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Cooperative Education

Program Information: Experiential learning programs are planned educational opportunities that take place in the community, including Cooperative Education Programs, Specialized Programs such as School-Work Transition Programs, The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, the International Co-op Program, and Summer School Co-op Programs. These programs provide students who are enrolled, primarily, in Grade 11 and 12 courses of all types and disciplines with the opportunity to enhance their academic experiences and their preparation for the future. In exceptional situations, students in Grades 9 and 10 may be considered for a Cooperative Education Program opportunity. Students need to refer to the prerequisites and recommendations of their post secondary destination of choice to see how experiential learning programs can enhance their opportunities and applications. For more information, visit the YRDSB Website – Community Based Education.


Prerequisite: Cooperative Education programs are linked to subject specific courses. To enrol in a Cooperative Education course, a student must have the subject-specific credit or be concurrently registered in the subject-specific course that relates to the Cooperative Education placement. (For example, working in the medical field would be appropriately linked to a related Biology credit). The Co-op credits earned will be the same grade level and course type as the related course. Thus, a credit in SBI3U allows a student to earn 1 or 2 Cooperative Education credits in SBI3UC. The same applies to a student registered concurrently in SBI3U and SBI3UC.

All students registering in Cooperative Education must complete the application process described below. 

Application Process: Once students have selected a Cooperative Education Program in their on-line knapsack, they must make special application to the program through the Community Based Education Head in their local high school. The application form can be downloaded at the YRDSB Website – Community Based Education

Cooperative Education Programs (COP..): Cooperative Education is a credit-granting, planned- learning experience that integrates classroom theory with practical experience in the workplace. The placement is directly related to the subject to which it is linked and enables the student to apply and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related curriculum course or locally developed program. Students earn credits when course expectations are met. Students should refer to their individual school calendars for related courses. Entry into a Cooperative Education Program is based upon the student having the necessary educational background and maturity to handle the rigor of the curriculum. Students make special application to the program.

For more information, visit the YRDSB Website – Community Based Education.

Specialized Co-operative Education Programs  


Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP): (COP3X, COP4X) The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program is a specialized program that enables students who are 16 years of age or older to meet diploma requirements while participating in an occupation that requires apprenticeship training. Students participating in OYAP must have completed sixteen credits towards their OSSD prior to starting the program. They must be enrolled as full time students, and they are required to complete all OSSD compulsory credits. Students earn credits through the Cooperative Education Program and may or may not be formally registered as an apprentice while attending secondary school. This program provides opportunities in both regulated and non-regulated trades. Students should see their school guidance departments for trade specific requirements and programming options. Students should see their Community Based Education Head for further information on program delivery and procedures for applying. For more information visit the YRDSB Website – OYAP.

Accelerated Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP): (COP4X) The Accelerated OYAP program provides students with the opportunity to extend the OYAP experience by earning high school credits, registering as an apprentice, completing part or all of their Level One apprenticeship schooling in a specific trade, and earning hours/demonstrating competencies towards their apprenticeship. In selected trades, students may concurrently earn additional high school credit(s) through this dual credit opportunity. Accelerated OYAP programs may be available in the following trades: Automotive Service Technician, Cook, Child Development Practitioner, Drywall, Acousticand Lathing Applicator, Electrician, Floor Covering Installer, General Carpenter, Plumber, and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic. Students must be enrolled in a four-credit, Semester Two Cooperative Education program to be eligible to apply for an Accelerated OYAP program. Students should see their Community-Based Education Subject Head for further information on eligibility and procedures for applying.        

School-Work Transition Programs

School-to-Work Transition Programs are specialized programs that prepare students for post secondary transitions directly into the workplace, apprenticeship or independent living. These programs consist of a number of courses that prepare students to meet the requirements of specific workplace occupations or apprenticeships. Some of the courses will have job shadowing opportunities or work experience opportunities as part of the course delivery. The in-depth training is then extended through a Cooperative Education Program as the student moves towards post-secondary education or workplace destinations. Students should refer to their local school calendars for more information about the courses offered in their school. For more information, visit the YRDSB Website – Community Based Education


Experiential Learning Opportunities - Available System Wide


Exploring Opportunities Program (EOP): "Building Equitable Access to Apprenticeship" (Grade 11 - SCE3X; Grade 12 - SCE4X))

EOP is a system-wide program for students with an interest and aptitude in any one of the four trade sectors: manufacturing, construction, service and transportation.

The program helps students accumulate credits and work experience with a focus on the skilled trades within these sectors. This program benefits students interested in participating in an Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) in future years and provides them with the option for basic-level training. The in-school courses, industry certifications and work experience provide students with the foundation for a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM).

The programs are offered at the following locations: Construction - Richmond Green S.S. and Sutton D.H.S.
Manufacturing - Huron Heights S.S.
Service (Travel and Tourism) - Bayview S.S. (College and High School Dual Credit program)
Transportation - Alexander Mackenzie S.S.

International Cooperative Education (ICE) Program to Ecuador: (Grade 11 - REG3X; Grade 12 - REG4X)

An overseas Cooperative Education experience! Spanish language and cultural immersion! Six high school credits in one semester! Part of the regular OSSD program in Grade 11 or 12, or as a GAP 5th year of high school to learn about oneself and the world. Preparation for careers and further education in the areas of communications, cultural relations, education, environment, foreign service, health sciences, international development, international business, politics, psychology, social work, sociology and more.

ICE integrates an Interdisciplinary Studies Program with a standard Cooperative Education Program but with an international twist. Students spend 3.5 months in the Andean Region of Ecuador while living with a host family and participating in Cooperative Education work placements in the fields of agriculture, education, health care, small business or social work. Course package includes:

CGU4U Grade 12, Human Patterns and Interactions,
Geography (1.0 credit)
ICP4U Grade 12, Interdisciplinary Studies,
Geography (1.0 credit)
CPW4U Grade 12, Canadian and World Politics,
History (1.0 credit)
IDP4UC Grade 12, Interdisciplinary Studies Co-op,
Co-op (2.0 credits)
LWS__C Grades 10-12, Spanish Co-op,
Co-op (1.0 credit)

Prerequisite: 1 secondary school Spanish credit, minimum 16 years of age upon departure.

For more information about this program, YRDSB Website – ICE, or contact the Community Based Education Department in your school.

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM):

These new Ministry of Education programs allow students to focus their learning on a specific industry/business sector. Students from across York Region can enrol in SHSMs focused on Manufacturing at Huron Heights, Construction at Richmond Green, or Health and Wellness at Sir William Mulock and/or Huron Heights. These programs include focused learning in eight to ten required Grade 11 and 12 credits complemented by industry/business-recognized certifications and relevant work experience in the field of interest. Students are provided with opportunities to 'reach-ahead' and experience first-hand what it is like to work or study in their chosen destination whether it be apprenticeship, college, university or the workplace. Students who successfully complete a SHSM program will receive a special Ontario Secondary School Diploma with a SHSM red seal and a SHSM Record documenting their SHSM courses and certifications. Interested students should contact Guidance Services in their secondary school for information on how to register for these programs. 

Co-op 1 Credit COP1X
Co-op 2 credits COP2X
Co-op 4 credits COP3X
Co-op COP4X