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Cooperative Education

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Cooperative Education

All OCDSB secondary schools have a cooperative education program. Contact your school’s co-op teacher for available co-op placements. For additional information, please contact the OCDSB’s OYAP/Pathways Instructional Coach at 613-596-8211, ext. 8697.

Test-drive a Career
Cooperative Education is an experiential learning program for which students earn credits. All students benefit from an opportunity to test-drive a career. The program promotes skill development, career development and self-awareness by integrating classroom learning with supervised work experiences within a business, an industry or a community service organization. Through co-op a student may earn all twelve (12) optional credits and two (2) compulsory credits. For more information about Cooperative Education, please go to
www.ocdsb.ca/programs/sec.

The goals of Cooperative Education are:

  • to better prepare students for careers and the workplace
  • to help students better understand classroom learning through practical applications in life situations
  • to develop in students an understanding of employers’ expectations in real-job situations
  • to increase students’ motivation
  • to help students develop appropriate plans for post-secondary employment and education
  • to develop in each student a positive self-image
  • to help students develop and reinforce marketable skills
  • to help students better understand and appreciate the world of work and to help students discover their true interests, abilities and aptitudes

Build Your Skills
Students in Cooperative Education spend a portion of the school day in a curriculum-related work setting for the term or semester. The program involves a Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP) and Work Education Agreement which stipulates the time that you spend at the worksite. Full advantage should be taken of the resources available in the community. Progress is monitored on a regular basis by a Cooperative Education teacher and an evaluation is carried out jointly by the teacher and the supervisor at the worksite. Students meet regularly throughout the semester to share experiences, reflect on learning, and participate in integration activities and assignments.

All students, including those who have an IEP, can benefit from the Cooperative Education learning experience. Cooperative Education credits must be linked to related courses and a specific course curriculum.

To enter a Cooperative Education program, the students must:

  • choose Cooperative Education on the course option sheet
  • meet with a guidance counsellor to discuss the related in school course to which the placement will be linked or have arranged to take the course concurrently with the out-of-school program
  • submit a completed Cooperative Education Application Form to the Cooperative Education teacher
  • participate in an interview with school staff to discuss the suitability of the program pathway they would like to take

The co-op opportunities will offer huge re-employment and employment opportunities for students:

  • within university co-op and summer job placements
  • future employment opportunities through each department’s ‘bridging mechanism’

If you work for the federal government and would like to become a Co-op employer supervisor, please contact our Data Bank Administrator at 613-596-8286.

  • Co-op Placements in the Federal Government OCDSB co-op Programs in all secondary schools are now recognized as an ‘approved’ Federal Government co-op Internship/co-op Program.

English Language Learners and Experiential Learning

All students, including English language learners, can benefit from gaining a context for their learning by participating in experiential learning. By participating in all forms of experiential learning (e.g., job shadowing, work-site visits, work experience, Cooperative Education), students who are acquiring English language skills will:

  • be exposed to a variety of social and culture experiences that will enhance their understanding of Canadian culture
  • develop confidence in using English in a wide variety of contexts
  • gain English communication skills required in the workplace
  • gain a better understanding of the opportunities in the Canadian workplace
  • gain work experience
  • gain valuable knowledge about their own interests and strengths to make informed decisions about course options in secondary school and decisions about post-secondary pathways (apprenticeship, college, workplace and university)

Those English language learners who have adequate skills in English and who have previously-earned concurrent Ontario high school credits that are related to their desired workplace have the opportunity to join a Cooperative Education class in high school. Accommodations can be made in their regular program as they would in any other course of study for students who are learning English.

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)/Co-op
OYAP enables students to meet diploma requirements in an out-of-school setting where a certified journey person supervises their on-the-job training according to the regulations of a skilled trade. Funding for this program is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). There were more than 1,000 Ottawa-Carleton District School Board students enrolled in OYAP in 2010–2011. An increased enrolment is expected for 2012–2013.

Jump Start a Career through OYAP
An OYAP student is a student who is earning Cooperative Education credits for work experience in a skilled-trade area. A skilled trade is any occupation that requires apprenticeship training and certification. Apprentices are normally paid although employers are not required by law to pay OYAP students.

Get Hands-on Work Experience
While students who are younger than 16 years of age and have fewer than 16 credits can participate in co-op, students are only deemed OYAP students when they are at least 16 years old and have completed 16 credits. All OYAP students must be enrolled full time and must complete all compulsory credits required for the OSSD. The approved apprenticeship training standards of MTCU serve as a basis for a student’s personalized placement learning plan.

There are three different tiers of OYAP participation depending on student interest in and commitment to trades education.

Tier 1: The student is interested in career exploration in a skilledtrades area and takes a half-day co-op placement for one semester.

Tier 2: The student is willing to make a commitment to a skilledtrades career path and requests formal registration as an apprentice with MTCU. Usually this takes place in a student’s second half-day or full-day co-op placement in the same trade.

Tier 3: The student wishes to take the First Level of apprenticeship training at the college or training centre concurrent with a co-op placement. This program is for students who have all their compulsory credits and are in their final school semester before graduation. Students are in their co-op placements full time, usually two or three days a week, and are enrolled in the Level 1 Course at Algonquin College the other days. The student is still on the roll at their high school although they only attend high school for co-op pre-placement and integration sessions. The Automotive Service Technician course has been a very popular Tier 3 training program. In addition to the Automotive Service Technician Level 1, we will also offer a Level 1 program in Auto Body and Hairstyling through Algonquin College.

MTCU and the MInistry of Education (ME) cover the costs of education for an OYAP student in the Level 1 program.

Apprenticeship is a post-secondary study option that can meet the personal learning needs of a wide variety of students. It is an excellent mode of skill development for students who like hands-on activities and learn best by doing. Post-secondary apprenticeship training usually lasts from three to four years, depending on the trade. Approximately 90 per cent of apprenticeship training is on-the-job, while 10 per cent takes place in a community college classroom setting. Post-secondary apprentices are paid while they learn and are eligible for employment insurance benefits while taking related community college course work (OYAP students excepted).

Contact the school Guidance Department or the Cooperative Education teacher for more information. In addition, the OCDSB’s OYAP/Pathways Instruction Coach may be reached at 613-596-8211, ext. 8697.

Sample Cooperative Education Timetables
All students are encouraged to pursue Cooperative Education to extend and refine the knowledge and skills developed in other courses. Accommodations can be provided. Students with IEPs are encouraged to contact their Guidance Counsellor to learn more about the Cooperative Education Program. Cooperative Education also prepares students for school–work transitions with work-based experiences that prepare students to meet the requirements of a specific occupation or apprenticeship.

The sample four-year timetables show how Cooperative Education can fit into a four-year plan for students who would like to enhance their learning with experiential learning. The shaded areas are 15 of 18 compulsory credits required for an OSSD. (See page 2 for an explanation of OSSD requirements.) Subjects listed from one through eight are not in any order of priority and may be taken in a semestered school over two semesters or in a non-semestered school for a full academic year.

All schools do not offer the same courses. Students should check the course offerings in their school and the prerequisites for each course before selecting their courses. As well, students should be aware of the prerequisite courses required for their post-secondary destination. All students and parents should contact the Guidance Office for further information and to plan a timetable that includes Cooperative Education.

Cooperative Education

Technology Focus

Year

1

2

3

4

Additional

1

English

English

English

English

2

Mathematics

Mathematics

Mathematics

English or Business

3

Science

Science

Science

Mathematics

4

Canadian Geography

Canadian History

Technological

Education

Technological

Education

5

French

Civics/Careers

Business

Cooperative

Education

6

Health and Physical

Education

Health and Physical

Education

Social Science/ Can. World Studies

Cooperative

Education

7

Arts

Technological

Education

Cooperative

Education

Cooperative

Education

8

Technology/ Computers/Business

Technological

Education/Business

Cooperative

Education

Cooperative

Education

This Cooperative Education schedule is suited for students who wish to take senior Technological Education courses in any of the broad-based Technological Education areas for a post-secondary destination.

English / Business / Social Science / Canadian and World Studies Focus

Year

1

2

3

4

Additional

1

English English English English

2

Mathematics Mathematics

Mathematics

English

3

Science Science

Business/Language

Mathematics

4

Canadian Geography Canadian History

Social Science/ Can. World Studies

Business/Language

5

French

Civics/Careers

Cooperative

Education

Business

6

Health and Physical

Education

Health and Physical

Education/Arts

Cooperative

Education

Social Science/ Can. World Studies

7

Arts

Co-op

Social Science/ Can. World Studies

Cooperative

Education

8

Technology/ Computers/Business

Co-op

Health and Physical

Education/Arts

Cooperative

Education

This Cooperative Education schedule is suited for students who wish to take senior Science courses for a

post-secondary destination in English, Business, Commerce, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, History, Geography, Political Science, Economics, International Studies.