What is Cooperative Education for High School Students?

The Cooperative education (Co-op) program provides Grade 11 and 12 students with the opportunity to earn High School credits through the completion of a semester-long unpaid work placement.

Co-op programs are designed to meet your individual career goals, strengths, interests, and learning styles, preparing you with the knowledge, skills, and workplace experience needed to be successful in the future.

The Co-op Education Program Includes:

  • A work placement
  • A Co-op teacher supervisor
  • A related High School course

Who Can Participate in a Co-op?

All Grade 11 and 12 students are eligible to participate in the program.

Do Co-op Placements have Fees?

Participating in a Co-op program is free. However, you will not be paid for the work you complete. You will receive academic credit for the placement. Depending on the location of you Co-op, you may have to budget for travel costs.

What are the Benefits of the Co-op Program for Students?

Through Co-op you will have the opportunity to:

  • Pursue a work placement in a field of interest
  • Use knowledge and skills from your classroom in the workplace
  • Earn high school credits through work experience
  • Try out different career options
  • Earn valuable work experience for your resume
  • Make connections with employers
  • Learn new practical skills
  • Build your resume for university/college applications

Selecting a Co-op Placement:

When searching for a work placement, it is important that you search in a field that interests you. Your placement should give you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, develop essential skills, and make meaningful connections.

Interested in Co-op at Your High School?

All Ontario school boards offer the Cooperative Education program. Any Grade 11 and 12 student interested in a Co-op can contact their high school’s principal, guidance counsellor or Co-op department. You can also contact the Student Success Leader in your school board.

For More Information

  • Local School Boards - A list of local school boards across Ontario. From the Ontario Ministry of Education.
  • The Newcomer's Guide to Secondary School in Ontario - This guide outlines how high schools in Ontario are structured, the resources available to newcomer youth and how to help your children succeed as they adjust to school in Ontario. From Settlement.Org.
Last updated: February 13, 2019 4006276