Cooperative education is a planned learning experience that integrates classroom theory and learning experiences at a workplace. Co-op enables the student to apply and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related curriculum course or locally developed course in which the student is enrolled or which he/she has successfully completed. The cooperative education courses are valuable to all students as they are designed to suit the student’s strengths, interests and needs to enhance the student’s preparation for the future.
All prospective Co-op students must complete an application at course selection time and take a formal interview with a co-op teacher to determine their suitability for the program. Depending on the placement , students may need to complete additional safety training, vulnerable sector check and/or TB testing prior to the beginning of placement.
Students complete 2, 3 or 4 credits by working part or full days at a co-op placement. A minimum of 110 hours must be completed for each co-op credit. This includes pre-employment training, regularly scheduled in-class instructional days, and work placement time.
VALUE TO STUDENTS
- Encourages students to develop skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for employment
- Helps students to identify their capabilities and limitations
- Develops interpersonal skills
- Provides an awareness of job opportunities and the experience to make an informed career decision
- Provides opportunities to practise decision-making skills
- Provides practical experience in a contemporary workplace setting
- Develops a recognition of the need for flexibility and lifelong learning in a changing workplace
Prerequisites: Grade 11 or 12 students who have successfully completed their grade 9 and 10 credits are eligible for the co-op program. Students must be mature and must have taken, or be taking a tie-in subject. An application form must be completed during the course selection process.
OYAP: The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program allows students to get an early start on an apprenticeship in a skilled trade. Students have the opportunity to work towards their OSSD, while working with an employer in a skilled trade area through a specialized co-op program.
There are two levels of OYAP Programming:
- OYAP Participant- students get the opportunity to complete their co-op in one of the apprenticeable skilled trade areas (subject to availability). This is an excellent opportunity to 'test' out a trade to see if it is a good fit. Hours are registered and may count towards that trade if the student becomes an apprentice.
- Registered OYAP Participant - After becoming an OYAP participant the Employer may wish to sign the student to a registered training agreement with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). This formal agreement allows the student to earn hours towards their apprenticeship while also working towards their OSSD.
In order to participate in OYAP, students must:
- be 16 years of age when co-op placement begins
- have successfully completed 16 OSSD credits
- have a demonstrated interest and aptitude for the skilled trade
- prior experience in the sector is recommended (Co-op or tech course)