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Experience on the job

 

Co-operative education at UTSC, now in its 35th year, is a cornerstone of our academic commitment to experiential learning. We helped pioneer the concept of extending an undergraduate course of study to include paid work terms in which students gain relevant, hands-on experience with employers in their chosen fields. Today we are the designated co-op campus for the University of Toronto and the leader among postsecondary institutions in the region.

Co-op offices in Management and Arts & Science provide the necessary infrastructure and recruiting connections, supported by a robust network of employers in the private and public sectors. From the Management student learning the ropes in a marketing department to the Biology specialist assisting in a government lab to the Psychology intern helping out in a world-class hospital, UTSC co-op students gain remarkable opportunities to apply, test and refine what they’ve learned. And our committed employer partners help ensure that those workplace lessons link directly back to the curriculum. In many cases, co-op assignments lead to offers of full-time positions upon graduation.

In 2009 the overall number of co-op placements was up slightly despite one of the most dramatic economic downturns in recent history. A decrease in opportunities from many sectors was offset by the program teams’ success in forging new employer partnerships, as well as students’ aggressive pursuit of available positions. New outreach initiatives in areas such as accounting, healthcare and the Ontario Public Service yielded postings from several dozen new employers. 

Looking ahead, we expect renewed momentum in our co-op programs as the economic recovery continues, assisted by steadily growing interest from students and employers alike. Fully integrated into the planning of new academic programs, the co-op option is a key differentiator for UTSC and a huge part of our success in launching students into productive and rewarding careers.

UTSC Co-op at a Glance

• since 1975, the “co-op campus” of the University of Toronto

• heavy student demand, with entry averages among the

highest at U of T

• 17% of UTSC students were enrolled in co-op programs in 2008-09

• 80+ distinct program streams

• 3,200+ active co-op employer partners

• $45 million in salaries paid to students since 2004

Visit the co-op website to find out more

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