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Co-op & Career Services

Achieve personal goals, excel in your chosen field and contribute to community and society with the help of UVic Co-op and Career Services. We guide and support you as you develop competencies—knowledge, skills and attributes—that lead to successful and rewarding careers. 

UVic Co-op includes all UVic faculties, with students participating in 13 co-op program areas from 51 academic departments and schools. Co-op exists for almost every program, except for those that already offer practica, internships or other work-integrated education.

Our Career Services team serves students and alumni through one-on-one meetings, online career programs, in-person workshops and a variety of events throughout the year.

Leadership

Andrea Giles is the executive director of the Co-operative Education Program and Career Services at UVic. Andrea's involvement in co-operative and work-integrated education spans more than 25 years. 

Andrea received the inaugural Co-op Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Co-operative Education BC/Yukon (ACE) in 2018, as well as ACE’s Outstanding Contribution Award in 1998 and 2009 and the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education’s Service Award in 2000 and 2015.

Department structure: 

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a priority at the University of Victoria. At their core, the SDGs are about ending poverty and inequality and providing opportunity and support for all.

Here are the initiatives, programs and experiences facilitated through UVic’s Co-op and Career team that align with and contribute to the SDGs. 

Accreditations & memberships

Co-op and Career staff connect with many professional associations that promote co-operative education and career development at the post-secondary level.

History

Co-op

In 1975, Dr. Howard Petch became UVic President and Vice-Chancellor and brought with him an experimental new program that Waterloo had practiced since 1957: co-operative education.

UVic Co-op opened its doors in 1976, pioneering the first co-operative education program in western Canada with 58 placements in its first year. It was initially offered in the departments of chemistry and physics with the support of key players Dr. Alex McAuley, Dr. Harry Dosso and Dr. Graham Branton.

“The popularity of the program quickly led to an increase in the number of students in physics,” recalls Dosso, “and an unexpected but welcomed increase in the number of female students.” Dr. Branton became co-op director in 1979 and dedicated the next 17 years to advancing the program.

  • by 1980, the program had expanded to include computer science/mathematics, creative writing, geography, physical education and public administration
  • between 1980 and 1985, co-op began to place 30 per cent of students outside BC and established international exchange programs in the U.K. and Australia
  • by 1987–88, annual placements neared 1,000 for students in 13 program areas, and UVic had established itself as one of Canada’s forerunners in co-operative education
  • since its inception in 1976, our co-op students have now completed over 100,000 work term placements

Career Services

Since the late 1960s, UVic housed a federal program called the Canada Employment Centre on campus, but when this program lost funding, the university created the Student Employment Centre (SEC). SEC, which opened in 1991, was the first iteration of Career Services.

SEC offered students:

  • job search support
  • summer and career job postings
  • employer information files
  • a job search library
  • on-campus recruitment by school districts, government, companies and other organizations

In 1993–94, SEC moved to its current location, the Campus Services Building, and developed a target program for recent graduates. The department hired reception and clerical staff and increased services for employers and students. The unit changed its name to Career Services in 2002 to better reflect its focus on career development.

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