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Co-operative Education Department 210
Co-operative Education Department
What is Cooperative Education?  
  • A unique educational program that integrates classroom course expectations with practical experience in the workplace
  • A full semester planned learning experience for which credits are earned

Why take Co-op?

  • Make informed educational/career decisions
  • Co-op provides An ‘edge’ over others entering the workforce, apprenticeships, college, and university
  • Develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes through hands-on experience
  • Develop maturity and self-confidence
  • Develop/strengthen employability skills
  • Gain valuable work experience and networking opportunities
  • Earn credits

Types of Cooperative Education Programs at Stouffville DSS

  • Subject-based Co-op ( 2 & 4 Credit Packages)                                  
  • ​Militia Co-op  
  • Ontario Youth Apprenticeship: OYAP 
  • Accelerated OYAP  
  • SHSM: Health & Wellness and ** NEW - Business
  • HPA: High Performance Athlete Co-op
  • TA - 1 Credit Teaching Assistant Co-op            

Subject-based Co-op Fields Available                      

  • Accounting/Banking/Finance/Insurance
  • Automotive/Truck and Coach
  • Marketing/Business
  • Computers/IT
  • Construction
  • Dentistry / Orthodontics
  • Engineering (civil and mechanical)
  • Health Care (Hospitals, Clinics, Physiotherapy, Massage, Gerontology, Nursing and Diagnostic Imaging)
  • Hospitality  
  • Law/Enforcement/Fire
  • Recreation and Sport (eg. Golf Course Management and Fitness Instructors)  
  • Teaching
  • Veterinary
  • And many more..........  

How Do I Sign Up For Co-op?

  • In February: during course selection week choose Co-op on your course selection sheet/My Blueprint
  • In April/May:  listen for morning announcements, fill in the Google Form on the Co-op Orientation Google Classroom and visit the Co-op Office, room 1068 anytime!
  • Co-op Department will conduct student interviews in May to prepare for placement experiences
"My healthcare support services co-op placement gave me multiple opportunities to experience the hospital atmosphere first-hand. It also allowed me to make important career decisions that will impact the rest of my life." Miranda S

Stouffville District Secondary School offers the following Cooperative Education Programs:

Cooperative Education Program, Subject Based Co-op

The Cooperative Education Program integrates classroom theory with practical experience in the workplace. Co-op is based on a partnership between the school, a business or community organization and involves the participation of students, teachers and the workplace. It is a credit-earning program. Cooperative Education programming is the foundation to many specialized programs such as: Teaching Assistants, ICE, Militia, Dual Credit, HPA and OYAP.

High Performance Athlete

The High Performance Athlete (HPA) Program is a specialized Cooperative Education Program, for students who are competing at the provincial, national and/or international level.  In HPA Co-op, students practice and demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom, to their training and competition settings.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program  |  OYAP
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) offers Ontario students the opportunity to train as apprentices while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The program encourages students to consider career choices in the skilled trades, a sector which is experiencing rapid growth in employment and job satisfaction.

Co-op for the Health & Wellness & Business SHSM 

The Health & Wellness & Business SHSM are specialized programs that allow students to focus their learning on the Health & Wellness OR Business Sector. It also assists in their transition after graduation to apprenticeship training, college, university or the workplace. Successful SHSM students a SHSM Red Seal embossed on their OSSD and an official SHSM Record documenting the SHSM credits earned, and the Health & Wellness/Business certifications and training received, as a part of their SHSM.

Dual Credit: Accelerated OYAP

Dual Credit Programs and Dual Credit Accelerated OYAP allow students, while they are still in Secondary School, to take college or apprenticeship courses that count towards both the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or degree, or an apprenticeship certification.

Militia Cooperative Education

Militia Co-op students become active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and receive their basic training at Fort York or Aurora Armoires. Students receive a salary, plus four high school credits and have the opportunity to enlist either full-time or stay on as a summer recruit in the Armed Forces.


Please visit Guidance or the Cooperative Education Department
in room 1068 (located beside the Library) for more information.





Frequently Asked Questions regarding Cooperative Education: FAQ's

1.  What are the three components of the Co-op program?

        1Pre-Placement ( Preparing for the Experience): the first two weeks of the semester
“Prior to their placements, Cooperative Education students must attend pre-placement classes at Stouffville DSS during their scheduled co-op period. A variety of topics are covered that will prepare them for their placement. 
Topics covered:
• Create effective résumés, cover letters and reference
• Demonstrate the ability to communicate their interest in a work opportunity effectively e.g., by telephone, in person, or through the mail or e-mail and the Internet);
• Research their potential co-op placement identify common interview questions and demonstrated the ability to respond appropriately and effectively
• Cover placement-specific workplace health and safety considerations
• Understand issues relating to confidentiality and the right to privacy
• Work ethics and the responsible use of information technology
• Review relevant sections of the Employment Standards Act and the Human Rights Act
• Understand the appropriate methods of dealing with and reporting concerns or problems at the placement
Pre-placement orientation will also include an initial student-teacher conference regarding the content of the student’s Cooperative Placment Learning Plan, the CELP

          2  |  Integration Sessionsevery three weeks, held on Wednesdays at school, see the Co-op calendar.

The integration portion of the classroom component of a cooperative education course involves sessions with students covering a variety of topics that relate to the placement, technology, solving problems and health and well-being. Integration sessions provide structured time for students to discuss and analyse their placement experiences with their teachers and peers.

      3 |  Placement Experience( Community Component): students at their actual placement

Through a series of interviews with the student, an appropriate placement is found.  This process involves an assessment of the placement by the Co-op teacher to determine suitability, and an interview of the student by the employer (placement supervisor).  After the successful completion of those two steps, the student can start to attend the placement.  Throughout the semester, the Co-op teacher and the placement supervisor monitor and evaluate the student's progress.


2.  Does the student get paid?

Co-op students earn high school credits, but do not get paid. Some employers may choose to provide a modest honorarium or assist students with work related expenses ie: transportation, uniform, however, this is not common and is not expected.

3.  Can the student be hired by the placement?

The aim of Co-op is to earn credits while obtaining experience in the workplace. Many employers are not in the position to hire students and some employers leave a space open to accept co-op students on a regular basis. If a position does become available, students may accept the opportunity if it does not interfere with school hours and the Work Education Agreement.

4. How does the student get to and from the placement?

Transportation to and from the placement is the responsibility of the student. The pre-placement component will assist the student to map out their bus route if required.

5. Can Co-op hours be used as Community Involvement Hours?

Co-op and Community Involvement are not the same. Through co-op, students benefit by gaining personal work experience. Community Involvement hours, on the other hand, involve volunteer opportunities where the community benefits, these hours must be achieved outside of school hours and approved by Guidance before beginning the hours.

6. Are students insured?

A Work Education Agreement (WEA) is completed for each student and is signed by the student, co-op teacher, employer, and parent (if the student is under 18 years of age). Through the WEA, students are covered by WSIB (Workplace Safety Insurance Board) while at their placements. In addition, parents or students 18 or older may consider purchasing their own insurance.

7. What if the student doesn't like his or her placement?

Prior to attending the placements, all students are interviewed by the co-op teacher in order to match students to placements. In addition, students attend approximately two weeks of pre-placement classes in order to prepare for this endeavour. Students, who positively participate, communicate with co-workers; demonstrate on-going initiative and enthusiasm will be most successful in this partnership experience. When students sign the Work Education Agreement, they are making a commitment to this placement. It is very rare for students to be relocated. The co-op teacher will assist wherever possible to maximize learning and personal growth.

8. What if a student isn't fitting in with the placement?

If the student is not adjusting well to placement expectations, the employer has the right to dismiss the student. The aim is to give students a realistic work experience and help them understand what it takes to get and keep a job. The Co-operative Education program is providing students an opportunity to learn and grow while trying to meet realistic employment opportunities as experienced by all new employees. The Co-op teacher, will continue to work with this student. If the student is unwilling or unable to change his or her focus or behaviour, credits may be in jeopardy. If the student is able to make meaningful adjustments, a new placement may be found if time and circumstances permit.

9. What is expected from employers?

Employers are expected to provide a realistic view of workplace expectations and offer guidance for educational growth. Workplace employees will demonstrate the attitudes and skills required of a successful and responsible employee in a safe and healthy environment. Employers will sign Ministry documents, complete Performance Appraisals, offer a learning environment, which includes job-specific health and safety training, and work in partnership with the co-op teacher to outline work expectations.

10. Who ensures student safety?

The Co-op teacher is expected to provide general safety awareness training during pre-placement sessions. The employer should provide specific safety orientation and ongoing training. Students have the responsibility to wear personal protective equipment at all times, follow workplace guidelines and practices, and report any injuries or hazards.




Information for Employers

Co-operative Education is the school and community partners working together to provide a learning opportunity for students.

The benefits to employers include:
  • Opportunity to preview and train potential future employees
  • Develop supervisory skills in existing employees
  • Create an environment of community involvement
  • Help develop a positive student attitude to our community
  • Improve your communication with the local school
  • Contribute to youth employment in the community
The responsibilities of employers include:
  • Interview the student to determine suitability
  • Deliver specific health and safety training as it relates to your business
  • Provide relevant experience in a safe learning environment
  • Develop learning expectations for the student, in collaboration with the Co-op teacher and the student
  • Provide training and supervision
  • Assist the Co-op teacher to complete assessments of the students performance
  • Verify student hours weekly
  • Encourage students to make connections in the community
  • Report concerns to the Co-op teacher
If you are interested in partnering with the Stouffville DSS Co-op Department, call 905.640.1433 ext. 1068
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