Current Co-op Student FAQ

Current Co-op Students Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through the FAQ below for any questions you may have before contacting the Co-op Office. The Co-op Office is here to help make your transition into the workforce as smooth as possible. Do not hesitate to contact us if your question has not been answered below. You can email or schedule appointments with your Co-op coordinator through PD Portal. If you are looking to join co-op, visit the prospective co-op students FAQ.

COVID-19
Are there changes to the requirements for the Summer 2021 work term?
No. Effective May 1, 2021, the minimum requirements for a summer 2021 co-op work term will return to the standard 12 weeks (420 hours).
Will my co-op standing be affected upon graduation due to impacts of COVID-19 on the Summer 2020 work term?
UBC has made the decision to reduce the requirement for co-op standing for students planning to graduate in November 2020 or May 2021, whose Summer 2020 work term was impacted by COVID-19. An example of this would be students who have had rescinded offers and are not able to secure another work term. The Applied Science Co-op program will make the decision about this accommodation at the time that students apply to graduate. We are hopeful that students who are newer to the program will be successful in securing the 4 work terms required to obtain co-op standing, as well as the valuable work experience and network that comes with it, prior to their graduation in 2022 or 2023. However, we understand things will continue to evolve with the impacts from COVID-19 well after summer, and we plan to evaluate all students’ co-op standing status at their time of graduation to determine if they require a similar accommodation.
Are Winter 2021 work terms still proceeding as scheduled?
Yes, Winter 2021 work terms will proceed as scheduled. Winter 2021 jobs are being posted every day in PD Portal. Ensure that you have accepted the Terms & Conditions, and submitted your Intention for the work term to receive access to job postings.
Are there changes to the requirements for the Winter 2021 work term?
For Winter 2021, UBC has announced that the minimum work term length will be 8 weeks (or the equivalent of 280 hours). These minimum work term requirements can be completed in the form of full-time or part-time work.
How are interviews being conducted?
The Applied Science Co-op office has asked our employers to conduct remote interview via phone or video. However, some of our employers have started to do in-person interviews when the jobs involve in-person work. For any in-person interviews, employers are expected to take all necessary precautions related to COVID-19. If you have any concerns, please reach out to your co-op coordinator
I am scheduled to work Summer 2021 but I have not yet received my co-op work permit. What should I do?
Contact International Student Advising for the most up to date information about co-op work permits.

 

General
Who is my Co-op Coordinator?

Each discipline has an assigned Coordinator team and each student has a primary Coordinator. Your assigned Coordinator is listed in the PD Portal under the Co-op tab, in your Co-op Record. Co-op Coordinator contact details can be found here.

What is the Cancellation and No-Show Policy?

Effective January 21, 2019.

What counts as a No-Show?
A No-Show occurs when a student has registered for an event, workshop, or coaching appointment and does not attend and does not cancel their registration.

What are the consequences of a No-Show?
Failure to cancel attendance by the timelines outlined below will result in a No-Show being added to the student’s file. Following the student’s second No-Show, access to PD Portal will be revoked. The student will have to meet with the Senior Manager, Student Experience to have their access reinstated.

My plans have changed – How do I cancel my registration to avoid a No-Show?
To avoid a No-Show, students must cancel their registration in PD Portal 24 hours in advance. This applies to anything that requires a registration: workshops, events, employer info sessions, and coaching appointments with a Co-op Coordinator.

Exceptional Circumstances – We understand that there are exceptional circumstances and sometimes things come up at the last minute (e.g. illness, emergency). If a student needs to cancel the morning of an event, they must e-mail their Co-op Coordinator with a valid reason as to why they will not be able to attend.

I cannot see a grade for APSC X10 class on my transcript or there is a “P” on my transcript, what does it mean?

Co-op APSC X10 courses are pass or fail. “P” indicates that you have successfully completed the work term. If you do not yet see a grade on your transcript, please allow some time as the Co-op office might be still reviewing your learning objectives, work term report, and performance assessment submitted by your employer. Allow a minimum of six weeks into the term following the work term for the details and grade to be processed.

Note: we advise you to remind your employer to complete the performance assessment before the final week of your Co-op term.

How do I withdraw from the Co-op program?

If you wish to withdraw from the program, you should meet with your Co-op Coordinator. You must fill out Program Withdrawal Form to withdraw and send it to your Co-op Coordinator for review and processing.
If you do not send in the withdrawal form by the term deadline you will be assigned a “Withdrawal” standing for your APSC Co-op course and you will be charged 100% of the Co-op tuition fees. The deadlines for withdrawing from the Co-op program are:
○ For Winter work term (January to April) – by August 31st
○ For Summer work term (May to August) – by December 31st
○ For Fall work term (September to December) – by April 30th
Meet with your Co-op Coordinator if you have any questions or extenuating circumstances

Can I use Co-op work terms as experience for toward my P.Eng certification (e.g. for EIT hours)?

Yes, you may be able to use up to 12 months of Co-op work terms toward the four-year work experience requirement leading to the P.Eng. It is a good idea to keep a log of the type work you have been doing during your term. This can help you remember what you did and how your Co-op activities fulfill Engineers and Geoscientists BC required competencies leading to the P.Eng.

Take a look at Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Competency Experience Reporting System for a better idea of the requirements here. If you will be pursuing a P.Eng in another province, go to that province’s professional association for engineers website for reporting requirements.

What are the co-op fees that I will pay as part of participating in the Co-op Program?

There is the Workshop and Administration Fee, a one-time fee that is paid when you are admitted to the Co-op Program, and there is the Co-op Course fee that is paid for each confirmed 4-month co-op work term. For up to date information about these fees, please visit the UBC Calendar. Your co-op fees are used to cover costs that are directly related to the management, administration and promotion of the Program.

What is CIE? Can it count as a Co-op work term?

CIE is the Faculty of Applied Science Coordinated International Experience program. It is an experiential opportunity for students which we support by providing the opportunity to integrate it in your plans to graduate with Co-op designation on your degree. If you are completing a CIE term during a scheduled work term, you may be eligible to count this term toward one of the minimum four work terms required for Co-op standing. Contact your Co-op Coordinator.
Full CIE program details are available here.

PD Portal How To – Searching for jobs and booking Co-op Coordinator advising appointments.
Access our PD Portal guide to learn more about the platform.
I have applied for my co-op work permit and have questions regarding the status of my application. Who should I contact?
If you have any questions regarding your co-op work permit application, its status, or how to renew your co-op work permit, please contact International Student Advising. You are encouraged to check the International Student Advising FAQ website prior to contacting them.

 

Co-op Schedule & Term Sequence
What are the Co-op sequence options for my program?

You can find Co-op sequence options at the Work Term Schedule page. Use program filter to see all the options available for you.

Do I have to follow the outlined Co-op sequence for my program?

Each discipline has a pre-approved sequence. Normally, you will follow one of these preapproved Co-op sequences; however, you can choose to create your own sequence.
As some academic courses are only offered once per year (either Term 1 or Term 2), you may end up missing prerequisites for the core courses of your program, which may extend your program, and postpone the graduation date. Before making any formal changes to your Co-op/Academic sequence, you need to confirm with your department’s academic advisor whether your plan will fit with the academic courses and future schedule. Note: by submitting the completed Co-op sequence change form, you are confirming that you have discussed your sequence plan with your academic advisor and they have approved it.

How do I change my work term sequence?

You need to fill out the Sequence Change Form to change your work term sequence and email it to your Co-op Coordinator. Please note the deadlines for changing your co-op sequence:
● December 31st for Summer term (May to August)
● April 30th for Fall (T1) term (September – December)
● August 31st for Winter (T2) term (January – April)
If you have any questions or extenuating circumstances, contact your Co-op Coordinator.

How many work terms do I need to complete?

In order to graduate with the Co-op designation on your degree parchment, undergraduate students must successfully complete four co-op work terms from at least two different academic terms (e.g., three summer work terms and one fall work term or two summer work terms, one fall work term, and one winter work term, etc.)

What is the maximum number of work terms I can complete?

The maximum of number of work terms undergraduate students can complete is six (6).

My co-op schedule shows five work terms, why?

If you do not secure a position for one term, you then have four work terms scheduled which could then meet eligibility to graduate with Co-op designation on your degree parchment. If you do not secure a work term, you will simply proceed to the next scheduled term on the schedule to complete the remaining four work terms.

 

Job Search & Applications
I cannot see job postings on the PD Portal, what do I do?

First, are you scheduled to be heading out on a work term in the next term? If so…. Have you reviewed and accepted the Terms and Conditions in the PD Portal AND selected your Intention? Go to the PD portal and click Co-op overview, find the appropriate work term and select your intention.
Finally, if you still cannot see any job postings, please contact the Co-op office.

I need assistance in preparing my resume, cover letter and/or for an upcoming interview. Who can assist me?

Refer to the Co-op Toolkits. There are separate toolkits for resumes, cover letters and interviews in the PD Portal. To access these: Log in to PD Portal > Click Co-op > Click Resources
If you have further questions, make an appointment with your Coordinator. You can make an appointment through the PD Portal, under the Co-op tab, then to Appointments. Also, Co-op Peer Advisors are here to help! A Peer Advisor has been in your shoes, will provide feedback, and can share tips on how to become a successful Co-op student.

Where can I find my transcript for job applications?

The Co-op Office provides an unofficial transcript for you on PD Portal. You do not need to order an official transcript from the university, unless it is specifically requested within the job posting. To access your transcript on PD Portal, click on the Documents tab from the dashboard or on “My Documents” under Co-op on the left sidebar. You can download your transcript for applications outside of the portal or it will be an available option for your application packages when applying within the portal. After each academic term, an updated transcript will be available as soon as possible, which may take 2 – 3 weeks following the completion of the term.

I have an “F” on my transcript, will employers still consider me?

While some employers pay attention to student’s grades, and in some cases require a minimum academic average to qualify for a job (e.g. NSERC), having an “F” on your transcript does not directly affect your hireability. Many employers focus on your skills demonstrated through your projects, extracurricular activities, and relevant work experiences in addition to your academic courses.

I have an “UNPLACED” work term in my schedule, will the employers still consider me?

Employers do not have access to your work term sequence/schedule as posted in the PD Portal; therefore, they do not know your work term sequence history.

Can an unpaid internship count as a Co-op work term?

As a nationally accredited co-op program, each work term must be remunerated. Unpaid internships are ineligible for co-op work term credit. Contact your Co-op Coordinator if you have any questions regarding remuneration.

I found a job on my own (not posted in the PD Portal) that I am very interested in; however, the job description is not relevant to my major/degree, can I still use it as a Co-op term?

If the position meets the minimum Co-op requirements (i.e. minimum 35 hours per week (or equivalent), paid, supervised) it may be eligible for credit for a co-op work term. You will need to provide details to your Co-op Coordinator and outline why you are interested in the position and how it fits your professional development. Your request will be reviewed and you will be advised if it will be eligible for a co-op work term.

I have a Co-op job offer, how long do I have to reply?

You have two (2) business days to accept or decline an offer. After two business days, the Co-op office must notify the employer of your decision. After this time the employer may then extend the offer to another student

If I get a job offer do I have to accept it, or can I decline it?

You may decline a job offer. You must respond to a job offer within two (2) business days of receiving the offer (either verbal or written) indicating if you are accepting or declining. Once you have accepted a job offer you are expected to honour it.
You may decline an offer but, as outlined in Terms and Conditions, you should only be applying to positions that you intend to accept if you were offered. If you have any concerns with an interview or an offer, speak to your Co-op Coordinator immediately.

Is a verbal offer binding?

A verbal offer is a formal offer of employment, once an employer receives confirmation that you have accepted their offer, they will then issue a written offer. You are expected to honour any offer you accept.

I received a job offer one month into my Co-op work term period, is it still going to count as a full Co-op term?

As an accredited co-op program, each work term needs to be a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks of full-time, remunerated employment or equivalent. Please contact your Co-op Coordinator for confirmation.

I did not secure a job for a scheduled work term, how can I be successful for my next work term?

Please schedule an appointment with your Co-op Coordinator or a Peer Advisor to discuss. We are here to assist you for your future success.

 

During the Work Term
How do I enroll myself in the work term course and pay my co-op course fee once I have secured a job?

You do not enroll in the Co-op work term course. The Co-op office will enroll students in the appropriate course once you have a confirmed co-op position. The Co-op course fee, which is paid for each 4-month work term, is applied to your UBC account upon registration. The Co-op work term fees are paid to UBC in the same method as your other tuition fees. For current fee information, please visit the UBC Calendar.

My Co-op work term is outside of Metro Vancouver. How do I apply for a UPass/Compass card exemption?

The online exemption for UBC Vancouver students is through the request form available at the Student Service Centre (SSC). The exemption application deadline is the same as the withdrawal date without W standing for your courses. Get more information about U-Pass/Compass Card at UBC Planning.

For Okanagan Students the Opt-out request can be found here: https://www.ubcsuo.ca/u-pass-opt-out

When are my work term assignments, forms, and reports due?

You can find all important work term due dates at the following links:
Undergraduate
Graduate

What is a Co-op Work Term Check-in?

As an accredited program, we check in with each student during the work term and receive an evaluation at the end of each work term.
A Co-op Coordinator will conduct a ‘Work Term Check-in’ – a mid-term check-in – through an in-person meeting, an online meeting, a phone meeting, or an email at approximately halfway through your Co-op work term. The Coordinator will meet with your supervisor and then with you to discuss and review your job responsibilities, learning and progress to date, future goals, and any concerns that you might have.

Can I take classes during a co-op work term?

Students may take one academic course per work term if it is offered outside of their scheduled work hours. If the course conflicts with work hours, or if you wish to take more than one course per term, you must obtain written permission from both your supervisor and Co-op Coordinator.

Completing academic courses on top of your job responsibilities and co-op requirements is only recommended with careful time management – the primary student goal during a work term is gaining valuable technical experience, and students are expected to give full attention to their work. Should you choose to take a course during a work term, consider the accommodations that will need to be made to meet course requirements (Is in-person attendance required? Is the course in condensed summer format?). Speak with your Co-op Coordinator if you’d like to further discuss this decision.

I have student loans, am I still eligible for the full amount of loans and grants while on a Co-op work term?

While on a Co-op work term you are considered a full-time student for eligibility for student loans and interest-free status. If you have any questions about student loans, grants or awards, follow up with your Enrolment Services Advisor (ESA) in Vancouver or Student Services at UBC Okanagan. You can also visit BC Student Aid for student loan details.