Originator: Vice President, Academic and Research
Approver: Senior Academic Committee
Effective: June 17, 2016
Replaces: May 15, 2007

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1. Preamble

Co-operative Education plays an integral role in Red River College’s mission of providing high-quality educational and applied training opportunities. As Red River College exists in part to support economic development in the community, it is committed to producing “a highly qualified workforce, individuals who have the tools to be successful in a diverse society” and will be involved in “applied research, innovation, and partnerships that support economic development.”1 Co-operative education enables students to develop skills while they are in a College Co-operative Education program where they are supervised to ensure proficiency in their field.

Co-operative Education at Red River College is delivered through a decentralized system to reflect the unique situation of each department and ensure relevance to the industry served by the program.

2. Policy

The College Co-operative Education Programs will operate in an environment which facilitates the Co-operative Education learning process while maintaining a high standard of quality and consistency in all Co-operative Education Programs.

“Co-operative Education Program” means a program which alternates periods of academic study with periods of work experience in appropriate fields of business, industry, government, social services and the professions in accordance with the following criteria:

  1. each work situation is developed and/or approved by the co-operative educational institution as a suitable learning situation;
  2. the co-operative student is engaged in productive work rather than merely observing;
  3. the co-operative student receives remuneration for the work performed;
  4. the co-operative student’s progress on the job is monitored by the co- operative educational institution The Program’s Co-op coordinator;
  5. the co-operative student’s performance on the job is supervised and evaluated by the student’s co-operative employer;
  6. the total amount of co-op work experience is normally at least 30% of the time spent in academic study, but for programs of two years or less, the total amount may be a minimum of 25%. For programs to meet the 25% requirement, a work term is defined as a minimum 12 weeks and/or 420 hours

3. Procedures

Co-operative Education Fees

3.1

A Co-operative Education tuition fee is charged to all students registered in a Co-operative Education work term. This fee covers work placement development, pre-employment instruction and employment-related monitoring.

3.2

The Co-operative Education student will receive support from the Co- operative Education Coordinator in the work placement process and will have the opportunity to apply for available Co-operative Education work placements.

3.3

Employment-related monitoring will include support and evaluation by the coordinator during and after the placement.

Work Placement

3.4

Red River College makes every effort to secure work placements for all Co- operative Education students. However, the College cannot unconditionally guarantee a work placement to students who enroll in programs using co- operative education.

3.5

Students have a responsibility to make a reasonable effort to apply for available work placements and to successfully secure and complete a work placement approved by their Co-operative Education Coordinator.

3.6

When placements are unavailable, the program department will develop a reasonable option for students to assist them in completing the program. While options available to students may vary from department to department, they will be consistent with established College practices on work placements.

3.7

Students can meet the requirements of their Co-operative Education Program after completing their academic requirements by holding employment in their field of study and accumulating the necessary weeks of work to satisfy the requirement. This alternative must comply with Policy A20-Requirements for Graduation, which imposes a five-year limit for completion of a day program.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

3.8

Students may be eligible to gain credit for a co-operative work term in accordance with the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policies and processes.

4. Responsibilities

4.1

Co-operative Education staff have the responsibility to locate potential co- operative work term employers and assist students in obtaining placement. They have the responsibility to monitor and assess the suitability of the work experience and the satisfactory completion of the Co-op Education work term and related assignments.

4.2

Co-operative Education Students are responsible for all fees, completing pre and post work term assignments, and must conform to workplace monitoring and terms of employment.

Related Policy

A14 – Recognition of Prior Learning
A20 – Requirements for Graduation

Footnotes

1 Red River College Board of Governors Policy Manual