UVic Co-op Program Celebrates 60,000 Work Term Placements ... And Counting

Thirty-five years after launching one of Canada’s largest co-operative education programs, the University of Victoria is celebrating its 60,000th co-op placement.

Biochemistry student Britney Allen became the 60,000th co-op student to secure a co-op work term when she was hired by Science Venture to work as a science/technology camp instructor this summer. Science Venture is a student-run, non-profit organization, started at UVic in 1991, that offers hands-on, mind-engaging science, engineering and technology learning opportunities for youth entering grades one through 12.

“Britney is one of more than 20,000 students who have pursued a co-op degree at UVic,” says Norah McRae, executive director of UVic’s Co-operative Education Program and Career Services. “Since 1976, co-op students have completed 15,000 years of work and have earned $600 million.

Co-op plays a major role here on campus and in our communities. By alternating their academic studies with paid work terms related to their area of study, co-op students put their learning in motion, gain valuable hands-on experience and contribute to the economy, while employers benefit from short-term assistance and often use co-op as a recruitment tool.”

One in four UVic students participates in co-op and more than 2,600 placements are completed each year. In 2010, 1,163 different employers hired UVic co-op students in 2010 and 48 per cent hired more than one student. Seventy-four per cent of placements were made in BC, while 19 per cent were made across the rest of Canada and 6.8 per cent were made internationally. Placements were generally balanced between the private and public sector.

UVic’s Co-op Program was established in 1976 in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics. The program secured 58 placements in its first year; today it includes 13 co-op offices that provide opportunities for students in 47 academic areas. The program is indebted to the late Graham Branton, its longest-service director, who dedicated 17 years to the development of UVic Co-op.

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Media contacts

Norah McRae (Executive Director, Co-op and Career) at 250-721-8811 or nmcrae@uvic.ca

Joy Poliquin (Communications officer, Co-op and Career) at 250-721-6084 or poliquin@uvic.ca

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Keywords: uvic, coop, progr, celebrates, 60, 000, work, term, placements, counting

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