Course Info.

Last updated December 12th, 2012

Cooperative Education

All OCDSB secondary schools have a cooperative education program.
Contact your school’s co-op teacher for available co-op placements.

For additional information, please contact Mr. Waterhouse, the co-op teacher at Earl of March

Test-drive a Career

Cooperative Education is an experiential learning program for which students earn credits. All students benefit from an opportunity to test-drive a career. The program promotes skill development, career development, and self-awareness by integrating classroom learning with supervised work experiences in a business, an industry, or a community service organization. Through Co-op a student may earn all 12 optional credits and two compulsory credits. For more information about Cooperative Education, please go to

The goals of Cooperative Education are:

  • to better prepare students for careers
  • to help students better understand classroom learning through practical applications in life situations
  • to develop in students an understanding of employers’ expectations in real-job situations
  • to increase students’ motivation
  • to help students develop appropriate plans for post-secondary employment and education
  • to develop in each student a positive self-image
  • to help students develop and reinforce marketable skills
  • to help students better understand and appreciate the world of work and to help students discover their true interests, abilities, and aptitudes

Build Your Skills

Students in Cooperative Education spend a portion of the school day in a curriculum-related work setting for the term or semester. The program involves a Personalized Learning Plan and Work Education agreement which stipulates the time that you spend at the worksite. Full advantage should be taken of the resources available in the community. Progress is monitored on a regular basis by a cooperative education teacher and an evaluation is carried out jointly by the teacher and the supervisor at the worksite.

Students meet regularly throughout the semester to share experiences, reflect on learning, and participate in integration activities and assignments. All students, including those who have an IEP, can benefit from the Cooperative Education learning experience. Cooperative Education credits must be linked to related courses and a specific course curriculum.

To enter a Cooperative Education program the students must:

  • choose Cooperative Education on the course option sheet
  • meet with a guidance counsellor to discuss the related in-school course to which the placement will be linked or have arranged to take the course concurrently with the out-of-school program
  • submit a completed Cooperative Education Application Form to the Cooperative Education teacher
  • participate in an interview with school staff to discuss the suitability of the program pathway they would like to take

Co-op Placements in the Federal Government

OCDSB Co-op Programs in all secondary schools are now recognized as an ‘approved’ Federal Government Co-op Internship/Co-op Program. The Co-op opportunities will offer huge re-employment and employment
opportunities for students:

  • “re-employment” options for university Co-op and summer job placements
  • future employment opportunities through each department’s ‘bridging mechanism’ If you work for the federal government and would like to become a Co-op employer supervisor, please contact our Data Bank Administrator

English Language Learners and Experiential Learning

All students, including English language learners, can benefit from gaining a context for their learning by participating in experiential learning. By participating in all forms of experiential learning (e.g., job shadowing, work-site visits, work experience, Cooperative Education),
students who are acquiring English language skills will:

  • be exposed to a variety of social and culture experiences that will enhance their understanding of Canadian culture
  • develop confidence in using English in a wide variety of contexts
  • gain English communication skills required in the workplace
  • gain a better understanding of the opportunities in the Canadian
  • gain work experience
  • gain valuable knowledge about their own interests and strengths to make informed decisions about course options in secondary school and decisions about post-secondary pathways (apprenticeship, college, workplace, and university)

Those English language learners who have adequate skills in English and who have previously-earned concurrent Ontario high school credits that are related to their desired workplace have the opportunity to join a Cooperative Education class in high school. Accommodations can be made in their regular program as they would in any other course of study for students who are learning English