Skip navigation
  • Korean
  • KoreanPolish
  • KoreanPolishSpanish
  • KoreanPolishSpanishTagalog
Extraordinary Lives Start With a Great Catholic Education

Experiential Learning




 Catalog-Item Reuse ‭[1]‬


Video: Discover Co-op/OYAP Education at DPCDSB. Experience that works for you!

Experiential Learning is a valuable component to prepare students for the future in making his/her career decision in all pathway destinations. Students who participate have the opportunity to explore careers while developing technical and essential skills, knowledge and attitudes that are essential in today’s society. These are planned learning experiences that take place in the community and include job shadowing, job twinning, work experience and cooperative education. Students will be prepared for an activity or program, including review and acknowledgment of learning expectations, activity protocols, and workplace health and safety.

Career Exploration Activities - Activities that allow students to explore career opportunities through worksite tours, career conferences or competitions (e.g., Skills Canada), simulation activities (e.g., Junior Achievement), or contact with a career mentor may be incorporated into any credit course and count towards the Experiential Learning component required for a Specialist High Skills Major.

Job Shadowing - Provides students with an opportunity for one-on-one observation with a worker for one-half to one full day (or, in some cases, up to three days) in a specific occupation.

Job Twinning – Provides students with an opportunity for one-on-one observation with a co-operative education student at his or her placement for one-half to one day.

Work Experience – Provides the opportunity for a student to engage in a short-term subject-related work experience which is usually one or two weeks in duration and does not exceed four weeks. Work Experience enables students to learn about a career, the skills and education required.

Co-operative Education - Is a unique learning opportunity that extends classroom theory and learning into practical experience in business, industry and the community. It consists of a classroom component and a workplace component and may be planned as a single or multiple credit program.

The opportunity to experience the workplace helps students explore career options and gather information they need to make informed decisions about their post-secondary destinations (Workplace, Apprenticeship, College or University). Students also develop essential skills, work habits, attitudes and job skills necessary for a successful transition from secondary school to the workplace or post-secondary education.

Why take Co-op?

Co-operative Education gives students the opportunity to:

  • Make connections between school and work and to “try out” a career of interest before finalizing plans for postsecondary education, training or employment;
  • See the relevance of their classroom learning in a work setting;
  • Develop the essential skills and work habits required in the workplace and acquire a direct understanding of employer and workplace expectations;
  • Gain valuable work experience to help build their resume for postsecondary programs and future employment;
  • Experience authentic and purposeful learning outside a traditional classroom setting;
  • Develop maturity and self-confidence.

How does Cooperative Education help students meet diploma requirements?

  • Co-operative Education credits may be used to meet up to two of the 18 compulsory credit requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
  • There is no limit to the number of optional credits that may be earned through cooperative education courses.
  • Under the ministry-approved framework for the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) designation within the OSSD, students must earn a minimum of two co-operative education credits as one of the five required components of SHSM.
  • Co-operative education credits are a required component of other specialized programs, such as school-to-work and school-to-apprenticeship, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP).

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) -  OYAP is a planned School-to-Career program that enables students to meet secondary school diploma requirements while participating in a skilled trade that requires apprenticeship leading to a Certificate of Apprenticeship and Journey Person status. Students have the opportunity in Grade 11 or 12 through the co-operative education program to explore and work in a skilled occupation developing an understanding of the skill and knowledge required. The student's Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP) must be based on the training requirements outlined in the government approved training standards for the trade.

Student Responsibilities:

A student participating in OYAP must:

  • Be sixteen years of age or older;
  • Complete sixteen credits towards OSSD prior to starting the program;
  • Be enrolled as a full time student during the program;
  • Demonstrate commitment, good work habits, regular attendance record and competency in English, Math and Science (Physics/Chemistry)where applicable;
  • Choose appropriate in-school course linked to his/her skilled apprenticeship occupation;
  • Explore his/her choice of apprenticeship in Grade 11 or 12 through Technological Studies, Academic subjects and Cooperative Education programs;
  • Select to take Co-op during course selection;
  • Complete and submit a Co-operative Education Application form to the co-op office at school.

How does a student apply to the Co-op Program?

Students choose to take Co-operative Education during course selection and also complete and submit a Co-operative Education Application Form. Students must be interviewed for the program which is conducted by the co-operative education teacher in consultation with subject teachers, guidance counsellors and administrators.

back to top