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Cooperative Education cooperative education experiental learning

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Cooperative Education is a unique program for students, integrating academic study with practical experience in business and industry. This learning experience helps students make informed decisions about future work, careers and education. Students develop the work habits, attitudes and job skills necessary for a successful transition from school to the workplace or other post-secondary destinations.
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 What is Cooperative Education?
  • Cooperative Education is a program that allows students to earn secondary school credits while completing a work placement in the community.
  • A student’s co-op program consists of the cooperative education course, which is monitored by a cooperative education teacher, and the related curriculum course (that is, a course in any discipline, such as business studies, mathematics, or technological education). Every student in a co-op program must have a Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan (SCELP), which shows how the student’s related curriculum course is being applied at his or her co-op placement.
  • The cooperative education course consists of a classroom component and a placement component. The classroom component includes pre-placement instruction, which prepares students for the workplace and includes instruction in areas of key importance such as health and safety, and classroom sessions held at various times during and after the placement, which provide opportunities for students to reflect on and reinforce their learning in the workplace.
  • Cooperative education allows students to participate in valuable learning experiences that help prepare them for the next stage of their lives, whether in apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, or the workplace.
  • Co-op placements are arranged for students by their school and must follow Ministry of Education policy and guidelines.


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How Does Cooperative Education Work?

A company agrees to provide a placement for a student and designates an employee to supervise the learning. A scheduled interview determines the student’s acceptance. Work schedules vary: (half, full, consecutive, alternate days, or summer). Learning opportunities at the placement are linked with a student’s academic studies, education plan, and personal goals and abilities through a Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan. The teacher, the student and the placement supervisor work together to design the learning plan. The teacher monitors regularly to assess student progress, with supervisor’s input and to promote successful student learning. Credit(s) are awarded upon successful completion of program expectations.
Central Cooperative Education placements in the Toronto Catholic District School Board 
Students may apply and interview for placement opportunities with:
  • Hospitals
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Police Services
  • Toronto Fire Services
  • Army Reserve
  • TCDSB Facilities Department
  • Continuous In-Take Cooperative Education
Continuous In-Take Cooperative Education
The Toronto Catholic District School Board provides Continuous In-Take Cooperative Education (CIC) Programming for students who require a flexible and adaptable environment to meet their educational needs.
Centralized cooperative education staff provide students with the opportunity to have flexible timetables when they require: a different educational environment, or a way to earn credits while they are meeting family obligations, or a venue to earn credits when they re-enter the school system, or the opportunity to change their timetable when they are not meeting success in their current scheduled courses, or the opportunity to achieve academic success through a different mode of learning.
Students may enter into the CIC program at any point in time during the school year and they have the possibility to earn 1 – 4 credits per semester depending on their other obligations and the amount of time that they can be devoted to the program.
Please note: School staff must refer students to the program based on established criteria and the students must apply for and be interviewed by CIC staff before they are accepted into the program.
Responsibilities In Cooperative Education
Student Responsibilities Include:
  • work safely and diligently
  • attend workplace as agreed
  • complete assignments required by teacher and supervisor
Supervisor Responsibilities Include:
  • interview and accept appropriate student
  • provide real work experience in a safe learning environment free from discrimination and harassment
  • ensure Health and Safety training
  • work with teacher to develop Personalized Placement Learning Plan
  • give clear instructions and supervise learning experiences
  • share expertise with student
  • assist in performance assessment
Teacher Responsibilities Include:
  • select and prepare student for co-op placement
  • match student with appropriate placement by interests/capabilities
  • complete Placement Assessment Guideline
  • support supervisor and student throughout the program
  • develop Student Cooperative Education Learning Plan with supervisor
  • integrate workplace experience with curriculum expectations
  • monitor student learning
  • evaluate student performance
  • assign final grade

Are you interested?
To find out more or to get involved consult the school course calendar and speak to the cooperative education teacher or guidance counselor at your local high school.

For Further Information Contact:
Lori D'Agostino: Resource Teacher
Cooperative Education and Experiential Learning
Ext. 2960, Lori.D'
Testimonials from Co Op students and Employers
Students enrolled in Cooperative Education programs are eligible to apply, and be interviewed for the opportunity to participate in specialized co-op placements which are centrally coordinated. All of these placement opportunities have their own specific criteria for eligibility and involve a competitive interview process.