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Cooperative Education ("co-op") is a planned learning experience, for which credits are earned. It integrates classroom theory and learning experiences at a workplace to enable students to apply and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related course. Co-op placements are arranged for students by their school and must follow Ministry of Education policy and guidelines.

Co-op courses include a classroom component (pre-placement and integration activities) and a placement component. Placements should provide students with challenging opportunities to apply and extend the knowledge, and practice and refine the skills acquired in the related couse.

Co-op involves a partnership between education and business, industry, agriculture, labour or community organizations, that includes students, teachers, parents, employers and placement supervisors. Additional participants may be involved in the case of exceptional students and other students with special needs.

The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program is a component of co-op. An OYAP Participant is a student who is earning co-op credits for work experience in an apprenticeship occupation. The student may or may not be formally registered as an apprentice while attending secondary school. Visit our OYAP section for more information!