University of Guelph Co-op Programs

On August 7th, The Ontario Produce Marketing Association released a survey to its members to gauge the interest level of a Co-op Program for the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program at the University of Guelph. Here is the back story:

The University of Guelph has been delivering co-operative education programs for over 30 years.  In addition to the traditional eight semesters of time spent in the classroom to obtain a degree, co-op programs are designed to include another five work semesters or work terms, extending a four-year degree program to five years.  This enables the student to gain valuable practical experience in the workforce at the same time as completing their eight semesters of studies.  It also provides prospective employers with short and long term recruitment solutions and enables them to evaluate a student’s suitability of a permanent position once graduated.

However, there are no Co-op Programs designed for the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree, in any of its majors.

General details regarding the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture programs, are located by clicking here.  For specific program breakdowns and information about courses, you can click on any of the majors under the B.Sc. (Agr):

The University’s co-op program has also been provided with a legacy fund available to organizations in the food industry.  Awards of $2,500 are available to qualifying employers each year – who are posting a co-op position for the first time, or a new role.  This fund is available again in 2016.   Click here for further details.

The University would be responsible for setting up a co-op position and would involve their office reviewing the job description to ensure that the co-op student would be developing skills over the course of the work term.  They would post roles on their web site, open to co-op students only.  University staff would be available to discuss recruitment needs and the development of a job description.

During the work term, a co-op co-ordinator would also schedule a work term visit, normally 30 minutes with the supervisor to discuss student responsibilities and performance to-date and then 30 minutes with the student to review feedback and co-op requirements for the remainder of the term.  The program could be set up to offer students for four, eight or 12 months.

The benefits of hiring a co-op student include: 

  • access to highly invested employees; student work term performance grades (assigned by the student’s supervisor) are recorded on the official transcript
  • the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit; this credit (up to $3,000 per four month work term) is available to qualifying employers.  Click here for more information.

Please take a few moments to complete the survey by clicking here so that the OPMA Board may make a decision one way or another or contact Ian MacKenzie for further details at ian@theopma.ca or (416) 519- 9390 ext 231.