Co-op policies – Faculty of Engineering

Co-op policies

The policies set out in this document support the operation and delivery of the Faculty of Engineering Co-op Program in alignment with national accreditation standards and expectations set out by Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada. Engineering Co-op & Career Services (ECCS) adheres to these policies and expects the same of McMaster Engineering co-op students.

Please note: multiple infractions across section types could lead to an escalated action plan, assessed on a case-by-case basis.

We recognize there may be situations that warrant alternative approaches/actions from what is outlined in this policies document and students are expected to contact their Career Educator for guidance and support in advance of acting on their own.

The policies

Students are required to register their work term prior to the employment start date indicated on their offer letter and must meet all the conditions outlined on the Co-op Confirmation Form. Students are not permitted to backdate the registration of their co-op work term (i.e. students are not permitted to register a co-op work term once employment has commenced or concluded). 

Students are expected to attend all interviews to which they have been invited and should be monitoring their email at least once per day while in an active job search term.  

A student may decline an interview opportunity under the following conditions: 

  • If they have already received an offer of employment from another company. 
  • If they have an exam/class conflict, are ill, have a family emergency, for religious observation, or another extenuating circumstance. In cases like this the student should request to reschedule their interview by emailing engcoop@mcmaster.ca.  

Actions & Outcomes 

If a student has not responded to an interview request within a 24-hour period or does not show up for an interview, the following actions may be applied.  

  • (1st occurrence) OSCARplus access is suspended. Student must meet with their Career Educator to discuss next steps.
  • (2nd occurrence) Student is placed on probation in the co-op program and access to the job board is suspended. Student must meet with their Career Educator and a Manager to discuss next steps.
  • (3rd occurrence) Student may be removed from the co-op program and moved to a non-co-op academic plan.  

Once a student has accepted and signed an offer of employment, they become ineligible for additional interviews or accepting other offers. ECCS does not encourage or endorse job offer reneges and students are not permitted to renege on an accepted co-op offer. In a situation where a student is considering reneging for any reason, they are expected to contact their Career Educator before making any decision that impacts their offer acceptance. 

Actions & Outcomes 

If a student reneges for any reason that is deemed inappropriate, the following action may be applied. 

  • (1st occurrence) OSCARplus access is suspended. Student must meet with their Career Educator to discuss next steps.
  • (2nd occurrence) Student is placed on probation in the co-op program and access to the job board is suspended. Student must meet with their Career Educator and a Manager to discuss next steps.
  • (3rd occurrence) Student may be removed from the co-op program and moved to a non-co-op academic plan

Once a student starts a co-op they are expected to remain in the position for the duration of the co-op.  A student should speak with their Career Educator if there are any issues before deciding to resign from the co-op position.  

Actions & Outcomes 

If a student resigns from their co-op for any reason that is deemed as inappropriate, the following actions may be applied. 

  • (1st occurrence) OSCARplus access is suspended. Student must meet with their Career Educator to discuss next steps.
  • (2nd occurrence) Student receives a failed work term status, is placed on probation in the co-op program and access to the job board is suspended. Student must meet with their Career Educator and a Manager to discuss next steps. Student will not be refunded the co-op work term fee.
  • (3rd occurrence) Student may be removed from the co-op program and moved to a non-co-op academic plan.  

If a student is terminated for just cause (e.g. unprofessional conduct), the ECCS team will review the reasons that led to the termination to ensure a full understanding of the situation before determining a course of action.  

Actions & Outcomes 

If a student is terminated with cause for reasons that are deemed appropriate/justified, the following actions may be applied. 

  • (1st occurrence) Student receives a failed work term status, is placed on probation in the co-op program and access to the job board is suspended. Student must meet with their Career Educator and a manager to discuss next steps. Student will not be refunded the co-op work term fee. 
  • (2nd occurrence) Student may be removed from the co-op program and moved to a non-co-op academic plan.

Policies FAQs

The Engineering Co-op & Career Services Team has established policies and expectations that will help guide you throughout your co-op journey to ensure your success on the job and in your program.

The policies set out in this document support the operation and delivery of the Faculty of Engineering Co-op Program in alignment with national accreditation standards and expectations set out by Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada. Engineering Co-op & Career Services (ECCS) adheres to these policies and expects the same of McMaster Engineering co-op students. 

There may be some situations that warrant alternative approaches/actions from what is outlined in the policies. Students are expected to contact their Career Educator for guidance and support in advance of acting on their own.  

Co-op fee FAQs

The Engineering Co-op & Career Services Team has increased the work term fee for BEng, IBEHS and Comp Sci students.

The co-op work-term fee in Engineering is an existing fee that is charged to a student’s financial record in Mosaic upon registering for a 4-month co-op work experience. Since 2009/10 the co-op work term fee for Engineering, Computer Science and IBEHS programs has been $300/work term. For work terms beginning Fall 2023 and beyond, a $50/work term fee increase will take effect and is in alignment with the academic course calendar and timelines for course registration. The new fee is $350/work term. 

We’re moving forward to ensure a better experience for you. For the first time since 2009/10, the fee is changing from $300 to $350 per work term, a 17% increase. Even with the increase, our fees remain the lowest co-op fees in the country.

This change is about maintaining and enhancing your program benefits, backed by solid reasoning. Consider the developments since 2009:

  1. Market Inflation: A 37% increase in market demands and costs.
  2. Enrollment Growth: A 91% spike in undergraduate co-op student enrollment.
  3. Work Term Opportunities: A 590% surge in available undergraduate co-op work terms.
  4. Support Team Expansion: A 210% growth in staffing for top-notch support.
  5. Salaries on the Rise: A 20% increase in average co-op salaries.

We’re not just adapting; we’re staying ahead. The needs of students like you, evolving workplaces, and changing employer expectations shape this decision. Through the fee increase, we’re unlocking potential to elevate your co-op experience.

rom improving your career readiness and strengthening connections with employers to streamlining resources and offering more networking opportunities, the investment is all about propelling you toward a more successful and rewarding co-op journey.

  1. Career Preparation: Expect more comprehensive programming to sharpen your job-seeking skills and secure better co-op opportunities.
  2. Employer Interaction: More employer presence at on-campus events and in workshop programming will connect you with more employers more often.
  3. Streamlined Resources: The OSCARplus system will be optimized to provide all essential information in one accessible place.
  4. Networking Opportunities: Additional events will facilitate connections with industry professionals and boost your job search and work experiences.

In essence, this fee increase aims to elevate your co-op journey by boosting career readiness, employer engagement, resource efficiency, and networking potential.

hile the co-op fee is associated with work term registration, it’s important to note that it’s not solely a placement fee. The fee contributes to a range of services subsidized by work term fees. In addition to managing employer partnerships and job postings, the ECCS team offers a comprehensive suite of services and programming designed to provide co-op students with vital training and skill development opportunities before their work term. This also involves regular check-ins with ECCS staff throughout the co-op experience to ensure your success in all aspects of the co-op journey, including support during crisis situations. In addition to curating job posting for OSCARPlus, here are some of the ways the ECCS team supports you:

  • Employment preparation courses
  • Individualized career guidance and job search assistance
  • Access to events, workshops, and networking opportunities
  • Dedicated work term support
  • Efficient program administration

Paying the co-op fee doesn’t just secure your co-op position; it grants you access to a wealth of resources, guidance, and support that elevate your overall co-op experience.