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Co-op

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.

Cooperative education allows students to participate in valuable learning experiences that help prepare them for the next stage of their lives, whether in university, college, apprenticeship training or the workplace.

Cooperative education lets students make connections between school and work and to “try out” a career of interest before finalizing plans for postsecondary education, training, or employment.

Cooperative education allows students to see the relevance of their classroom learning in a work situation and it gives them authentic experience and purposeful learning outside a traditional classroom setting.

What can co-op do for me?

  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Start to build your professional network
  • Develop skills necessary for success in a field of your choice
  • Gain confidence working with adults
  • Learn about rights and responsibilities of work
  • Increase my contacts/enhance my resume
  • Enhance my college/university applications
  • Earn school credits by an alternate route

Eligibility for Co-op

  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Have parental consent
  • Be enrolled in (or have previously earned) a credit relating to the placement (example: a grade 11/12 accounting for accounting co-op)
  • Attend an interview with co-op teacher
Students applying for co-op must complete an application form.
Final approval will be granted by the school.

Additional Co-op Information

Students must earn 12 optional credits for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. There is no limit on the number of optional credits that may be earned through cooperative education courses.

Cooperative education credits may be used to meet up to two of the 18 compulsory credit requirements for the OSSD.

Students can earn their co-op hours after school and on weekends if required.

High Performance Athletes can earn co-op credits. Students are given the opportunity to earn Cooperative Education credits while training to compete or perform in their chosen area. The training and performing/competing experience is the Cooperative Education placement. This enables students to pursue both their academic and athletic or artistic goals within an experiential learning program.

Credit Combinations

2-credit co-op:
Students work for a minimum of 3 hours each day. These students usually attend one class per day (for a total of 3 credits). Choose COP308.

3-credit co-op:
Students work for a minimum of 4.5 hours per day. Depending on travel time, these students can also attend a period 1 class (for a total of 4 credits). Choose COP307 and COP308.

4-credit co-op:
Students work for a minimum of 6 hours per day.  Choose COP308 and COP408. 

Students are able to earn their co-op hours after school and on weekends for certain placements.
 

How do I apply for Co-op?

Read the co-op section in the program book and choose co-op when you register for your courses.  Complete the application form and submit it to Guidance or Room 136.

All candidates will be interviewed by the OT co-op staff during in April and May. 

Sample Placements

Regional Placements:
OT Hospital, Trillium Hospital, Cogeco Cable, Habitat for Humanity, Halton Safety Village.  Listen to the Morning Announcements or see Mrs. Stearns-
Brown in Room 136 for application deadlines.

Toronto Placements:
St. Mike's and Sick Kids Hospital offer placements that are highly competitive.  See Mrs. Stearns-Brown to discuss the possibility of applying to one of these positions.

Other Placements:
Students also do co-op placements at a variety of business offices (e.g. accounting, marketing, HR...), elementary schools, automotive shops, physiotherapy clinics, retail stores, construction firms, day care facilities, veterinarian clinics, and the food services industry.  

Students are welcome to find their own placements too!  


ON THE JOB - STUDENT TESTIMONIALS

Throughout my co-op there have been many amazing and memorable experiences. The best thing that I experienced was having a child who had never spoken before, talk to me.    (Alyssa, YMCA Daycare)

The most memorable moments of my coop term was when I had to develop relationships with the Technicians in the shop at Mercedes. Understanding the right way to communicate with adult co-workers will benefit me in the future for new workplace environments when I have to make new relationships.    (Cody, Mercedes Benz Oakville)

I feel as though this semester has just started and I can’t believe that it is almost over! I have had a great time at Vocado and I’ve had some very good experiences. One of my most rewarding memories at Vocado is the first time I ever made a sale.    (Katie, Vocado)

 Looking back on this co-op placement, I am reminded of many positive and rewarding learning experiences. One of these memories occurred last Friday when I directed and covered a variety of crew positions during TVCogeco’s coverage of the Relay for Life event in Burlington.    (Laura, TV Cogeco)

 I got the chance to attend many medical and non-medical seminars discussing many different topics like: ICU Delirium, Mental Health patients and the scale in which they use to determine admitting or not, how to get into medical school, and so many more. I definitely will not forget those experiences.    (Alyssa, Sick Kids)

 My coop experience at O’Finns has been amazing. I’ve learned the basics of cooking and already started to attune my taste in foods and spices. I have greatly improved my skills in the kitchen and preparing food, along with learning some new techniques.    (Erich, O'Finns)                                                                                                                                         


CO-OP Students Get Their Foot in the Door - Summer Jobs 

Many students have been offered part-time or summer jobs following a successful co-op placement.

Co-op students are also using their experience and their reference letters to enhance their college and university applications.  They are making valuable connections and networking with future employers. 

Consider a semester of co-op before you graduate.  Drop into guidance and see your counselor or Mrs. Stearns-Brown in room 136 to see how you can fit this experiential program into your school plan.

Students who are considering a medical co-op should plan ahead.  See Mrs. Stearns-Brown for some suggestions on how to make this work!

Contact Mrs. Stearns-Brown at 905-845-2875 ext. 180

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Oakville Trafalgar,
Feb 4, 2013, 7:10 PM