Students in the MLIS, MAS or Dual are eligible to apply to the School's co-operative education work experience program, which is facilitated by the Faculty of Arts Co-operative Education office.
The iSchool's Co-operative Education Program is a learning program that combines an all-day, mandatory pre-employment workshop facilitated by SLAIS Co-op employers, alumni, and current students with career coaching with Co-op staff and paid workplace experience that provides real work practice specific to the information professions to enhance classroom learning. During these work terms, students also complete a series of career-building assignments marked by Co-op staff. They also participate in mid-point and end-of-term evaluations with the SLAIS Co-op coordinator. Successful completion of each work term is noted on the student's transcripts.
Students go through a real world competitive process to secure co-op positions, with support from Co-op staff. This means that co-op students are not guaranteed a position. Co-op students have access to a database of job postings, and choose which positions to apply for. Applications are submitted through the Co-op office, employers review the applications and select the candidates they wish to interview. All job offers are made though the Arts Co-op office.
The numbers and types of jobs posted reflect the Canadian library, archives, and information management job market at the time. As Metro Vancouver is not a big enough market to offer the range of experiences iSchool co-op students want, Co-op staff market the program to employers across Canada and around the world, ensuring the widest range and largest number of positions the current job market can provide for each work term. As a result, students willing and able to relocate will be able to apply to more positions. Those interested in taking part in the SLAIS Co-op program are highly encouraged to ensure they will be able to accommodate a move from the start of their program of study. For instance, when seeking accommodation in Vancouver, try to find one that allows sub-letting to make it easier to relocate.
On average, 50% of SLAIS Co-op jobs require a move to a city outside of Metro Vancouver, mostly to other areas of Canada. Some international positions are available in places such as Switzerland and Australia. Some positions, such as those with the Canadian federal government, are restricted to Canadian citizens because of security clearance requirements. A significant percentage of summer positions are restricted to Canadians or permanent residents aged 30 or under, due to youth employment funding requirements. (For Summer 2012, 38% of postings had such restrictions.)
Coursework While on Co-op
Students on a co-op work term are expected to focus on the placement instead of their studies. This includes time for after-work social activities, professional development, etc. A student on a full-time co-op placement of 24 hours per week or more may enrol in no more than 3 credits of course work (including audit) per co-op term. For students on a part-time co-op placement, the following guide is used: for co-op placements of up to 10 hours a week: 12 credits per term; 11-16 hours per week, 9 credits per term; 17-23 hours per week, 6 credits per term.
The University and employers co-operate to provide students with an opportunity to learn in a workplace setting by alternating practical, paid work experience in various fields of interest with their academic studies. Co-op graduates will be well prepared, academically and professionally, for their future careers.
Applying to Co-op
Information sessions are held in person and virtually in the beginning of the September term. New students can apply to the program either in the October of their first term (for those students starting a program in September) or the October prior to their first term (for those students starting a program in January). All students who meet the eligibility requirements are admitted into the co-op program. More information about applying to the SLAIS Co-op program can be found at the Arts Co-op page for SLAIS students.
For more information on this program please contact the
SLAIS Co-op Coordinator for the Arts Co-op Program, Anna Jubilo [phone:
604-822-4223; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]. Application
forms, deadlines, and further information are available on the Faculty of Arts Co-op web site.
School of Library, Archival and Information Studies
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
470 – 1961 East Mall
Vancouver BC Canada V6T 1Z1