Professional Experience Year (PEY) Co-op
The PEY Co-op program is run out of the Engineering Career Centre (ECC) at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (FASE). In 2019 the Faculty celebrated 40 years of PEY Co-op. Currently, third-year undergraduate students register to participate in a recruitment cycle to compete for 12 – 16 months co-op work terms. The largest program of its kind in Canada, in 2018-19, 1213 students secured PEY Co-op work terms with 370 unique organizations. 103 of these work terms took place outside of Canada.
Instructor / Program Coordinator(s):
Roger Francis, Executive Director, EXCEL and the Engineering Career Centre (ECC), Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
External Partners Faculty & Staff Students
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
Benefits to Students:
The PEY Co-op program offers many benefits to students who participate. They receive real world experience and are engaged in higher level work made possible through a longer duration work term than a traditional co-op program. Students are also able to build professional networks and enhanced industry awareness.
In 2019-20, the Engineering Career Centre will pilot a professional skills development program, leading to an official launch in 2020-21. The aim is to prepare students to build industry awareness, explore career options, and compete at their best for PEY Co-op opportunities.
Benefits to External Partners and the Community:
Assessing the stakeholders involved in facilitating successful co-op programming, the Engineering Career Centre has identified the communities of alumni, industry partners, student groups, and academic departments. These communities have unique relationships to our PEY Co-op program and we aim to deliver a value-added experience to steward the interests of these stakeholder communities.
Benefits to the University:
The PEY Co-op program, and the Engineering Career Centre, serve to deliver unique professional programming contributing to the fabric of Engineering as a professional faculty. The learning capacity and extent of professional development through the PEY Co-op program enriches the classroom environment by delivering structured and non-structured career exploration.
Information for Interested Students:
Students studying at any of U of T’s campuses (STG, UTM, UTSC) in any undergraduate program are eligible to participate in the PEY Co-op program. The focus of the program is for students in an engineering or applied science program (e.g., Engineering, Computer Science, Commerce, PTP, Mathematics). For more information, visit the PEY Co-op page.
Advice for Faculty and Staff Interested in Creating a Similar Experiential Learning Opportunity:
My advice is to start with the academic mission and take time to understand what areas in industry celebrate the pursuits of the academic unit. An industry mapping exercise can help identify distinct roles in the marketplace for effective experiential learning. Embracing an appreciation for the ambitions of the academic unit is key for being able to identify optimal co-op roles.
PEY Co-op Program Staff (from left to right TOP ROW) Kate Epp, Nabeela Rahman, Hannah Bild Enkin, Shah Sotodeh, Dan Pettigrew, Roger Francis (from left to right BOTTOM ROW) Adam Gierlach, Chioma Ekpo (Photo by Joanne Huynh, Engineering Career Centre)