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Co-operative Education & Career Action

Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) Accreditation

Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) Accreditation

The University of Waterloo is a member of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE). In 1979, CAFCE established the Accreditation Council to regulate post-secondary co-operative education programs in Canada and to accredit those programs which meet specific criteria. The purpose of the accreditation process is to ensure the quality of the co-operative education program. As of November 2016, accredited programs must meet the following criteria:

  • Each work term is developed in partnership with the employer and approved by the co-operative education program as a suitable learning environment.
  • The student is engaged in productive work for which the student receives remuneration. The co-op curriculum supports student learning goals, personal evaluation, and reflection.
  • The student's performance in the workplace is supervised and evaluated by the student's employer.
  • Both work and academic terms are full-time and follow a formalized sequence. The total amount of co-op work experience is normally at least 30% of the time spent in academic study. For programs of two years or less the total amount may be a minimum of 25%. A work term is defined as a minimum of 12 weeks and/or 420 hours full-time paid experience.
  • Co-op programs begin and end on an academic term.
  • The student completing multiple work terms is normally exposed to the work environment during more than one season of the year.


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