Wellington Catholic
District School Board
We have Faith in Education.
Cooperative Education Programs


 

What is Cooperative Education?​

 

Why Take Cooperative Education?​​

 

Information for Students

        

Information for Employers​

What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education is a ministry-approved program that allows students to earn secondary school credits while completing a work placement.  The program consists of a co-op course monitored by a cooperative education teacher, a related curriculum course in any subject and a work placement.
 
Students can apply two co-op credits towards their compulsory high school graduation requirements, with no limit on earning optional co-op credits. Co-op placements are arranged for students by their secondary school and must follow Ministry of Education policy and guidelines.
 
Students select cooperative education during course selection. See a Guidance Counsellor for more information.
 

Cooperative Education Fact Sheet

Cooperative Education and Other Forms of Experiential Learning Policies and Procedures for Ontario Secondary Schools

A Unique Program Delivery Partnership 

The Wellington Catholic District School Board and Upper Grand District School Board, in a unique and unparalleled partnership, have collaborated since 1976 to jointly manage the Co-operative Education program as School to Career Programs. Shared policies, procedures, facilities and personnel have strengthened the experiential learning programs for students. In September 2000, Wellington Catholic District School Board and Upper Grand District School Board and combined their individual Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs (OYAP) into a single OYAP program with joint personnel and practices. 

   Why Take Cooperative Education?

Co-op students have the opportunity to:
  • Experience hands-on learning
  • "Test-drive" career options.  
  • See the relevance of classroom learning.
  • Earn credits through workplace experience. 
  • Gain valuable work experience that will help build a resume for postsecondary programs and future employment.​

Information for Students

The purpose of Co-op is to expose students to the reality of the workplace and to explore career opportunities by providing hands-on training in community placements. A Co-operative Education experience enhances self-esteem, promotes personal growth and assists students with decisions regarding post secondary programs and future job opportunities. education.

Attendance

  • students are scheduled either first or second semester, morning or afternoon, or full days

  • students work either 4 or 5 days per week, for a minimum of 3 hours per day; some schools offer full day programs for a minimum of 6 hours

  • good attendance is critical at both the school and the placement

  • if absence is unavoidable, students must phone the school and the placement before the scheduled start time

  • students will be required to make up time missed at the placement due to illness or other reasons

  • students will be expected to complete the full work term as outlined in the Work Education Agreement

  • persistent lateness or absence could result in loss of work placement and/or credits

Age Requirements

Students Must:

  • be least 14 years of age

  • follow the minimum age restrictions as set out under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to visit or work in specific types of workplaces

  • be responsible for travel arrangements to and from the placement

  • conduct themselves as employees of the company - if problems arise and persist, employers have the option to terminate students (as a last resort) and students may lose Co-op credits

  • abide by the placement dress code

 

What Coop Placements Are Available for Students?  

Each year, approximately 1,100 senior students participate in a variety of subject related Co-op experiences. We are actively recruiting potential new placements for our students, as School to Career Programs continue to grow and develop. We are convinced that this unique business/education liaison will enable our students to make more satisfying and realistic career decisions.

Currently we offer Co-op Education placements in the following career pathways:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Computers
  • Cosmetology
  • Early Childhood
  • Education
 
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Science:
    • Animal Care
    • Athletics
    • Environment
    • General
    • Healthcare
     

 

 

 

 

 

To see employers who have active placements within their organization, please contact a guidance counsellor or coop teacher at your school for login instructions.

Information for Employers

The purpose of Co-op is to expose students to the reality of the workplace and to explore career opportunities by providing hands-on training in community placements. A Co-operative Education experience enhances self-esteem, promotes personal growth and assists students with decisions regarding post secondary programs and future job opportunities.

Employers will:

  • provide a detailed job ad for our Employer Database

  • interview the student - or several students in the case of competitive placements

  • designate one or more employees to be responsible for supervising and evaluating student

  • meet with the teacher to complete or review the Placement Assessment Checklist

  • provide orientation and all necessary health and safety training

  • provide an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment

  • work with the teacher to develop and evaluate student's learning plan at the placement

  • complete 2 or 3 job performance appraisals for the students

Workplace Safety Insurance Board

  • students are covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance Board for the agreed Co-op hours at the placement; WSIB coverage outside the agreed hours is the employer's responsibility

  • if placement hours vary, an adjustment to hours form must be completed

  • students should not be required to drive vehicles as part of their Co-op program (if companies request that students operate company vehicles, the companies assume responsibility for coverage)

  • the Board's insurance policy covers liability to employer property

Information About Students

  • Co-op students are at least 14 years of age

  • students and employers MUST follow the minimum age restrictions as set out under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to visit or work in specific types of workplaces

  • travel arrangements to and from the placement are the responsibility of students

  • at the placement, students are expected to conduct themselves as employees of the company - if problems arise and persist, employers have the option to terminate students (as a last resort) and students may lose Co-op credits

  • students are expected to abide by the placement dress code

​​

Other Experiential Learning

Work experience is a component of a credit course that provides students with a learning opportunity in the workplace for a limited period of time – from one to four weeks. A major objective of work experience is to help students connect what they are learning in school to what they will need in the workplace. Work experience also enables many students with special learning needs to experience a variety of opportunities and to learn more about both themselves and the world of work.

Similar to the Co-op program, a student who goes out on a work experience is first provided with instruction in job-readiness skills, health and safety procedures in the workplace, as well as school and placement expectations. A work plan (including assessment criteria) based on curriculum expectations is developed by the teacher in collaboration with the participating placement supervisor. Students are usually visited once by their teacher during the experience to see that the expectations of the work plan are being met, and once back in the classroom, time is provided for student reflection on their out-of-school experiences and relating them to their course expectations. Every work experience involves filling in the WSIB and Board Consent forms. The School to Career office provides forms and information on reporting of accidents.

Experiential learning can assist all students, including exceptional students, who are bound for apprenticeship, college, university, or the workplace, in making career decisions as well as in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are essential in today’s society. All forms of experiential learning are a valuable complement to any student’s academic experiences and preparation for the future. Both Upper Grand and Wellington Catholic School Boards are committed to developing pathways for students to aid them in choosing courses that relate to their future career goals. These pathways will include some form of experiential learning in varying degrees.

Planned learning experiences that take place in the community, including job shadowing and job twinning, work experience and virtual work experience, and cooperative education, provide students who are enrolled in courses of all types and in all disciplines with the opportunity to enhance their school programs. Experiential learning can assist all students, including exceptional students, who are bound for university, college, apprenticeship, or the workplace, in making career decisions as well as in developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are essential in today’s society.

Job shadowing and job twinning normally involve only one-half to one school day and have no credit value independent of the course within which they are undertaken. Work experience and virtual work experience last somewhat longer – from one to four weeks – and also have no independent credit value. Cooperative education, the main subject of Part Two of this document, may be a culmination of a series of different forms of experiential learning. It is offered in the form of credit courses that are scheduled for a full term. Finally, programs that incorporate cooperative education or other forms of experiential learning, such as school–work transition programs and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), have variable formats and involve the earning of credits. All of these forms of experiential learning are summarized in the accompanying chart and described individually in the following sections.

Job Shadowing

  • involves the pairing of a student with a worker in a specific occupation

  • may be integrated with a credit course

  • may be part of a student’s school–work transition program

Job Twinning

  • involves the pairing of a student with a cooperative education student

  • may be integrated with a credit course

  • may be part of a student’s school– work transition program

Work Experience

  • involves a short-term, subject-related work placement

  • forms an integral part of a specific credit course

  • requires pre-placement orientation

  • requires a learning plan

Cooperative Education

  • requires a personalized placement learning plan

  • involves the earning of credits

  • requires pre-placement orientation

  • is monitored by the cooperative education teacher

  • integrates classroom and workplace learning

  • involves reflective learning

  • involves student assessment

School-to-Work Transition Programs

  • is oriented towards students who will be entering the workforce directly after high school

  • involves the development of partnerships with employers

  • involves the enhancement of curriculum with input from employers

  • involves the earning of cooperative education credits

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

  • is designed for students 16 years of age and older who have already earned 16 credits towards the OSSD

  • may involve the student’s registration in an apprenticeship

  • requires documentation by the student and trainer regarding trade specific competencies acquired

  • involves the earning of cooperative education credits​​​

  
  
  
  
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