Cooperative education is an experiential mode of learning, delivered under Ministry of Education guidelines, that integrates academic study and theory with on-the-job experience. Students are placed in training stations in the community where they are provided with challenging responsibilities and learn by doing.
Cooperative Education is the direct pathway to the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. This allows students to train as apprentices and earn credit hours toward their apprenticeship.
Cooperative Education assists students in any pathway as they develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential in the careers of today. School-to-work programs provide students with an opportunity to explore and experience in-school learning in an out-of-school setting and bring students directly in touch with the realities of the work world.
Full Term (semester)
Can be half day (2 credit) or full day (4 credit)
1 credit per 110-hour cooperative education credit course successfully completed.
A planned learning experience, for which credits are earned, that integrates classroom theory and learning experiences at the workplace to enable students to apply and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related curriculum course.
- Requires a Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan
- A collaborative document that outlines the learning goals and expectations for the student, employer and teacher
- Requires pre-placement orientation completed at the school prior to placement begins
- Is monitored by the co-operative education teacher
- Integrates classroom and workplace learning
- Involves reflective learning
For the student:
Provides an opportunity for the student to recognize the relationship between schoolwork and career objectives.
Provides an opportunity to explore basic information about business, industry, labour and self, necessary for intelligent career choices.
Increases self-confidence and self-reliance.
Facilitates the transition from school to work.
Enhances positive student attitudes toward lifelong learning.
Provides opportunities to observe and operate equipment not available in schools.
Helps identify capabilities and limitations.
For the training organization:
Allows for direct interaction with students and teachers in order to assist in the development of future directions in education.
Develops a workforce of future employees with employment skills and a positive work ethic.
Creates an environment by which business and industry can demonstrate community involvement.
Promotes awareness of job opportunities within various industries
One credit per 110-hour co-operative education credit course successfully completed.
A co-operative education course requires a Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan.
A co-operative education teacher must monitor students.
A co-operative education course must be based on a relative course (host course) in which the student is enrolled or which he/she has successfully completed.
Co-operative education courses include a classroom component, comprising pre-placement and integration activities, and a workplace component.
Pre-placement orientation must be scheduled for a minimum of 15-20 hours.
Co-operative education students earn credits by successfully meeting the curriculum expectations of the related course and goals as outlined in the Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan
Students must apply to take a co-operative education course during the course selection process.
Students may go through an interview process prior to being admitted to a co-operative education program
A Work Education Agreement must be completed and signed by all parties prior to student placement.
Student evaluation is the responsibility of the co-operative education teacher.
The assessment and evaluation of students at their placements must be based on the achievement of the expectations identified in their student cooperative education learning plans.
1 credit course (related to minimum 1 in-school course)
2-credit course (related to minimum 1 in-school course)
4-credit course (related to minimum 2 different in-school course)
The Co-op Teacher:
Promote the co-operative education, work experience, and school–work transition programs to students, parents, staff, school councils, and potential employers.
Develop pre-course counseling and interviewing procedures for all students who wish to participate.
Interview and select students for community-based learning programs.
Follow the school board’s placement procedures for all community-based learning programs.
Identify and secure placements in which students will be able to achieve the course expectations, experience growth, and develop career goals.
Assess placements for suitability
Inform employers of their role and responsibilities and of the responsibilities of the partnership prior to student placement.
Organize and conduct pre-placement orientation sessions to prepare students.
Collaborate with the student and supervisor to develop a Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan.
Consult regularly with students, employers, supervisors, employees, and other teachers.
Make regular on-site learning assessments of students at their placements. (Two times per month, at least once through direct personal contact)
Assess and evaluate student performance.
Support additions and updates to the Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan.
Assess whether placement supervision is appropriate.
Organize and conduct regular integration activities, relevant to the Student's Learning Plan.
Manage the day-to-day administrative tasks associated with co-operative education and work experience programs. (Including reporting to the school administration or to the ministry of education)
Keep dated, anecdotal records on student placement learning assessment.
Help students arrange appropriate transportation to their placements.
Provide health and safety instruction and information on insurance coverage.
Follow workplace safety and insurance board and school board procedures for accident reports.
Liaise with guidance counselors, school administrators, teacher-advisers, LKDSB staff, and parents.
Work with students and supervisors to ensure that any problems are dealt with immediately
The Workplace Supervisor:
Sign the Work Education Agreement to identify who provides WSIB student coverage.
Be familiar with and follow accident-reporting procedures.
Assist the co-operative education teacher in developing realistic and challenging Student Cooperative Education Learning Plans for their students.
Become familiar with students’ strengths and the areas in which improvement is needed.
Direct and guide students’ learning through on-site supervision.
Acquaint students with company personnel and procedures.
Provide placement-specific safety training.
Report student absences to the co-operative education teacher immediately.
Contact the co-operative education teacher when concerns arise.
Work with students and teachers to ensure that any problems are dealt with immediately.
Review and sign the daily logs at the end of each week.
Jointly assess student progress with teachers, and provide written performance appraisals.
Share their expertise with students.
Help student’s function as an integral part of a team.
Comply with all company rules as to dress, safety codes, work schedule, and policies.
Work in a courteous, responsible, and business-like manner and show appropriate initiative.
Observe and comply with the rules and regulations of the placement and the school, including confidentiality requirements.
Comply with school attendance policies in both the placement and classroom sessions.
Submit assignments as required.
Inform the placement supervisor and the co-operative education teacher in advance if they are unable to report to their placements.
Participate in the development and implementation of their Cooperative Education Learning Plan.
Participate with their supervisors and teachers in the assessment of their own performances.
Complete their course requirements to obtain credits toward the Ontario Secondary School diploma
Work with teachers and supervisors to ensure that problems are dealt with immediately.
Option Time Sheet
Students indicate their interest and desire to be involved in the co-op program.
Students may be required fill out an application form and request teaching staff to act as their references.
Students participate in interview process that helps the cooperative education teacher better understand their learning needs and requests for placements.
Students, in consultation with the co-operative education teacher, choose an available placement.
Students apply to the workplaces of their choice and, if selected, interview with the workplace supervisor.
Complete Work Place Education Agreement
Once the student has been selected for a placement, they complete and sign Work Education Agreement.
During the in-school pre-placement component the student learns about Health and Safety, Integration Activities/Topics, Confidentiality, Labour Education, WSIB Regulations. They begin to develop the Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan
Learning at the Workplace
The student begins working and learning in the co-op placement.
Integration & Reflection
Students are periodically pulled back into the classroom to engage in Integration and Reflection activities.
Monitoring Student Performance
Assessment and Evaluation of the achievement of the expectations of the host course and co-op program, as outlined in the Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan, take place periodically throughout the semester.
For potential students:
- Contact the Guidance or Cooperative Education department at your school
For community partners interested in participating in Cooperative Education