Pathways Planning & Experiential Learning » Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education provides students with valuable work experience while earning secondary school credits towards their diploma. Students have the opportunity to both explore a career pathway or a specific career of interest.
The Cooperative Education Program consists of both a classroom component and work or community placement component. Prior to the work or community placement, students learn about basic health and safety, law and union information, workplace ethics, and human rights and confidentiality. The classroom component prepares students for their work placement and emphasizes the skills needed to succeed. 
Career and life planning is a focus of the program and helps students make the connection between school and the world of work. Students can also apply and further develop the knowledge and skills in the workplace.


  • Cooperative Education placements are available in a wide range of work environments preparing students to pursue a pathway in an apprenticeship, college, university, or community living.
  • Pursue a work placement in a field of interest and experience hands-on learning.
  • Gain valuable work experience and knowledge while developing essential employability skills and work habits.
  • Test drive a career and smooth the transition to post-secondary education, training, or venturing into the workforce.


  • Students must be at least 14 years of age.
  • Students with a strong commitment to exploring a chosen career choice.
  • Students interested in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program who would like to complete a Cooperative Education placement in an apprenticeable trade (Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program).

How does Cooperative Education help students gain credits?

  • Cooperative Education credits earned can count for up to two compulsory credit requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
  • There is no limit to the number of optional credits students can earn through Cooperative Education credits. 
  • Students enrolled in a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) must complete a minimum of two Cooperative Education credits for the SHSM designation.

Cooperative Education Placements 

  • Students work with their school guidance counselors and Cooperative Education teachers to determine placements based on career interests.
  • Cooperative Education teacher secures Cooperative Education work placements once assessed for suitability and safety.
  • Cooperative Education teacher regularly visits, in-person or virtually, and monitors students throughout their placement. 
  • Students are assessed and evaluated on their performance at the workplace by the Cooperative Education teacher with feedback from the employer. Students are also assessed through various assignments, activities, and projects based on the students’ cooperative education placement and curriculum expectations.
Please contact your Guidance Counsellor for further information.