One of the principle foundations of co-op work term experiences is the integration of academic studies and working experience. As opposed to an internship, a co-op program should provide an opportunity to take academic activities and apply them in the workplace, and equally important, to take workplace experiences and apply them back to the classroom.
In order to support our learning, providing an environment for long-term retention and strategic development, we need to be reflective practitioners. We should be actively thinking about our learning experiences, incorporating them into our prior knowledge, and planning for further personal development. Through reflective activity you are taking responsibility for your learning and therefore its personal significance.
The accounting and financial management professions have determined that personal skills such as written and oral communication, collaborative team work, and leading and participating in groups are equally as important as technical skills.
Taking all of the above into consideration, the Accounting and Financial Management program has moved away from the standard “work term report” requirements, as defined by Co-op Education and Career Services (CECS).*AFM students are not required to complete “work-term reports” for any of the PD courses. Our program requires the completion of a set of 2 “co-op reflections” (a mid-term and final) for each of your 4 work terms in lieu of “work term reports”. In addition, to receive credit for a work term, you are also required to complete 4 PD modules as outlined by CECS. *You are required to complete a set of co-op reflections during your first co-op work term, in addition to all coursework (including all exercises and assignments and the “PD2 Report” for PD2, which you will be completing during your first work-term.
Each set of co-op reflections is themed as follows:
- Work term 1 – Teamwork
- Work term 2 – Oral communication
- Work term 3 – Written communication
- Work term 4 – Leadership
For each set of co-op reflections you will be provided with a template, addressing a number of points you are required to include in your reflection. Relative to the theme, each of the templates will:
- Provide an opportunity to benchmark yourself
- Ask you to think back on course work and other academic experiences
- Ask you to incorporate feedback from your employer and the reviewer
- Ask you to set objectives for future development, outlining specific strategies
For each work term you are required to complete a set of co-op reflections, one formative and one summative. The formative reflection is due mid-way through your work term. You will receive feedback from a trained reviewer supporting your learning and providing suggestions to improve your end of term reflection. A summative reflection is due at the end of the work term and will be evaluated. The evaluation categories include: Outstanding, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory and Re-submit. Every category except Unsatisfactory and Re-submit is required for credit. A rubric will be provided for each of the summative co-op reflections identifying how the evaluation is determined. Without the benefit of mid-term reflection, the evaluation of your end-of-term reflection in all likelihood will be restricted to “Very Good”.You are encouraged to use your ePortfolio as a repository for: these reflections, feedback from your employer and feedback from your reviewer. Specific requirements including supporting documents and deadlines will be provided in your respective BAFM Class of … course in UWACE.