What is the difference between Practicum & Co-op?
“Practicum” refers to a work experience term of our academic programs during which students obtain an unpaid position at a host company and perform tasks and duties as required. Practicum hours are determined according to the duration of the programs the students are registered in. Practicum students can help with basic tasks and small projects while gaining experience and improving their business English.
“Co-op” refers to a work experience term of our academic programs during which students obtain a paid position at a host company and perform tasks and duties as required. The duration of time co-op students can work depends on the type of the program they are registered in. Co-op students may have stronger English and more business experience and education from their own country. They can participate in larger projects and perform common tasks and duties.
What kind of paper work is involved?
The Co-op Department at KGIBC-CTC requires host companies to go over the host employer guide and sign a simple agreement when hiring the student, and then to complete an evaluation of the student; it is a simple, check-the-boxes form, and let the Co-op Department know how the student is performing. The supervisor at the host company is also required to provide signature on certain documents the students must submit to KGIBC / KGIBC-CTC.
How much is a host company expected to pay a co-op student?
The minimum hourly wage is required by law. Many of the host companies who have taken on KGIBC / KGIBC-CTC co-op students in the past have compensated them fairly according to their positions and level of contribution to the companies especially when the students performed well and beyond the hosts’ expectation.
Could a host company start with a practicum student before committing to taking on a co-op student?
Some host companies choose to begin with a practicum student. If they find that they have more work and bigger projects, they may take a co-op student in the future.
Please note that practicum and co-op are different types of program arrangements. Students cannot start as a practicum (unpaid) and later changed to a co-op (paid) position, or vice versa.
Who should companies speak with if they are interested in becoming a host?
Please contact our Practicum / Co-op Liaison at your nearest KGIBC / KGIBC-CTC campus for more details. The Practicum / Co-op Liaison will provide more information about the program terms and conditions, the program’s goals and objectives, the hosts’ expectations about students’ language and skill levels, as well as the types of positions in relation to the hosts’ needs.
The Practicum / Co-op Liaison will also inform students of available practicum / co-op opportunities at host companies on an on-going basis. The hosts can contact the Liaison anytime when there is a vacancy for a position that could be filled by one of our students.
How good is the student’s English...really?
Co-op students use native-speaker text books, and interact with native speakers daily. They may have an accent, or make a few grammar mistakes, but they can function in an office environment at a satisfactory level.
Practicum students generally require more encouragement to interact and communicate in a workplace. They are sometimes a little shy about using English; however, they can perform simple tasks well once clear instructions and explanations are provided.