OCDSB Experiential Learning: Pathway Profiles

OCDSB Experiential Learning: Pathway Profiles
Posted on 06/24/2022
OCDSB Experiential Learning: Pathway Profiles

In secondary schools across the District, experiential learning pathways are connecting students to community partners and authentic, meaningful learning experiences. Program Pathways like Co-Op, Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM), and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) give students the opportunity to apply their formal learning to their life goals and make contributions to their community. 

We caught up with several students who participated in the Co-Op, SHSM and OYAP programs this year. Take a look at their journeys and what they had to say about their experiences:


Lily M-S.

Ottawa Technical Secondary School: Co-Op, OYAP and SHSM

Lily M-SThroughout the years at OTSS, Lily has shown courage, openness, and resilience by trying new things and embracing unfamiliar learning situations for personal and professional growth. Through SHSM and OYAP, Lily explored the Baker Apprenticeship option at one of Ottawa’s most prestigious bakeries, The French Baker. She developed knowledge and skills for preparing breads, croissants, chocolatines, chausson aux pommes, palais royal cakes, baguettes parisiennes, and cheesecakes. Lily decided to expand her critical thinking and academic diversity by completing her next Co-Op placement with the OCDSB’s Innovation and Adolescent Learning (IAL) team. She collaborated with IAL coaches and students from around the District on the successful execution of District events and initiatives. Lily is an innovative and creative learner, demonstrating a desire to build her entrepreneurship skills by recently opening an online business, where she creates, markets, and sells hand-crafted bracelets made from recycled materials.
quote I have learned how to be expressive through my artistic skills and communication skills. I learned how to use Apple applications to communicate (Pages, Clips, Imovie, Keynote). SHSM has helped me be creative through my visual arts and being able to do things hands-on. OYAP helped me when I went to Hawthorne Public School to teach Gr. 7 and 8 students how to make brownies; that was fun! - Lily M-S.

Oliver DOliver D.

Nepean High School: Co-Op

Oliver has been completing his Co-Op term at Turpin-Capital Collision, a collision repair services company in Ottawa. His role, Automotive/Auto Body Technician, involves working in a variety of areas such as mechanical and bodywork. He works on a wide range of tasks, including supporting alignments on cars, preparing for paint jobs, moving around parts like tires, detailing cars, and helping with disposal of used materials
quote The two things I like about my placement is how much fun it is and the people. The trade is a lot more fun than I expected, especially when you're handed the golf cart keys! I also love the people, they are great teachers and also great co-workers. I have yet to meet a single person who hasn't wanted to teach or work with me. Next year I am looking forward to trying out a different trade and broadening my horizon to more career changing opportunities. - Oliver D.

Anibal SAnibal S.

Merivale High School: Co-Op and Communication and Design SHSM

Anibal’s driven, collaborative, and creative approach has made an impact in Ottawa and beyond! Through Co-Op and SHSM, he has given back to his school community, worked with local partners, and supported a non-profit in Toronto. In his first Co-Op term, Anibal worked with the Student Council at Merivale High School, designing posters to promote school initiatives and events. This semester, Anibal has worked with DeSerres on projects for the Toronto-based Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee. He used research and interviewing skills to understand the committee's needs, then drafted poster designs to promote their community Eid Bazaar event. In the process, he gained experience in creating moodboards, using Adobe Illustrator, and building client relationships, all while networking with creative professionals.
quote Co-Op and SHSM have helped me prepare myself for studying Graphic Design in College. Both programs have provided me with incredible experiences, which resulted in hands-on learning with artists and strengthened my understanding of what I can accomplish through Graphic Design. I developed my design skills and knowledge by creating posters. I gained a better understanding of what to do when communicating with clients and collaborating with professionals. Time and effort to better understand my client’s needs has helped me produce better prototypes. - Anibal S.

Isabelle H.Isabelle H.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School: Co-Op

Isabelle worked as a Teacher's Assistant for her Co-op experience. Through her placement, Isabelle has gained experience in educational components like classroom management and leadership, particularly while teaching lessons, and working with students one-on-one to provide academic support. She has been such a valuable addition to Trillium Elementary School, helping build basic foundations for learning (reading, spelling, problem solving etc.), preparing papers and projects, and much more. Isabelle has taken on many projects to help the students fulfill their roles, including a responsibility chart, a station chat, and a home time checklist. Another big project she has contributed to is a mural the students designed for their readers' musical theater. Isabelle has demonstrated exceptional work habits, and has contributed so positively to her placement, she will be greatly missed by the staff and students.
quote In the future I would like to work in the RCMP, do lots of community work, and take on leadership roles. Co-op has given me the experience to not only learn about a profession, but create long lasting skills that will help me excel in my chosen field, while working with all different members of the community as well as taking initiative as a leader. - Isabelle H.

Clark B.Clark B.

Earl of March Secondary School: Co-Op, OYAP, and Manufacturing SHSM

Since February, Clark has been working at Alguire Electric, completing a Co-op as an assistant to the electricians. The company works mainly in residential settings on homes that are being renovated or built, and completes service calls for people who are having electrical issues in their home. Clark has been able to assist with a variety of tasks, including the installation of light fixtures, outlets, meters, and electric car charging stations. He has also had the opportunity to learn about safety codes and regulations, which provided him with valuable insight and experience into what an electrician does for a living. The experience has helped to develop Clark’s skills in organization, communication, observation, planning, teamwork, and problem solving.
quote This experience was instrumental in helping me figure out what I want to do after I finish high school. I now want to pursue a career as an electrician and the skills and knowledge that I have acquired during this co-op will give me a head start on my career. - Clark B.

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