The Co-operative Education Program, facilitated by UBC Arts Co-op, allows students from the MAS, MLIS or Dual MAS/MLIS programs to gain paid work experience in their field of interest, giving them a chance to enhance their academic studies with practical experience.

Co-op graduates will be well prepared, academically and professionally, for their future careers. The program consists of a pre-employment workshop and career-coaching facilitated by iSchool Co-op staff members, employers, alumni, and current students. Students receive 3 additive credits in addition to their degree requirements, and are eligible for the program after completing their initial core courses.

During co-op work terms, students 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 iSchool Co-op Coordinator. Successful completion of each work term is noted on the student’s transcripts.

types of roles

Information sessions are held in person and virtually at 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.

For more information on this program please contact the iSchool Co-op Coordinator for the Arts Co-op Program, Jane Devine Mejia. Application forms, deadlines, and further information are available on the UBC Arts Co-op Page for iSchool Students.

The minimum duration for a co-op is 420 hours, typically a 4-month period. This can be extended to 8 months, depending on the employer and type of experience.

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 desire, 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 iSchool 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 iSchool 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.

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 then select the candidates they wish to interview. All job offers are made though the Arts Co-op office.

Students on a Co-op work term are expected to focus on the work term instead of their studies. This includes time for after-work social activities, professional development, etc. A student on a full-time co-op work term of 24 hours per week or more may enroll in no more than 3 credits of course work (including audit) per co-op term. For students on a part-time co-op work term, the following guide is used: for co-op work term 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.

UBC iSchool students have expertise in the management of information – collecting, organizing, preserving, digitizing, and making information available. Educated at Canada’s top school for information professionals, UBC iSchool students are equipped with the latest skills for an increasingly complex technological world. UBC iSchool students are trained in today’s best professional practices, and they will be tomorrow’s leaders in the planning, implementation, preservation and organization of society’s recorded information and ideas, in both analog and digital.

Students are available year-round for 4 or 8 month work terms, beginning in January, May and September. Students can assist in a variety of roles including: Archives & Records Management, Preservation & Digitization of Information, UX & Information Design, Information & Data Analysis, Library & Information Services, Information Systems, Qualitative & Quantitative Research, and  Information Policy.

For more information, visit the Arts Co-Op Employers Information Page or contact the iSchool Co-op Coordinator for the Arts Co-op Program, Jane Devine Mejia.