Scheduling Guidelines

Home Up Individual Requirements Scheduling Guidelines Assigned Credit

The idea is that students prepare for a simulated work experience. This is not meant to be a baby-sitting job by any means for the employer. Students are expected to, as much as possible, work the hours that regular employees work.  In other words; it does not have to happen between the hours of 9:00 and the day, or even on week days. Holidays, in-services, school closures do not necessarily interfere with co-op work schedules. Students maybe starting their 12 hr shift at 7:00 in the morning at the Inverness Regional Hospital, and some may find themselves working to 3:00 AM with the RCMP. It all depends on the employer, the student, the work and what can be reasonably managed by all. It is an opportunity for the student to experience the real world scenario in a career of their choice……remembering finding out what is not for you is just as important as confirming what is. What better way to find out than to actually work as a virtual employee for an employer? There is no salary or liability expense to that employer, who, through their time and some training investment, may expect a return through the work produced or performed by the student. It’s supposed to be a win/ win connection. The student doesn't get paid in dollars, but in points and they also benefit in the opportunity to build bridges for summer and/or part time work….perhaps kick start their career, and sell themselves as a keeper to an employer who may want to invest more.

All though workplace injuries in Nova Scotia have been reduced by

30% in the past 10 years, there were still 6,341 serious injuries in 2012. Don't become a statistic!

As a virtual employee comes the responsibility. The student plays a big role in developing a schedule and is responsible in keeping to the schedule and/or properly  report and make changes to that schedule. Things happen and things come up. However, it is a very serious situation when a student is not responsibly adhering to the work place expectation in regards to time and absenteeism. That is to say:

Students do not make schedule changes without consulting the employer and the teacher and making sure all responsible authorities are notified.

WHY? - Excused Student absenteeism has to be sanctioned by the co-coordinating teacher.
               - Student may not weight all the consequences of the change. (for example; a student partnered with another  student in Drama changed her days without authorization. Her partner was also on co-op, Now they were away on different days. They could not get together to practice and their drama mark was affected.
               - Co-op checks are random and unannounced for good reasons. (travel costs may be incurred for little or no reason.
               - Employers plan and develop expectations. They could delay things thinking the student is simply late, or quickly become disenchanted with irresponsible workers and perhaps the program.
                - In case of an emergency, people need to know where to expect to contact the students.
                - If a student doesn't show up at work, someone responsible would have to be sure that nothing happened on the way to work.
                - It is simply the ethical, responsible and courteous thing to do. 
                - The student may have a misconception of what is generally accepted as a good reason to miss work

Good reasons to miss work may include:

Remember that missing work is expected to be an exception. Work is can be an inconvience. Missing work to complete a school assignment that is due, but was issued for some time, is not deemed a good reason!

 The Co-ops are individually constructed to best suit each student's and employer’s circumstances. Generally speaking and for management purposes, most co-ops fall under 2 different scenarios;

The students enrolled in other courses at Dalbrae that are doing a Co-op can very likely have varied schedules unfolding at different times of the year to others in their class. However; if it doesn't make any difference to the employer and the student, and the placement permits, they will likely be scheduled for Thursdays and Fridays for six weeks. If a student is concerned about missing 2 days in row, they could opt for one day a week for 12 weeks for students, they maybe able to take advantage of weekends, holidays, evenings or even a selected availability schedule as long as the placement and the employer is willing to accommodate the student request. The company may not be open on weekends and so on. Some times an employer can only facilitate a specific schedule like in the case a student working with a local surveyor on a "on call basis" as a result of being dependant on the weather or in a situation like work with DFO and that has to respond to safety conditions of the day to day operations. Some work is seasonal, which adds yet another restriction.

The second scenario could resemble the above, but is more likely to be a condensed schedule that is better suited for full time co-op students that are scheduled for at least 3 different three week placement's in a semester. They are available for full time, which commonly turns out to a 2 1/2 -3 week placement based on a 8 hr/5 day week. These co-ops often unfold back to back and could result in the student actually completing a full semester by mid term. Student's who had already completed their high school requirements and often have been already accepted to post secondary institutes take advantage of this opportunity. Such was the case with one individual going into Early Childhood Development at Mount St. Vincent. This Co-op pioneer did a 3 week placement with  Inverness/ East Richmond Early Childhood Intervention and 2 different placements at Whycocomagh Education Centre. Her employers are still singing praises of her work and the Co-op program. Another, attending Environmental Science at Saint Mary’s, did her 1st placement at Fraser’s Mills Fish Hatchery. She will be following up with a placement at Strathlorne Tree Nursery, then The Dept. Of Natural Recourses In Whycocomagh. Both these girls are getting a tremendous jump start to their careers. They are acquiring the things that get in the way of young people getting their experience, references, perhaps connects to paid work and so on.

We have a young man who did a co-op at VanZutphen Contractors who never left. They are actually sponsoring his heavy duty mechanic apprenticeship. We actually had students on a ship for as many as 10 days straight. It's all about being real. Full time co-op Students can also schedule themselves to work a few days a week and while they do their co-op the other few days a week. Once they have the in school requirements completed, they are not bound to regular school attendance. The flexibility of co-op allows the student schedule to get a head start on a career and in life just as long as they fulfill the terms and conditions for each placement as explained in the Co-op Requirement Breakdown.