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. Co-op also gives students the opportunity to begin the important skill of networking.
Cooperative Education Programs
Typically students participating in a co-op program earn two or three credits in a semester.
Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program—OYAP
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a special
co-op program that promotes careers in specific professions. OYAP allows students to earn credits toward a high school diploma while gaining knowledge and experience under the supervision of a professional. For many specific careers, the Toronto Catholic District School Board offers a variety of “Accelerated” centrally 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
Child and Youth Worker
Construction Craft Worker
Drywall, Acoustical and Lathing Applicator
Early Childhood Educator
Hairstylist and Cosmetologist
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic
Additional information about OYAP is available at: www.oyaptcdsb.com
The Top 10 Reasons to Take Cooperative Education
- Earn secondary school credits while gaining practical experience.
- Obtain employment references.
- Discover personal interests and abilities.
- Develop confidence and self-reliance.
- Strengthen employment skills through on-the-job training.
- Make the transition from school to work or post-secondary education.
- Use equipment not available in the school and experience employment related-situations in the workplace.
- Improve your qualifications for future employment.
- Explore tentative career choices.
- GAIN VALUABLE WORK EXPERIENCE.
How Do I Apply for Cooperative Education Programs?
Applications are distributed at option selection time and are also available from the guidance 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 at 416-393-5549.