Work experience integral to co-op programme

Jamaica To Canada

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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Dear Mr Brown,

I am interested in attending Humber College. However, I heard that they are having a strike. I am wondering how this will affect my studies as I wish to start in May.

What are the benefits of a co-op programme? Is it mandatory to complete co-op work experience?

— PA

Dear PA:

A co-op programme entails work experience as an essential and integral component of the degree, diploma or certificate programme. The employment is actually certified as part of the academic programme. However, the employment may not form more than 50 per cent of the total programme of study.

It should be noted that an international student does not necessarily need to enrol in a co-op programme to be able to work. Study permits will enable international students to work off campus from the beginning of their studies.

Due to the fact that a co-op programme includes work experience that is intrinsically related to the area of study, one can claim both the academic credential as well as the practical work experience upon graduation. Moreover, the co-op work experience can lead to permanent job offers based on performance and networking.

This experience will definitely prepare you for the postgraduate job search.

Benefits of co-op programmes

The benefits of co-op programmes include:

• Applied knowledge and hands-on experience;

• The opportunity to earn money to assist with the payment of tuition fees;

• Identifying the type of work one is interested in based on exposure to work tasks and environment;

• Improved organisation and time-management skills;

• Networking opportunities with employers.

Industry support

The co-op programmes are designed and developed, in part, based on the support and feedback from employers and industry. There is a direct link to the needs of employers and the school curriculum and experiences.

The link between colleges and industry is essential. Employers generally wish to hire students who have relevant career-related work experience.

College programmes, such as those offered at Humber College, are focussed on how knowledge and skills are applied in the workplace.

Co-op programmes vs internships

An internship is similar to a co-op programme. The main difference is that internships are usually for a one-term arrangement, whereas co-op programmes entail multiple work terms. For example, at Humber College students will alternate between terms of study and terms of work throughout the entire programme.

It is important to note that co-op programmes tend to be longer than programmes that do not have the work option. For example, business administration is four terms or two academic years, while business administration co-op is six terms or three academic years.


I am certain that the strike issue will be resolved soon. The likely consequence is that this term may be extended to January. It is unlikely to affect you in May.

Humber seminar

Humber College is a popular school. As the local agent of Humber, I will be hosting a seminar this week in Kingston and Montego Bay. If interested, you may speak with a Humber representative.

We are having free information sessions and on-the-spot applications at the Spanish Court Hotel on November 21 at 7:00 pm and at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort on November 23 at 7:00 pm.

Please visit JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programmes, including Express Entry, The Study & Work programme, Visas or Appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to




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