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Cooperative Education is an experiential mode of learning, delivered under Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development | Ontario.ca guidelines, that integrates academic study and classroom theory with experiences in the workplace. Students divide their time between school and the workplace, spending at least half the day with the employer. While at the workplace, students are provided with challenging responsibilities and learn by doing. This 3-way partnership between the high school student, the business community, and the school combines classroom instruction with practical "on the job" training.
Through Cooperative Education, students should:
- develop employability skills, thus improving chances for getting a full time job
- help enhance the work ethic and provide valuable lessons such as pride in a job well done, punctuality, dependability and honesty
- look to employers to give them an opportunity to prove themselves in real-life work settings
- make it easier to understand how academic education leads to a rewarding future.
What Are Work Experiences?
Cooperative Education students learn at school and then extend those objectives into the workplace. The experience of real working conditions can improve their potential as future employees and can help them develop a positive attitude towards themselves, their education, and their career.
Experiential learning requires that students:
- be mature individuals who are dependable and responsible
- possess a willingness to learn
- be courteous, punctual, and show appropriate initiative
- be taking or have already taken a secondary school credit in the area of study related to a possible cooperative education place, ie: students wanting to work in a garage should have taken or be taking Auto Mechanics; students wanting to work in a daycare should have taken or be taking Parenting, etc. (It should be noted that other related courses may apply in the examples above.)
The related course will determine the grade level of the Cooperative Education credit. (E.g. If the related courses at the grade 11 level, the Cooperative Education credits will also be at the grade 11 level.
Program Overview & Duration
During the pre-placement period, held at the beginning of the semester, the student is in the classroom preparing to enter the world of work. Topics that are covered during these first two weeks include resume and cover letter writing, using the telephone, how to prepare for an interview, health and safety, union, employer expectations, confidentiality and other topics related to work readiness. The Cooperative Education student arranges an interview with a prospective training sponsor, and if successful, would be placed at that business for his/her work experience. During the semester the Cooperative Education student will occasionally come back to class for peer and reflective sessions where they will discuss and share what they have learned at the workplace.
Students Responsibilities in Cooperative Education:
- comply with all company rules as to dress, safety codes, work schedule, and policies
- observe and comply with the rules and regulations of the placement and the school, including confidentiality requirements
- comply with school attendance policies in both the placement and classroom sessions
- submit assignments as required
- inform the placement supervisor and the Cooperative Education Teacher in advance if they are unable to report to their placement.