitoring of students on work terms.

What should students do to get ready?

Space is limited. Students can improve their chances of securing a spot in the co-op program by participating in a number of career development activities offered through the Career Services and Co-operative Education Department such as:

  • Attending the mandatory co-op information session offered each term 
  • Participating in a co-op chat session offered each term 
  • Reviewing the online Career Success Guide on eCentennial 
  • Attending a career planning or job search workshop 
  • Scheduling an appointment with an Employment Advisor 
  • Registering for HireCentennial to access career events, employment advising and job postings 
  • Getting involved in on-campus activities and volunteer opportunities to gain experience and develop their employability skills

What happens if students do not meet the co-op academic requirements?

When applying for co-op, if students do not meet the academic requirements by week 15, they are not eligible to transfer to the co-op program.

Any student who does not meet the requirements may re-apply in the following term if their model route permits. Students should follow up with their Success Advisor to obtain a revised model route and advice on the next steps in this process.

How can students get additional information?

Additional information will be available on the co-op portal on eCentennial. Students can also speak with their Success Advisor, attend one of the mandatory co-op information sessions, and participate in a co-op chat.

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