Co-operative Education (Co-op)

Co-operative Education

Through the Student Success initiative, Ontario secondary schools are offering expanded programs to help meet students’ individual learning styles and interests. These programs allow students to customize their high school experience through a variety of new and enhanced learning options. These options include Dual Credits, Specialist High Skills Majors and Co-operative Education.

These programs help to meet the needs, interests and strengths of all students, engaging them in learning and better preparing them for graduation and beyond.

What is Co-op?

Co-op is a ministry-approved program that allows students to earn secondary school credits while completing a work placement. The program consists of a co-op course monitored by a co-operative education teacher, a related curriculum course in any subject and a work placement.

Students can apply two co-op credits towards their compulsory high school graduation requirements, with no limit on earning optional co-op credits. Co-op placements are arranged for students by their secondary school and must follow Ministry of Education policy and guidelines.

Who is Co-op for?

Co-op programs are for secondary students who are heading for apprenticeship, college, university or the workplace.

What are the key benefits of Co-op programs?

Co-op students have the opportunity to:

  • Experience hands-on learning
  • “Test-drive” career options
  • See the relevance of their classroom learning
  • Earn credits through workplace experience
  • Develop the essential skills and habits required in the workplace
  • Gain valuable work experience that will help build a resumé for postsecondary programs and future employment.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Education


Rainbow District School Board now offers a stand alone co-op class (DCO 3CO) that allows students to design their own career exploration opportunities through inquiry-based learning.

To learn more, contact your secondary school principal or the Ministry of Education's website.

Ministry of Education