Co-operative Education

What is Co-operative Education?

Cooperative Education (Co-op) provides secondary students with valuable experiential learning to apply, refine and extend their learning from the classroom into the community. Co-op allows students to earn secondary school credits while completing a work experience placement in the community.

Co-op begins with an in-school pre-placement learning plan to ready students for the co-op experience. Students work with the Co-operative Education Teacher to find a community work experience that aligns with their interests and skills. Students are monitored, assessed and evaluated by the Co-operative Education teacher and ongoing feedback is provided from the placement supervisor or employer. Most Co-op placements are designed as half-day programs.

Students may select Co-operative Education in their Grade 11 or 12 year at course selection time. In the first few weeks of the program, students are prepared for their placement as they are educated on topics such as safety, workers rights and employment law. Students are taught how to network and market themselves to potential Co-op employers of their choice. Student set their own goals for learning and draw connections to curriculum and courses already taken in high school.

Students attend placement three hours a day working toward achieving their goals and are assessed by the teacher and employer on their ability to progress toward those goals along with their success at placement.

Co-op allows you to:

  • Gain practical skills that provides students with valuable hands-on experience that other students may not have.

  • Build connections with Co-op mentors that can open doors for your future.

  • Test a career in any of the four pathways (University, College, Apprenticeship & Workplace).

  • Earn two elective or group credits in a placement of your choice.

Benefits of Co-op

  • Many Co-op employers offer employment after a successful Co-op term, or life-long mentorship if students desire, that can help them pursue future employment or education.

  • The practical experience of Co-op is valued by employers and some educational institutions.

  • Experience outside of the school connects your learning to what is actually happening in the real-world and what trends are in future demand.

What type of Co-op experience/placement can I have?

The short answer is... Anything you choose!

Provided the placement is:

Safe; supportive & provides educational value, students can have that experience.

Our students have gained practical skills across all career pathways, including Manufacturing, Art, Engineering, Automotive, Research, Music, Business, Production, Service, & Emergency Services.

For more information on the Co-op program, please reach out to Carolyn Zizzo at