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District School Board Ontario North East
Cooperative Education (Co-op)

Cooperative education is a Ministry of Education approved program that allowing students to earn secondary school credits while completing a work placement in the community.

The program provides students with the opportunity to both explore a career pathway and/or test drive a specific career of interest. The co-op program is comprised of pre-placement activities, the co-op work placement and integration activities. Pre-placement prepares students for the world of work combining employability skills and job search skills (such as job application preparation, resume and cover letter creation, telephone skills, and communication skills), and prepares them to work safely at work with 1st Aid/CPR training, WHMIS training, the Young Worker Awareness Program complimented with site specific safety training at the co-op placement. Integration activities allow the students to reflect on the learning occurring at their co-op placement and furthers the career exploration process with activities that make the connection between school and the world of work.

When at the co-op placement, students are monitored by the co-op teacher and the co-op placement supervisor who oversee the experiential learning placement. Co-op students must have a Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP) which makes the link between learning, knowledge and skills acquired in previously completed secondary school courses and the world of work.

Benefits of Co-op:

  • Earn secondary school credits while learning on the job.
  • Count two co-op credits as compulsory credits.
  • Test drive a career and smooth the transition to post-secondary education, training or venturing in to the workforce.
  • Develop essential employability skills and work habits.
  • Develop an understanding of employer and workplace expectations.
  • Make connections between secondary school and the world of work.
  • Gain work experience, knowledge, essential skills needed to build a solid résumé needed for post-secondary programs and future employment.
  • Co-op placements are available in a wide range of work environments preparing students to pursue an apprenticeship, community living, college or university pathways.

Participant Eligibility:

  • Co-op is available to all secondary school students.
  • Students apply to co-op during the course selection process for the upcoming academic year.
  • Students must also formally apply to co-op and participate in the co-op interview process thereby preparing them for the real world of work.