24 The Impact of Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Education on Graduate Outcomes


Anna Cranston, Dalhousie University

This presentation will provide an in-depth look at the extent to which participation in a co-operative education program in the Maritimes had an impact on employment outcomes, income, and satisfaction with the overall university experience.

Preliminary analysis of the data indicated a positive impact of completing a co-op education program, so further analysis to provide a more definitive portrait began in the Fall of 2016; the results of which will be shared in this concurrent session. Additionally, since data on non co-op work placements was also collected, analysis comparing co-op and other work placements outcomes, as well as comparisons between all work placements versus non-work placement graduates, will be shared. Working in partnership with the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, the Research Committee of CAFCE Atlantic analysed data from the Commission’s Class of 2012 Graduate Outcomes survey which was conducted in 2014. The foundations for this project began in early 2012 when the Research Committee decided to explore the availability of research that would quantifiably demonstrate the outcomes and benefits to students who participate in co-operative education. A working relationship with Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC) was formed, and with input from the Research Committee, alterations were made to their 2014 MPHEC Graduate Outcomes survey tool to allow for clearer identification of co-op education graduates.



Anna Cranston, Dalhousie University
As Director of Management Career Services, Anna Cranston leads a team dedicated to facilitating opportunities for students and employers to build valuable connections. Her team manages over 750 work-terms each year. Anna’s career spans 20 years of work in the field of work-integrated-learning and university career services. Focused on the development of students’ career intelligence, she is an experienced career coach, provides professional development programming on a wide number of career and employment topics, and is a certified Strong Interest Inventory facilitator. An active member of the career and co-op education professional community, Anna is currently serving as the Atlantic Region representative on the Canadian Association of Co-operative Education (CAFCE) board, and has been an active member of the CAFCE Atlantic Research Committee since 2013. She is a regular speaker at regional and national conferences for co-op and career education.


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