Saskatoon, Canada, 2015-9-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Thanks to generous support from Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), business students at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) will have more opportunities to gain valuable work experience while completing their degree.
Over the next five years, FCL will provide $500,000 for the Edwards School of Business Co-operative Education Program, which integrates classroom instruction with real-life work situations. Those benefitting from this funding include third-year Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm.) and first-year Master of Business Administration (MBA) students.
The announcement was made Sept. 4 at Prairieland Park at the Edwards Co-op Networking Open House — a coming-together of Edwards faculty, staff and students with the local business community.
“FCL is very pleased to partner with the Edwards School of Business on this dynamic program,” said FCL CEO Scott Banda. “This partnership builds on our investments in programs at the University of Saskatchewan. From our past experience, we know the Co-op Education Program develops young people who have the potential to be business and community leaders, and we are proud to be a part of building that legacy.”
Since its inception in 2007, the Edwards Co-operative Education Program has secured paid work placements for over 400 students in the private, public and non-profit sectors. FCL has supported the program by hiring 46 students for eight-month, full-time placements. The work placements are often a student’s first exposure to a professional business environment. Besides providing practical experience, the students return to the classroom with a renewed sense of confidence and a wealth of real-life experiences, enhancing the overall student experience. It also improves employability upon graduation. The current employment rate for Edwards co-op alumni is 100 per cent, with 19 alumni becoming permanent FCL employees.
“The co-op program is the single most effective platform for matching students’ ambition with employers’ needs,” said Daphne Taras, dean of the Edwards School of Business. “Students gain maturity and become job-ready, while employers get the opportunity to work with prospective employees. With FCL’s support, we can expand our reach and connect even more students with paid work experience.”