Helping first-term co-op students kick start their careers

Monthly donations provide dependable funding to support innovative programs like the Waterloo Experience Accelerate Program, helping students acquire in-demand skills through work-integrated learning.

By Dani Stock Office of Advancement

By providing a dependable source of funding for the University, monthly donors help us respond to urgent and emerging needs and test-run innovative programs. The Waterloo Experience Accelerate Program (WE Accelerate), piloted by Co-op and Experiential Education (CEE), is one powerful example of how your monthly gift provides direct support to our students, when and where it’s needed most.

The last few years have revealed the uncertainty our students face when it comes to the future of work. Staying flexible and current with in-demand skills has never been more important as industries and careers evolve - which is why CEE launched an innovative option to help students get their careers off to a strong start.

Based on analysis of more than 71,000 job descriptions, researchers at Waterloo’s Work-Learn Institute identified the top skills that employers want most. Then they channeled those findings into a new style of work-integrated learning program.

Designed for co-op students on their first work term, WE Accelerate helps students build the skills employers are looking for, apply them to real-world projects and learn from content created by industry experts - all while earning a work term credit.

"The past year has created unique and unexpected challenges for our students, and we are excited to introduce more flexible ways for them to upskill and engage in meaningful work-integrated learning," says Norah McRae, associate provost of CEE.

Thanks to generous donors like you, there’s no additional cost for students to take a WE Accelerate work term beyond the co-op fee that they already pay throughout the duration of their degree.