Employer FAQ

What are the employer expectations / requirements when supervising a co-op student?

As a supervisor, your role first and foremost is to provide the student with a safe, challenging and academically relevant work experience. In addition, you will need to fulfilled some other requirements during the work term to fulfill our co-op guidelines.

Learning Objectives: Work with your student to set clear learning goals for the work term, considering both project, skill and personal development
Midterm Review/Site Visits: Participate in a midterm review and site visit with one of our SCCE team. Reviews typically take place at the 7 to 12 week mark of the work term and will be arranged at a mutually agreeable time.
Work Term Report: Review the student’s final work term report. No grading is required.
Employer Evaluation: Complete a final evaluation of your student’s performance during the work term

Am I allowed to extend the student’s work term if all is going well?

Yes, it is quite common for a 4-month term to be extended to 8 months if both the supervisor and student agree, and if it follows the work-study sequencing for the student’s program. If you and your student choose to extend, contract extension details must be sent to hiresci@mcmaster.ca


How can I secure a new student for a subsequent work term?

To secure a new co-op student for a specific work term, send your job posting to hiresci@mcmaster.ca. If hiring for the same role, we can use your posting already on file. Our job board opens 4 months in advance of each work term, for example, in January for the May-August work term.


Are students allowed to take courses while on a work term?

The SCCE allows students to take a maximum of one course during their work term, provided they have a signed agreement from their supervisor and the course does not adversely affect their ability to complete their work term. A student requesting to take a course must present their supervisor with a Course Permission Form for approval. This form must then be submitted to the SCCE for the student to receive permission to register.


Am I required to grade the student?

No grading is required by the supervisor.


What are the standard rates of pay for Science Co-op placements?

Co-op positions must be paid positions at a rate of minimum wage ($14/hour in Ontario as of Jan 2018) or higher, for a 35 to 40 hour work week. Actual rates of pay vary depending on the role and sector. Check out the Rates of Pay page for more information.


Are students allowed to work from a home office?

No, students are not allowed to work from an employer’s home office.


Is the student entitled to vacation days within the work term?

Outside of statutory holidays, vacation days are at the discretion of the employer. There is no obligation to provide additional vacation days within a 4 or 8-month work term. Any vacation days provided do not have to be paid.


How is the student assessed?

Students will receive a Complete or Fail grade on their transcript for each co-op term. To successfully pass the work term, a student must receive a satisfactory employer evaluation, submit all required documentation and participate in an SCCE midterm review.


Are there any funding subsidies available to support student hiring?

There are several programs available through the NSERC Experience program (formerly IUSRA) and Student Work-Integrated Learning Program (SWILP). Check out the Funding Page or contact hiresci@mcmaster.ca for more details.


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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Kinesiology