Cooperative Education is a work experience program which allows students to earn credits for work performed in a community setting. It provides students with a chance to explore a career of interest, apply skills and knowledge learned in school, and bring courses to LIFE! Currently there are over 2000 Hamilton employers who take co-op students in a wide variety of career areas.
Limitations of Co-op
Co-op hours often extend beyond that of the regular school day and involves travel to and from the placement by bus, car, etc. As a result, it may interfere with extra-curricular activities. For this reason co-op should be taken in the “off” semester or apart from scheduled practices or games. Some timetabling issues may arise where a particular placement is offered in the half of the day when single section courses are scheduled. Co-op reinforces the necessity of attendance. Because co-op focuses on employability skills, it is not self-paced. There are weekly logs and journals to complete as well as monthly assignments, a major project, and portfolio. Failure to keep up with assignments could result in removal from the program and loss of credits.
2-credit, 4-credit, Apprenticeship?
Most students enroll in a 2-credit (half day) co-op program either AM or PM, semester 1 or 2.
Full day co-op is also available but not recommended for the initial placement unless the student is very clear of the placement requirements and personal goals. There are a number of school-based (specialty) co-op programs available within the Board such as residential construction, health care support, horticulture, and militia co-op, just to name a few. Contact the co-op office or email Mr. Jack (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on these programs.
For students wanting to pursue an apprenticeship, it is highly recommended that a 2-credit co-op be completed first to see if this field is actually a fit. Any student who is completing a co-op in the field of a trade is considered an OYAP student. Once the student is committed and the employer agrees to sponsor him/her, a Request to Register will be completed and forwarded to the Ontario College of Trades. It is usually once all compulsory courses have been completed, that the student may start a 4-credit co-op placement. This may be the next semester or the following year.
Accelerated OYAP co-op programs (integrating school and an apprenticeship) are available in cooperation with Mohawk College in the following areas: Child and Youth Worker, Early Childhood Education, Construction Craft Worker, Hairstyling, Automotive Service, Cook and General Carpentry. These programs allow a signed apprentice to earn high school credits, apprenticeship hours, and training in their chosen field. Applications for these programs are due around mid-terms the semester before (contact the Co-op Office for more information).
It is to the student’s advantage to determine the area of interest (through course work, volunteering, completion of career interest tests ( i.e. Career Cruising and personal contact) and then look through the binders of job descriptions in the co-op office or talk to the Co-op teacher.
Not sure of a career path? Want to check your interests and other career information? www.careercruising.com user name: hamilton, password: 15420. Login to “My IPP” with your user name and password (same as when you selected your options online). Click on “matchmaker”, answer questions, and then “answer more questions”… 3 times to refine your answers (there are more than 100 questions). Then do the skills inventory. Print your results and bring them in to us.
Students are also encouraged to find their own sponsors in the community. Contact information can be given to the co-op teacher who will then discuss the program with the employer and visit the site to ensure that he/she is keen to have a student and provide training in a safe learning environment.
Students are required to complete the student information survey found at the following website:
Mr. B. Jack
Tel. (905) 574-6422
Mobile: (905) 977-9530
Fax: (905) 574-6020