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John McGregor Secondary School
Co-operative Education

What is it?

A program that allows students to apply up to 14 credits towards their high school graduation requirements.

Who is it for?

Students who are heading for university, college, apprenticeship or the workplace.

How does it help?

Students have the opportunity to:

  • Experience hands-on learning
  • "Test-drive" career options
  • See the relevance of their classroom learning
  • Develop the essential skills and habits required in the workplace
  • Gain valuable work experience to help build a resum√© for postsecondary programs and future employment

Frequently Asked Questions

1. There are a lot of compulsory courses I need to take in order to complete the entry requirements for post-secondary education.  How can I fit Coop into my program?

Regardless of your post-secondary requirements, there is always room for Coop.  There are many course paths you could take through your high school years to ensure you have all the courses you need for post-secondary education, and still have the time to take a Cooperative Education course.  To help you determine the path for you, talk to your Career Studies Teacher, Student Services or someone in the Cooperative Education Department.

2. How many Cooperative Education credits can I earn?

Students may earn up to a total of 14 credits.

3. If I take a Cooperative Education course, how many hours do I have to put in at my training station?

The Ministry of Education requires students to complete 110 hours of work in order to earn a credit.  This is why attendance in regular classes as well as at your workplace is so important.  If you are taking a 2 credit Coop Course, you will be required to complete 220 hours of work.  This includes 10 days of pre-placement and 5 reflective days at 2 3/4  hours per day.  If you, your supervisor, and your teacher-monitor prepare your workplace schedule so you are working approximately 15 hours per week, you will meet this requirement. 

There are two, three and four credit options, each semester, for you to choose from.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) provides students with an opportunity to meet diploma requirements while participating in an occupation that requires an apprenticeship.  It is designed for students 16 years of age and older who have already earned 16 credits toward the OSSD, and may involve the student's registration in an apprenticeship.  This program will provide specific documentation by the student and trainer regarding specific competencies acquired.  At the same time the student is acquiring hours towards their apprenticeship program, they will be receiving Cooperative Education credits.

All students participating in OYAP must:

  • Complete sixteen credits towards the OSSD prior to starting the program;
  • Be enrolled as full-time students during the program;
  • Complete all compulsory credits required for the OSSD.

Students participating in the OYAP program will  participate in the same classroom component, comprising  pre-placement and integration activities, as regular Cooperative Education students, as well as their apprenticeship specific training. 

Testimonials From former Co-op Students

"From the time I adopted my first kitten, I just knew I wanted to be a veterinarian and help animals.  I really wanted to take Coop and be exposed to a veterinarian clinic, so I was placed at Kent Veterinary Hospital in Chatham.  Everyone there was very kind to the animals and their owners and included me in all aspects of the care offered there.  It was on day three of my placement that I was present when a dog that had been hit by a car was brought in.  Unfortunately its injuries were too severe and the animal had to be euthanized.  I was very sad, and cried a lot.  I was so upset I wasn't sure if I could see my placement through to the end.  My Coop teacher and I talked about it and I decided to stick it out and wait to see if I could recover and learn to accept that sometimes I would have to make these very difficult choices as a veterinarian.  The next time I experienced this was about two weeks later.  I decided, at that point, that I would not be able to handle this part of the occupation.  My Coop teacher found me a new placement at a pet store and I loved every minute of it.  I am currently working part-time at that same store and looking forward to taking college courses so I can become an entrepreneur and own my own pet store one day.  I am really thankful I took Coop and was exposed to this before spending many years and thousands of dollars pursuing a career I just was not suited for." -  Angela 

"My coop placement was at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance in the surgical unit.  I have always wanted to be a nurse and after doing some volunteer work at the hospital I was sure of my decision.  That's why I decided to take coop.  I wanted to continue working with patients and attend to their needs.  I have been given many responsibilities at my placement and it has really helped to expand my horizons.  I can't wait to move on next year to the college program." -  Jamie


John McGregor Secondary School
300 Cecile Ave, Chatham, ON, N7M 2C6
Principal: Don Zondag
Vice Principal: Bernadette Bruette
Bus Zone: 7, 8BUS STATUS

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