The Cooperative (Co-op) Education Program at High School

Co-op education is a unique program that integrates academic study with practical workplace experience. A co-op credit will provide you with an excellent opportunity to test drive a job to see if it is suitable. Our high schools offer a range of different co-op programs that offer something in common – real-world work experience.  

Co-ops are beneficial regardless of the program or level of study you are taking. These credits will offer you experience to steer you in a particular direction for education or for work following high school.

What is Co-op?

Co-op education allow you to “try on” a potential career choice by going to work for part of a school day or a full day. Typical co-op programs have students working two to four periods a day. Each student has a Personalized Placement Learning Plan which provides the framework for this learning opportunity. While students spend most of their time at the workplace, they do complete an in-school pre-placement session and participate in integration days with their co-op teacher.

Expanded Co-op Opportunities

As a result of the province's Student Success strategy, we are able to offer you expanded co-op opportunities. You are now able to apply two co-op credits toward compulsory graduation requirements.

This broadens opportunities for experiential learning and gives you a chance to start working and testing career options. These credits are applied to your 18 compulsory credits required for graduation.

Along with this change comes a move to develop stronger partnerships between education, business, and community organizations – the goal is to increase the number of co-op and job placement opportunities for students. 

Contact your high school's guidance department to get more information about co-op courses available.

What is the Difference Between Co-op and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)?

Co-op OYAP
Career driven, career exploration and development Industry/employer driven, developing skilled workers
Credits are tied to any in-school subject Credits may be tied to specific technical studies or any subjects
Follows the Ministry of Education policies and procedures Must meet Ministry of Education and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) policies and guidelines
Must have a Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP) The PPLP must include reference to the MTCU's apprenticeship training standard
No apprenticeship contract Apprenticeship agreement must be signed upon agreement of the employer
Earn credits towards diploma by meeting expectations Earn co-op credits for your diploma and apprenticeship hours/skills for the MTCU
Not allowed to perform any of the restricted skill sets Students can perform all aspects of a compulsory trade under supervision of a licensed journey person
Co-op assistants, not registered apprentices May be registered as true Ontario apprentices while in co-op

For more information about co-op and OYAP opportunities, take a look at our brochure
Connecting Students to Opportunities in Skilled Professions