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Cooperative Education

    OCDSB > Programs > Secondary > Cooperative Education
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board supports cooperative education and other forms of experiential learning for its secondary students to enhance their school programs and to assist them in making career decisions. Students can get a taste of the world of work through Cooperative Education placements.
Students discover aptitudes and develop job skills necessary for entering the workplace or to pursue further studies. Detailed information is available by calling Deirdre Stuart at 613-596-8286.
For students who are not currently attending school and have not yet graduated, Winning Attitudes (a specialized co-op program) may be an option. For more information about this program please contact Kimberly Webster, 613-596-8211, ext. 8500.

 General Information


What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education is a planned learning experience, for which credits are earned, that integrates classroom theory and learning experiences at a workplace to enable students to apply and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related curriculum course or a locally developed course.

What are the benefits for co-op students?

  • - learn about their strengths, interests, and special skills
  • - provides career exploration and planning
  • - enhanced and enriched academic experiences
  • - improves their employability skills
  • - create better-prepared workers, and reduce time-consuming and costly recruiting, hiring and training efforts
  • - apply curriculum knowledge in an out-of-school setting
  • - learn valuable lessons such as pride in a job well done, punctuality, dependability and honesty



 Co-op Supervisors


What is the Supervisor’s role?

- interview potential students
- shares expertise with students
- maintains a record of the student’s attendance
- treats the student as a regular employee in training
- communicates with the teacher-monitor on a regular basis
- assists the teacher-monitor in the evaluation of the student’s performance
- provides on-going feedback to the student
- provides a safe working environment and reports accidents involving the student immediately to the school.
For more information please refer to the Supervisor’s Handbook.

What are the benefits of having co-op students in the workplace?

  • - develops supervisory, leadership and interpersonal skills of employees
  • - provides opportunities to assess and recruit future employees

- gives students exposure to a variety of career options, help boost their confidence and let them build a network of references
- permits business and industry to enhance their corporate image through their direct involvement with the community they serve
- assist schools in keeping courses relevant to business, technological, industrial and professional practices
- encourage students to develop skills, knowledge and attitudes required for employment




  • What if the student is injured?

The student is covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board according to the dates and times stipulated in the Work Education Agreement Form. The teacher will cover the procedure with the supervisor at the time of the placement.

As an Employer, what are the Insurance issues I should be aware of?

  • Students participating in a Cooperative Education program are covered by OCDSB third-party liability insurance with respect to those specific activities involved in their training. It is not recommended that students drive vehicles of any kind on coop placements. This includes forklifts, ATVs, golf carts, snowmobiles, ride-on lawn equipment, etc., as well as vehicles licensed for the road. Although there may be circumstances where driving is a part of a student’s expected duties, the employer must then include the student in their insurance coverage. The student is protected for damage caused accidentally to the property of an employer while such property is in the care, custody or control of the student. The school board’s insurance does not protect the employer from his/her own negligence.
  • How long do I have the student for?

Semestered school students are usually in the workplace three hours per day from mid September to the end of January or mid February to the middle of June. The Alternate Site program students are in the workplace full days for six weeks. Students do not attend the placement during the school holidays.

What is the process for advertising my placement opportunity?

A brief description of the organization and job duties will be required. Any special skills that the student will need would be an asset. Your Placement Opportunity will be e-mailed out to all coop contact teachers.

Contact: Deirdre Stuart, Databank Administrator at (613) 596-8286, or Complete the
Placement Opportunity Form.

Posting a Placement Opportunity can be done at anytime through out the year but the preferred time are late August, December and in June.



 Co-op Success Stories


Co-op is Not Just a Class, It’s a Jump Start to your Career


I did full day Co-op the first semester of grade 12 out of West Carleton Secondary School. I think co-op is a great idea for anyone wanting hands on experience in a job before they go to College for it. I knew I wanted to work in a trade but wasn’t sure what kind. I ended up sending my resume into Thomas Cavanagh Construction and McIntosh Perry Engineering. I accepted McIntosh Perry and worked for their Contract Administration & Inspection department. I worked on the 417 highway expansion as a Checker and Surveyors Assistant.  

I signed up for co-op because I didn’t know what I wanted to go to College for. So many teenagers know what field they want to go in but have no idea what job they want. For example, I wanted to get involved in the trades, but had 5 plus jobs that related to trades and I didn’t know which one I wanted to do. Co-op helped me build my Career road, let me talk to people in my field and explore my Career and that made me confident in my Career choice. I have learned so much more than any teacher could teach me in a semester. I thought I saw lots of the steps to road construction but I know there is so much more.

It’s hard to believe that 5 months ago I didn’t know what I wanted to do. At the end of the last school year when we were figuring out where we were going to be doing our co-op I was so unsure and was going to do it with a Electrician. I can’t say enough good things about co-op. I applied for the Construction/Civil Engineering Course at Algonquin and McIntosh Perry offered me a summer job! I am hoping to get on with them full time doing design after finishing college.

Co-op is not just a High School Class, it’s a Jump start to your Career!
Cameron Mulligan

 Co-op STARS