Cooperative Education

Shaping the workforce of the future

Cooperative Education (Co-op) is a course that allows students to earn high school credits while completing a work placement in the community.  Co-op credits provide students with an opportunity to build on their skills, gain practical work experience and prepare for their future.  Together, the employer, student and teacher work together to provide students with challenging growth and learning opportunities.
Benefits of cooperative education
  • Attract energetic, motivated and job-ready students prepared to apply the latest in technology and ideas
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage is provided by the Ministry of Education for unpaid learners
  • Cost-effective, additional support in the workplace
  • Participate in a positive community partnership
  • Potential to hire students for after-school, weekend or summer work
  • Opportunity to recruit and train a future employee
  • Train the workforce of the future, and help keep our economy stimulated and renewed
  • Influence young peoples’ attitudes toward work and school
  • Students bring new ideas, fresh perspectives and enthusiasm to the workplace
  • Develop and build their resume
  • Discover new personal strengths and skills
  • Earn up to four credits each semester 
  • Get trained and gain experience
  • Develop a network of contacts
  • Gain awareness of career options
  • Two credits of co-op can be used to fulfill mandatory diploma requirements
  • Helps confirm postsecondary interests
  • Opportunity to start an apprenticeship as early as Grade 11
How co-op works

Students are in-class for approximately 1-3 weeks at the beginning of each semester to get job ready for the workplace and will participate in classroom-based integration sessions throughout the placement.  Students are placed with businesses, employers, and organizations in the community based on their interests and the opportunities available.  

Two credit co-op students generally work in the mornings or afternoons while four credit students work both in the morning and afternoon.  

Co-op is designed to be beneficial and promote networking and training opportunities between students and working adults who are willing to share their knowledge.

Want to provide a co-op experience?

At the Simcoe County District School Board, we believe in shaping the workforce of the future! Cooperative education experiences provide students with community-based work experiences that enable them to apply and reflect on classroom learning in a context outside of school. We know that students are often more engaged and motivated when their learning experiences are meaningful and connected to everyday life and community.  

Thank you for your interest in providing a co-op placement. Your willingness to help is important, and makes a difference for students in our communities. Please click below if you would like to partner with us.

Provide a co-op experience

Accident insurance

While at the work placement, students are covered by WSIB through the Ministry of Education provided they are not being paid at their placement. The emphasis of the program is to provide students with the ability to develop skills in a challenging learning environment. Students are awarded credits towards their diploma and benefit from the skills learned, work habits developed and experiences obtained.

  • Interview students to ensure a mutually beneficial experience
  •  Provide students with a safe working environment
  • Offer students the opportunity to learn from experts in the field
  • Designate one employee for supervising and assessing student performance
  • Provide students with oral and written feedback
  • Provide challenging learning experiences that will encourage personal growth and help students develop career goals
  • Meet with teacher over the course of placement to discuss student progress and identify areas for improvement
  • Provide orientation and site-specific health and safety training
  • Participate in and complete all required assignments before and during placement
  •  Observe all health and safety regulations, work in a safe and professional manner, and wear any required personal protective equipment (PPE) at the placement
  • Comply with all company and school rules as to dress, conduct, work schedule, and policies
  • Conduct oneself in a courteous, responsible, and positive manner
  • Maintain professional working relationships with customers and co-workers
  • Articulate learning and work experience opportunities of interest
  • Participate with supervisor, or designate, and teachers in the assessment of performance
  • Are responsible for transportation to and from the work site
  • Are responsible for any costs associated with placement which may include workplace uniform or safety equipment, criminal background check or other screening, and any required immunizations
Opportunities to apprentice

The cooperative education program allows students to not only earn credits towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), but for those students interested in apprenticeship they can begin as early as Grade 11. This option serves students who have interest in a skilled trade, who are motivated, and who have built strong working relationships with their employer. 

For more information on how the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) works, please visit and speak with your high school guidance counselor and/or cooperative education teacher.

High school contacts
Contact information
Banting Memorial High School (705) 435-6288 
Barrie North Collegiate Institute (705) 726-6541
Bear Creek Secondary School (705) 725-7712
Bradford District High School (905) 775-2262
Collingwood Collegiate Institute (705) 445-3161
Eastview Secondary School (705) 728-1321
Elmvale District High School (705) 322-2201
Innisdale Secondary School  (705) 726-2552
Georgian Bay District Secondary School (705) 526-7817
Maple Ridge Secondary School  (705) 725-9647
Nantyr Shores Secondary School  (705) 431-5950
Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School  (705) 424-5030
Orillia Secondary School  (705) 326-7394
Simcoe Shores Secondary School  (705) 728-7601
Stayner Collegiate Institute  (705) 325-1318
Twin Lakes Secondary School  (705) 325-1318

How does cooperative education help students meet diploma requirements?
  • Cooperative education credits may be used to meet up to two of the 18 compulsory credit requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • Students must also earn 12 optional credits through the OSSD. There is no limit on the number of optional credits that may be earned through cooperative education courses
  • Under the ministry-approved framework for the new Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) designation within the OSSD, students must earn a minimum of two cooperative education credits as one of the five required components of a SHSM. Cooperative education credits are also a required component of other specialized programs, such as school-to-work and school-to-apprenticeship (OYAP) programs
Additional information