Are University Co-Operative Education Students Safe? Perceptions of Risk to Students on Work Terms

By Newhook, Rebecca | The Canadian Journal of Higher Education, March 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Are University Co-Operative Education Students Safe? Perceptions of Risk to Students on Work Terms


Newhook, Rebecca, The Canadian Journal of Higher Education


Introduction

Universities and other postsecondary institutions are increasingly expanding their learning opportunities to include co-curricular and experiential learning opportunities, many of which take place in the community. This has resulted in questions about student safety while participating in university-sponsored activities off campus. The present research seeks to explore Canadian university co-operative education co-ordinators' perceptions of the actual and potential risks to their students and to assess their perceptions of the safety of co-operative education students. The key research question is: What do co-ordinators perceive as the main risks to students in co-operative education? This research builds upon previous explorations of co-operative education co-ordinators' perceptions of their responsibility in risk assessment and management, as well as the role of the university in preparing co-ordinators to assess and minimize risk (Newhook, 2013).

Literature Review

One of the most formal and arguably most effective forms of experiential education is co-operative education, which includes extended periods of full-time work as an integral and mandatory part of a student's academic program. The aim of a co-operative education program is to integrate theoretical classroom instruction with practical and authentic on-the-job learning in the student's area of study (Billet & Choy, 2011, p. 25; CAFCE, 2009; Katula & Threnhauser, 1999, p. 244; Wessels, 2005, p. 6). A recent Ipsos Reid (2010) online poll of 1,493 adult Canadians revealed that one in seven Canadians with postsecondary education participated in a co-operative education program (p. 1). It is important to note that co-operative education differs from other forms of experiential activities in that the student is both an employee and a student, so the work term is both employment and education and thus carries the legal and ethical considerations of both. Despite the growth and maturation of research about co-operative education since the early 2000s (Zegwaard & Coll, 2011, p. 9), there remains very little research on the legal and ethical risks involved in co-operative education in general (Newhook, 2013).

Serious risks to students in university co-operative education programs in Canada are rare, although in three cases over the last decade, students died while on work terms. A co-op student in British Columbia died in a car accident on his way home from work following a period where he had worked 96.5 hours over the eight days prior to the accident (Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal of British Columbia, 2009). A student from the University of Waterloo was the victim of Canada's first documented fatal wolf attack on a human (Jobin, 2007); the third-year geological engineering student was killed in November 2005 near Points North Landing, in Saskatchewan, while on a work term. In addition is the case of a University of Victoria co-op student who died by suicide in 2012, six months after he was terminated from his work term with the Government of British Columbia ("Roderick MacIsaac suicide," 2014). MacIsaac was one of seven researchers fired or suspended as part of an investigation about the misuse of personal health information; he had been unable to complete his doctorate as a result of his termination.

It is well established that universities have a duty of care to guard against reasonably foreseeable events that could result in injury for students participating in off-campus activities that form part of the student's academic program and that are supported by university staff (Birtwistle, 2002; Katter, 2002; Middlemiss, 2000, p. 79; Pearson & Beckham, 2005; Schoepfer & Dodds, 2010). It has also been established that co-operative education co-ordinators are uncertain about the extent of their responsibilities in assessing and minimizing risk, and that they are guided more by their own tacit knowledge and experiences than by institutional policy (Newhook, 2013). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Are University Co-Operative Education Students Safe? Perceptions of Risk to Students on Work Terms
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.