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During a Work Placement

At least one of your work terms must occur during the Fall semester or Winter semester (i.e., a maximum of two of the three work terms can be during the Spring semester). It is strongly recommended that at least one work term occur outside of the St. John's area.

Evaluation of the work term components
There are three evaluation components to each work term. Unlike assignments in a regular course, students do not receive a numeric grade on each assignment, and these are not all graded by the same person. Each of these components will be awarded a grade classification of "outstanding", "above expectations", "satisfactory" or "fail" which will be recorded individually on the student's transcript". If a student is awarded a "fail" on one of these components then that will result in a grade of "fail" being designated for the overall work term.

Evaluation component Assessment
1. A written assignment administered by the Department of Political Science, such as a briefing note and/or a cabinet paper dealing with a topical issue that is relevant to the student's work placement. Submitted to the employer and the designated faculty member in the Department of Political Science, but graded exclusively by the faculty member.
2. The student's on-the-job performance. Graded by the Co-operative Education coordinator, with input from the employer. The coordinator will conduct private interviews with the employer and with the student. Formal written documentation from the employer will be sought. The employer will be encouraged to provide an exit interview.
3. A work report, in the form of a substantive reflective essay. When preparing the essay the student must continue to respect the confidentiality of the employer. Submitted to the Co-operative Education coordinator on the first day of the final examination period. Late essays will not be graded by the coordinator unless prior permission was granted by the designated faculty member.

Late policy
The late policy for written work submitted in POSC 260W, 360W and 460W will be established, adjudicated and enforced by the designated faculty member. Generally speaking a firm late policy will be in place. Late work reports (re: reflective essays) will not be graded by the Co-operative Education coordinator unless prior written permission, normally in an email, was granted by the designated faculty member.

Final evaluation of a work term
Grades on the three evaluation components (the written assignment, on-the-job performance, reflective essay) will be considered when the designated faculty member assigns a final grade for the work term course. Unlike a regular course, students do not receive a final numeric grade. Rather, in addition to the outstanding/above expectations/satisfactory/fail marks for each of those components being included on the student's transcript, the overall evaluation of the student's performance in POSC 260W, 360W or 460W will result in one of the following grades being designated on the transcript:

  • Pass with Distinction: Indicates outstanding performance in the briefing note and/or cabinet paper, the reflective essay and the job performance.
  • Pass: Indicates that performance meets expectations in the briefing note and/or cabinet paper, the reflective essay and the job performance.
  • Fail: Indicates failing performance in one or more of the briefing note and/or cabinet paper, the reflective essay and/or the job performance.

Ineligibility to continue in the program
To be eligible for promotion from the work term and continuing in the PSCE program a student must not be awarded a Fail on the work term. A student who fails the work term will be required to withdraw from the program. Such a student may reapply to the program after a lapse of two semesters, at which time the student will be required to repeat the work term with satisfactory performance. A given work term may be repeated only once and only one work term may be repeated in the entire program.

A student who accepts a job placement and who subsequently withdraws from a work term without acceptable cause will be required to withdraw permanently from the PSCE. Students who drop a work term without prior approval from both the Co-operative Education coordinator and the designated faculty member, or who do not honour an agreement to work with an employer, or who conduct themselves in such a manner as to cause their discharge from the job, will normally be awarded a grade of Fail for the work term in question.

Permission to drop a work term does not constitute a waiver of degree requirements and students who have obtained such permission must complete an approved work term in lieu of the one dropped.