COVID-19: FAQ for CO-OP Students

Leaving a voicemail for the CO-OP Office
InformationWhen leaving a voicemail for the CO-OP Office, ensure that you clearly state your full name, student and phone number. This will allow our staff to look at your case and call you back.

We have received many questions about the impact of potential work disruptions due to COVID-19.  

We have listed some frequently asked questions below to address your concerns: 

Is the CO-OP office still open? 

The CO-OP Office is not open but the CO-OP team is working remotely. 

You can contact the CO-OP Office via email at coop@uOttawa.ca or by leaving a voicemail at 613-562-5741. 


Can I take courses while I’m doing a CO-OP work term this summer? 

You can only take one evening course.

Despite the current unique situation where you find yourself studying at a distance, CO-OP students can only take one evening class while on a work term, as long as it doesn’t prevent you from following the required course sequence in the academic session after your work term (because you’re now further ahead in the sequence or because you don’t have enough courses left to remain full time).


I should be doing a CO-OP Work Term this summer but I have yet to be matched. What are my options?

Click on one of the below links to find out what are your options according to your situation.


What should I do if my Summer 2020 employer advises me that my placement is cancelled?

Contact the CO-OP office (coop@uottawa.ca) and a member of our team will take the necessary steps to provide you with the appropriate guidance.


What happens if my work term is delayed? 

We are very flexible regarding work term start dates and allow you to start your work term  as late as June 1st, 2020. All requests for work terms starting after June 1st will be evaluated on a case by case basis. 


What if I am participating in second round but don’t have a placement yet?

The CO-OP office is actively working with a wide variety of employers and will be posting jobs as they receive them. You can also book a phone or virtual appointment with us by sending an email to coop@uottawa.ca or by leaving a voicemail at 613-562-5741.


Where can I get more information about the Canada Emergency Student Benefit?

The government has introduced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit. It will provide $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August 2020. The government also offers a scholarship of $ 1,000 to $ 5,000 for volunteer work and research. Visit this page to learn more.


How will interviews be done for future placements? 

In the context of COVID-19, we are shifting to remote interviews (phone or video interviews) and we are still actively working on the Summer placement. See below for fall 2020 info. 


I am completing my CO-OP Winter 2020 work term, can I extend my contract with my current employer?

Depending on your program, you may be able to complete an 8-month or 12-month consecutive work-term placement (Sequence 2 for some programs).

We strongly suggest to discuss with your current employer the possibility to extend your CO-OP work term contract. A few benefits:

  • You have already done the onboarding training and are equipped to continue working under current conditions;
  • You will continue to earn an income;
  • By extending your CO-OP work term contract, it’s an effective way for you to line up your remaining work terms in these challenging times.

Please make sure to inform your CO-OP advisor should you be able to extend your Winter 2020 CO-OP work term contract with your current employer.


What is the University of Ottawa CO-OP policy on early end dates on work terms? 

During this unique time, the University of Ottawa CO-OP students will not be penalized for early end dates on their winter work term 


If my work term is shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, do I still have to pay the full CO-OP fee?

Yes. Regardless of how long your work term is, you are still registered to a work term course for which you will be receiving academic credits once successfully completed. Those credits will count towards your CO-OP Mention.


Will I still get the credit for the work term, even if I am released early or I start later? 

Yes, as long as you submit and passes the required work term deliverables. During this unique time, we will be flexible on work term duration. Do not hesitate to contact us via email (coop@uottawa.caor phone (613-562-5741) if you have any questions or concerns. 


If I do not successfully complete my winter 2020 work term, am I allowed to request that my failing grade be converted to a NS grade?

Yes, after receiving the final fail mark, we will exceptionally allow you to request that it be converted to NS (Non Satisfactory) for your work term course. Contrary to a F (fail), which counts as 0, the NS score has no impact on your cumulative average for the previous session.

Optional Programs:

Should your request be approved and your grade converted to NS, you would still be withdrawn from CO-OP as per the “Work Term Course” regulation in the CO-OP Regulations and Procedures Governing Co-operative Education Programs.

Mandatory programs:

Should your request be approved and your grade converted to NS, the NS grade would still count as a failed work term course for the purposes of the “Work Term Course” regulation in the CO-OP Regulations and Procedures Governing Co-operative Education Programs

Converting to NS can, in some cases, adversely impact your ability to obtain or continue to receive scholarships, and/or your admission to certain programs (professional faculties and graduate studies). So, when making this decision, we strongly suggest that you carefully weigh the pros and cons. If you would like to request that your grade be converted to NS, please send your request and reason via email to coop.admissions@uOttawa.ca.


Can I request to work from home? 

The University of Ottawa CO-OP is asking students to follow their employers’ instructions, whether they be to work from home or self-isolate. We will allow CO-OP students to work from home, but understand that not all CO-OP employment is conducive to remote work.


What if there is a COVID-19 case on my work site? 

Ask your employer to inform the CO-OP Office if there is any risk of exposure for our students and if there are some resulting actions, such as work site relocation or being asked to work from home. Your employer can inform his primary CO-OP contact or email coop@uOttawa.ca as soon as possible. 


FALL 2020 Work Term Info
Will the current Covid-19 pandemic affect the Fall 2020 CO-OP placement process? 

The Fall 2020 CO-OP placement process will still go ahead, but it will follow a virtual continuous placement format (similar to Round 2). Jobs will become active as of May 19, and phone or video interviews will start on May 28. Given that Spring/Summer 2020 term classes are being offered online and the campus has not reopened, and given that employers are working remotely, a virtual continuous placement process offers more flexibility to both students and employers. You will find information on the process in the CO-OP newsletter published on May 4.

What does a “virtual continuous placement format” mean? 

As of May 19, you will be able to apply for jobs every day. As of May 26, employers will have access to student resumés and will start scheduling phone or video interviews, giving students at least 48-hours’ notice. The CO-OP Office will let you know how the employer will reach you for the interview. You will not need to come to campus. To help us, please make sure your phone number and Skype ID are up-to-date in the CO-OP navigator (NAV): see question below for how to do this. You will find information on the ranking and matching processes in the CO-OP newsletter published on May 4.

If I choose to participate in the virtual placement process, what do I need to do? 

To participate in the interview process, you will need to update your phone number through your uoZone account and check your Skype username in the NAV.

  • Your Skype username: To see your Skype name, tap or click your profile picture and your Skype name will be displayed on your profile. If you do not have a Skype account, please create one and then add your Skype name. To enter your username, go to your “Profile” section in the NAV and enter it in the Skype text field and click “Save”.
  • Telephone number: Enter your mobile number, i.e., the number you will be using for phone interviews, in uoZone. It will be updated in the NAV within 24 hours.
  • Please note that due to these conditions, we will need to share your Skype name and/or telephone number with employers conducting interviews.
How can I get more information about the virtual continuous placement process and how it will work? 

Our team of professional development specialists will be offering a webinar for students who want to better understand the process. We will be posting the webinar schedule in our newsletter, so please be sure to read it.

Am I expected to move ahead with my fall 2020 work term? 

The fall 2020 placement process will go ahead. The process has been modified and adapted to our new reality with student and employer success in mind. At this point in time, students that have a fall work term in their sequence will be able to move forward as sequences will not be changed. Keep in mind that our Professional Development specialists team is still available to meet with you to discuss process preparedness and to help you practice for your interviews.


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