Cooperative education provides opportunities for secondary students to participate in an unpaid work placement in order apply classroom learning to a workplace and explore possible career choices. Often cooperative education is called “co-op ed”, or just “co-op.” All Ontario school boards offer cooperative education programs that follow Ministry of Education guidelines.
Cooperative education is a possible option for any student, whether on a pathway towards university, college, apprenticeship or work.
By completing a cooperative education placement, students earn up to two secondary school credits towards their compulsory credits required for graduation, with no limit on completing additional co-op credits. Students must consult with the Co-op teacher in their school to apply for a co-op placement. The teacher will assist in arranging the placement and in linking the placement to a curriculum course the student is enrolled in that is related to the workplace. For example, with the assistance of the co-op teacher, a student enrolled in a Grade 11 Biology course might participate in a semester long co-op placement at a veterinary clinic. Students are monitored by the co-op education teacher as well as by a designated supervisor or mentor at the workplace. In most cases the co-op placement will take place during either the morning or the afternoon of a school day, and extend over one semester.
Additional details about Cooperative Education can be found at: www.edu.gov.on.ca/morestudentsuccess/coop.html