Case Study

University Coop Program


The University of Waterloo’s Co-op Program experienced major growth over the years as the largest and most well-known Cooperative Education program in the world. HRT was hired by the Executive Director of the Cooperative Education and Career Services to facilitate a process that resulted in the complete restructuring of the entire organization.

The Objectives

  • To provide more jobs and more relevant jobs to students in a more efficient, employer-centric model
  • To engage the organization and design a new structure including implementation and change management plans

The Process

  • Creation of a charter to define the objectives
  • Developed current and future maps of organizational processes
  • Plans for organizational development, implementation and change management were created during the process
  • Throughout the project, change communication was vital to the success

The Results

A new organizational structure that moved the organization from a functional structure to a matrixed, team-based structure was developed with the creation of new and revised roles including 60+ new role descriptions with a new competency framework.
The employee population impacted by this change was part of an active and formalized staff association that acted as representation for staff during this change process.
The three-year project was highly consultative through the entire organization and across university lines to ensure constant input and alignment to decision making along the way.

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