What is Cooperative Education?
Cooperative Education is a planned learning experience, for which credits are granted. This program enables students to apply and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related secondary school course to the workplace. Cooperative Education allows students the opportunity to preview a career before committing a substantial amount of time and money to post-secondary education and training.
Fort Erie Secondary School
A Co-op story
Eric Griffi was a two-period co-op who completed his placement in Pharmaceuticals at the Fort Erie location of Shoppers Drug Mart. He was able to expand and refine his chemistry and biology knowledge while gaining valuable experience that would help him succeed in his post-secondary endeavors.
Currently Eric is studying at Brock University where he is on course to becoming a pharmacist himself. He credits his co-op experience for assisting him in his career path. The excellent work ethic that Eric demonstrated while at his co-op placement earned him a part-time position at Shoppers, a job he currently still holds while attending Brock.
What are the benefits of taking Co-op to students?
Students are able to:
- participate in a “real’ workplace environment.
- investigate possible career options prior to investing time and money into specific training.
- relate their secondary school learning to a career of their choice.
- expand their employability skills and network base
- learn on equipment that they might not be able to have in a school setting
- the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed in the workplace.
Who is involved?
Cooperative Education is a partnership among education and business that involves students, teachers, parents and business partners. The Cooperative Education Teacher will interview the student to find a placement that meets the student’s needs and career goal. The placement must also relate to a subject that is currently being taken or has taken previously.
What students will learn:
-To learn how to look for a job
- To write a resume and prepare for an interview
- To receive on-the-job training in a related subject area
- About the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- About the Employment Standards Act & the Ontario Human Rights Act
- Their Rights and Responsibilities at a workplace
- To work in a safe and appropriate manner
- About Labour Unions in the Workplace
- To work in a team-like setting or as an individual
- The skills and attitudes necessary to succeed in the workplace
How are credits earned?
Students are at a work site for a specific number of hours for the duration of the semester. Cooperative Education teachers and Principals grant credits based on the number of hours worked. Students must also complete specific assignments and submit weekly log sheets to the teacher on a regular basis.
Students attempting to earn coop credits are required to log 110 hours for each credit.
As of the 2005-06 school year, students can now count up to two Cooperative Education credits towards the 18 compulsory credits needed for a high school diploma.
HOW STUDENTS ARE SELECTED FOR COOP
Students select Cooperative Education as an option when selecting their courses for the next school year.
Students should be 16 years of age if they require WSIB coverage for their placement. It is strongly recommended that all coop student have applied for their Social Insurance Number also.
Students can select one of the following formats for Coop at FESS:
a) a 2 period coop - 220 hours (either all morning or all afternoon)
b) a 4 period coop - 440 hours (all day in the workplace)
c) a 1 period coop - 110 hours (accommodates students who can only fit in one period for coop courses. This is usually a Peer tutoring experience).
Students are interviewed on the first day of school to assess their individual learning preferences and placement possibilities. Placements are arranged according to the needs of the student.
Students are required to complete the entire Pre-orientation program before they are placed in their individual placements.
THE FORT ERIE SECONDARY SCHOOL COOP PROGRAM OUTLINE
Students are in class for the first two weeks of the semester. Students are instructed on the course expectations and receive instruction that has been deemed necessary for success and safety in the workplace.
- Ready for Work - workplace attitude and expectations
- Daily Activity Reporting
- Safety in the Workplace - 7 Things Young Workers Should Know
- WHMIS and Passport to Safety
- Employment Standards Act
- Ontario Human Rights Code
- Confidentiality in the Workplace
- Labour Unions
- Harassment in the Workplace
- Interview Preparation
- Personalize Placement Plan development
The Blended Learning format has now been fully implemented into the FESS Cooperative Education program delivery.
Blended Learning allows for "On-line learning" components to be accessed by the student while under the direct guidance and personal, daily contact with a teacher in a classroom setting.
The advantages of this type of program delivery would include allowing for students to complete the required in-school assignments at their own pace.
Students who enter late into the program would still have immediate access to the required work and to the resources necessary to complete that work.
*Students are expected to put in approximately three hours a day for each two credit section.
*PLACEMENTS ARE ARRANGED BY THE TEACHER as per Ontario Ministry of Education policy.
*Placements are assessed by the teacher prior to commencement to ensure that it is a suitable learning environment.
*Employers are responsible for site-specific Health and Safety training to have the student supervised while completing this portion of the program.
COOPERATIVE EDUCATION ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION:
The student in a Cooperative Education program will be assessed and evaluated in the following manner:
Classroom and Placement Learning Assessment 30%
- Reflective Sessions
- Teacher Monitors
Placement and Employer Assessments 40%
- Weekly log submissions
- Placement Surveys
Final Assessment 30%
1st time Coop students create a working Employability Skills Portfolio that meet the standards of the Canadian Labour Congress. This portfolio is meant to become a tool that the student can continue to build upon throughout the educational and care pursuits.
The portfolio is presented in a job interview scenario.
Creation of the Employability Skills Portfolio - 10%
Employability Skills Portfolio Presentation - 20%
Those students who are taking Coop for the second time are expected to update their Employability Skills portfolio and to create and present a program promotional piece based on their experiences. These presentations will take place in our Grade 10 Career classes.
Topics options for these presentations include:
- The general Cooperative Education Program
- The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program. (OYAP)
- The Specialist High Skills Major Programs
Portfolio Update - 5%
Presentation Creation - 15%
Promotional Presentation - 10% TOTAL 100 MARKS
To receive more information regarding Cooperative Education at Fort Erie Secondary School, you can contact the Coop office at 905-871-4610, extension 61834.