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Co-operative Education (Co-op)

Co-operative Education

All students can benefit from Co-operative Education. Through Co-operative Education, students develop a reflective habit of mind to derive meaning from their experiences, the ability to apply their learning o influence decisions and actions in various aspects of their lives, and the skills, knowledge and habits of mind required to become competent and confident education and career/life planners.

To learn more, contact the guidance office or Co-operative Education teacher at your school.

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