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Application Process, Placement Ideas and Resources 416
Application Process, Placement Ideas and Resources


  • A co-operative education course consists of a classroom component and a placement component—portions of the student's timetable time are spent at school and at a job placement related to their career choice
  • Students select a co-op placement based on their subject and career area of interest. 
  • The school obtains job placements with emphasis on proximity to school and value of learning and opportunity. 
  • Attendance at placements occurs during the regular school day.
  • Most programs earn two credits (they occupy the same space as two courses on your timetable) and your placement time occurs during the school day.  Your co-op teacher will find you a placement  
  • Co-op hours cannot be used for your 40 hours volunteer service requirement, but it can be used as a Group 1, 2, or 3 credit towards your compulsory credits for your diploma requirements.
  • The first three weeks of your co-op semester is spent in school and after that you attend your regular classes every day of the week, a co-op class on a few Mondays, and your placement four or five half days per week.
  • Marks are based on both in-school and out-of-school performance.


  1. At course selection time, read the individual co-op course descriptions in Career Cruising and select the appropriate code to add to your course planner.
  2. Click on
  3. After the application is complete, you will be interviewed by a Co-op teacher.  
  4. Avoid disappointment and a waiting list during the school year by selecting Co-op for next year NOW!


The emphasis in co-op is for the student to explore and experience a career that they are considering as a destination after high school and post-secondary training.  Students at Unionville High School have explored careers in the following areas:

  • Teaching
  • Physiotherapy
  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Automotive Service
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Fitness
  • Social Service
  • Architecture
  • Engineering
  • Chef/Pastry Chef
  • Chiropractic
  • Finance
  • Accounting 
  • Investing
  • Pharmacy
  • Naturopathy
  • Nutrition
  • Law
  • Day Care
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Law Enforcement
  • And others as student interest and opportunity permit

To read more about the experiences of past and current co-operative education students in our board, click here to read current and past issues of our JUMPSTART Newsletter:

Link to Jumpstart Newsletter


Students are evaluated in co-op according to Ministry of Education expectations.  Both the in-school and placement components of the programs are part of the assessment and evaluation criteria.  Students are responsible to fulfill all aspects of content, attendance and assessment and evaluation in order to be successful in co-op.

For further information regarding co-operative education programs, feel free to contact the co-op or guidance departments at Unionville High School. 

You may also learn more on our board website by following the link below:

 YRDSB Cooperative Education​

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Cooperative Education: FAQ's

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

        1 |  Pre-Placement Orientation: the first three weeks of the semester
“Prior to their placements, Cooperative Education students must attend pre-placement classes  during their scheduled co-op period. A variety of topics are covered that will prepare them for their placement. 
Topics covered include but are not limited to:
• Effective résumés, cover letters and reference
• Communication of their interest in a work opportunity effectively e.g., by telephone, in person, or through the mail or e-mail and the Internet); identify common interview questions and demonstrated the ability to respond appropriately and  effectively;
• Researching their potential co-op placement
• Discussions regarding 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
•  Employment Standards Act and the Human Rights Act
• Understanding the appropriate methods of dealing with and reporting concerns or problems at the placement

          2  |  Integration Sessions:  approximately every two weeks.  A specific calendar will be provided at semester start

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 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 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 placement supervisors 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.

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, placement supervisor, 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 three weeks of pre-placement classes in order to prepare for their placement. 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. Can a student be removed from 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 placement supervisors?

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 Placement Supervisors

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

The benefits to placement supervisors include:
  • Opportunity to preview and train potential future employees
  • Develop supervisory skills in existing employees
  • Create an environment of community involvement
  • Share resources with Unionville High School
  • 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 placement supervisors 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 by signing student log sheets
  • Encourage students to make connections in the community
  • Report concerns to the Co-op teacher
If you are interested in partnering with the Unionville High School Co-op Department, call 905-479-2787, Ext. 220

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