The University of Ottawa's Co-operative Education Programs help you develop skills and abilities to excel in your field of choice. Setting work-term objectives is a practical exercise that makes this achievement possible.
Work-term objectives describe the specific goals you want to reach during your CO-OP placement. The objectives combine elements from the job description, your supervisor's expectations, and your own learning goals to create specific performance targets (Performance objectives). You will also want to establish specific goals in terms of knowledge acquisitions that combine elements form your academic discipline, your supervisor's expectations of what you can learn and your own learning expectations (Learning objectives).
The University of Ottawa's Co-operative Education Programs also encourage you to take the time to consider your career path. Writing reflections on your work term will help you deepen your understanding of your values and beliefs and help you identify what career path will be the most rewarding for you.
Success in developing, setting, and meeting your objectives depends on the partnership between the work supervisor, the student, and the Co-operative Education Programs. We have compiled a list of other factors that will help ensure a successful work term.
- Meet with the student early in the placement to discuss job requirements and the student's learning aspirations.
- Work with the student to design and set work-term objectives. Sign a copy of the work-term objectives form.
- Train and support the student in order that they may achieve success.
- Meet regularly with the student to review their performance and provide guidance.
- Review the student's progress with the Employer Account Manager during the on-site visit.
- Complete the final student evaluation based on the work-term objectives.
- Attend the CO-OP program workshop on setting work-term objectives.
- Prepare preliminary work-term objectives.
- Set meeting with your work supervisor to (1) articulate learning aspirations and (2) understand expected performance targets.
- Design and set work objectives. Sign a copy of the work-term objectives form.
- Continually review, refine, and improve work performance.
- Meet regularly with your supervisor to review performance and receive guidance.
- Review progress with the Employer Account Manager during the on-site visit.
- Reflect upon the work experience: What have you learned? How could you apply this experience?
CO-OP programs' responsibilities:
- Train you to set clear and detailed work-term objectives.
- Answer your questions and those of your employer.
- Do follow-up with you and your employer after the site visit.
Writing work-term objectives
Work-term objectives are effective if they are meaningful and have S.M.A.R.T.S.:
- Meaningful: The student can answer, "Why do I want to achieve this objective?"
- S.M.A.R.T.S.: The objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, Time-sensitive and Shared.
- Sample work-term objectives
- Professional designations