COOPERATIVE EDUCATION IS A PROGRAM THAT OFFERS STUDENTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMBINE THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS THEY ACQUIRED IN A COURSE WITH WORK EXPERIENCE IN A RELATED JOB.
The partnership between the student, school and placement allows students to develop their work ethic, interpersonal skills and employability skills while at the same time earning academic credits.
Benefits for the Student
- Develops maturity, self-confidence and responsibility
- Provides experience with technological equipment not available in schools
- Provides practical on the job training
- Assists students in exploring career interests and in developing transferable job skills
Benefits for the Employer/Supervisor
- Provides a cost efficient method of recruiting, training and retaining potential employees in your industry
- Promotes positive public relations within the community
- Enlarges the pool of qualified workers in sectors with shortages of young workers
- Provides opportunities for employees to develop management and leadership skills through the supervision of students
- Provides an opportunity to exchange ideas with school staff through program development
Benefits for the Community
- Helps keep youth in the local community by increasing awareness of career options in local industries
- Addresses the issue of youth unemployment and underemployment while providing opportunity for youth to develop the skills and knowledge needed for success in the future
- Enhances the work ethic for youth - punctuality, dependability, honesty and pride
- Allows youth to build a network of community references
- Develops a better student attitude towards the community and encourages involvement in community activities
Benefits for the School
- Helps teachers keep up to date with current trends in business and industry
- Provides relevant, practical experience to help students make more informed educational and career goals
Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
OYAP represents a partnership among the Avon Maitland District School Board and many industry and community partners and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities.
OYAP offers senior students an opportunity to attend secondary school, complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and train as an apprentice at the same time.
Employer and Supervisor Responsibilities
- Provide a safe and challenging learning environment with continuous supervision for each student
- Provide orientation and workplace health & safety training
- Provide student with written or oral feedback throughout placement
- Work with the student and teacher to set realistic learning goals for the placement
- Provide a varied learning experience that is connected with the student's learning goals
- Encourage the student to ask questions and set aside time to give feedback on student ideas and job performance
- Communicate with the cooperative education teacher on a regular bases
Monitoring involves observation of the student and discussions with both the student and supervisor(s) at the placement. It is expected that the supervisor will set aside some time to discuss the student's progress with the teacher.
The importance of confidentiality is stressed in the pre-placement sessions. If a breach of confidentiality occurs, it will be dealt with immediately by the teacher with consultation of the supervisor.
Students typically spend the first 2-3 weeks of the semester completing the pre-placement requirements of the course. This includes:
- Job search strategies (resumes, cover letters, interviews)
- Health and safety training (WHMIS, Worker Health and Safety Awareness Training, Violence and Harassment Training, COVID-19 Awareness training)
- Working at Heights (for students entering construction placements)
- Human Rights
- Employment Standards Act
Once the student is ready to begin their placement, they will attend the workplace for a morning/afternoon/full day for 4-5 days per week for the rest of the semester. Each half day placement requires approximately 200 hours of work experience.
Students return to class once per month for an in-class session where students share placement experiences and continue developing and reflecting on their learning goals.
Throughout the semester, students have a variety of assignments and journal reflections related to their placement. Weekly log sheets are signed by the employer to verify insurable hours and attendance.