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Academics – Cooperative Education

What is Cooperative Education?

Cooperative Education is a program that integrates classroom theory with practical experience in the workplace. The program is based on a partnership between the school and business/industry. It involves the participation of students, teachers and placement supervisors.

Making choices for the future can be difficult. It may not be easy to decide what you want to do once you have completed your education. What's more, the career you choose may turn out to be very different from what you had expected.

Cooperative Education can help smooth the way. It provides an opportunity for you to explore career choices and enables you to gain valuable experience before you start work on a full-time basis. As a result, you should be in a better position to make sound and realistic decisions about your future.

Cooperative Education allows you to explore a career area you are interested in while earning credits for your high school diploma. Teachers arrange for work placements for co-op students, and then monitor the students’ progress and learning at the placement throughout the semester.

How does it work?

Students work in placements closely associated with the curriculum of an in-school related subject. There is an in-school component that prepares students for their work experience and provides an opportunity for integration and reflection activities. There is also a work experience component that enables students to incorporate the course objectives of the in-school subject into the work placement.

Through co-op, employability skills are improved and students have the opportunity to explore education and career paths and the opportunity to begin the important skill of networking.

Reasons to Take Cooperative Education

  • Build your skills.
  • Get hands-on work experience.
  • Earn credits towards your diploma.
  • Confirm your post-secondary career choice before you start university or college.
  • Start your apprenticeship while still in high school.

Types of Cooperative Education Packages

Students participating in a co-op program can earn two, three or four credits in a semester exploring a career area specific to their interests.

Customize Your Education

Students can now count up to two cooperative education credits towards the 18 compulsory credits need for a high school diploma.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a special cooperative education program that promotes careers in the skilled trade professions. OYAP allows students to earn credits toward a high school diploma while gaining knowledge and experience under the supervision of a skilled professional.

In addition, for many specific careers, the Toronto Catholic District School Board offers a variety of “Accelerated” centrally co-coordinated OYAP programs. These accelerated programs are offered to students in the second semester of grade 12 and students will earn four credits. The application process, which includes, open-house sessions and an interview, takes place in the Fall.

(Please note that the Automotive Service Technician or Truck and Coach Technician is a two-year program that begins in grade 11.)

Presently, there are thirteen such “Accelerated” programs within the Toronto Catholic District School Board:

  • Automotive Service Technician or Truck and Coach
  • Technician
  • Baker
  • Child Development Practitioner
  • Child and Youth Worker
  • Construction Craft Worker
  • Cook
  • Drywall, Acoustical and Lathing Applicator
  • Electrician
  • Floor Covering Installer
  • General Carpenter
  • Hairstylist
  • Plumber
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic

Additional information about OYAP is available at the OYAP TCDSB website.

Central Cooperative Education Placements

Some of the specialized placements that are also available to students include:

  • Hospitals
  • Toronto Police Services
  • Toronto Fire Services
  • Army Reserve
  • Rogers TV

Students are required to fill in specialized application forms when applying to these placements.

How Do I Apply for Cooperative Education Programs?

Applications are distributed at option selection time and are also available from the Student Services and the Co-op offices. Students are interviewed to determine their area of interest and they will have an opportunity to share their goals for career exploration.

For more information about participating in the program, please contact the Co-op Department or Student Services at 416-393-5549.