• WCDSB Programs
  • Employer Guide
  • School Contact Information

WCDSB Programs


Regular Co-op for Grade 11 and 12 students:

A unique way of learning which combines a classroom component with a workplace experience. Students earn two credits while learning in a work environment – three hours each day in a morning or afternoon placement. In some cases, student may take a full day co-op for four credits.

Community Build Program:

As part of a construction crew, this program allows students to earn a Construction Technology credit(s) plus Co-op credits. The program lasts for one semester and students will be bused to the construction site each day. Students may have to transfer to a host school in order to access this program.

College Cooperative Education Program (CCEP):

A Transition to College program for year 4 or 5 students offered at the Doon Campus of Conestoga College. Students may earn three secondary school credits (two co-op credits and one dual credit) plus 1 tuition free college course. Possible first year college courses: Basic Design, Business Computing Applications, Canadian Criminal Justice System, Early Childhood Education, Personal Support Worker, Psychology, Recreation & Leisure, Sociology. These courses are applicable to programs in Business and Hospitality, Community Services, Health and Life Sciences, Liberal Studies, Media and Design.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP):

OYAP allows Grade 11 or 12 students the opportunity to complete a Co-op placement in one of the four trade sectors (i.e., Construction, Industrial, Service, Transportation). Students may be registered as an apprentice and begin accumulating hours and developing the workplace competencies required for each individual trade.

College Apprenticeship Preparation Program (CAPP):

For students who are seriously planning a career in the Trades. During semester two of their Grade 12 year, students will earn two Co-op credits plus two or three dual-credits by completing their Level 1 Apprenticeship curriculum at Conestoga College. Trades available are:

  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Culinary
  • General Machining
  • Truck & Coach Technician
  • Welding

University Cooperative Education Program (UCEP):

An opportunity for academically self-motivated students in their 4th or 5th year to spend semester one as a University student. Students will complete a Co-op placement in project or research work at one of the local universities. They also take one or two Grade 12 academic course(s) at the University (e.g., ENG4U, HRE4M, MCV4U), plus take a .5 or 1.0 university credit.

Summer Co-op:

Allows students the opportunity to experience Cooperative Education and earn two credits for five weeks of full day work during the summer. This is a good program option when Co-op does not fit into the student’s regular school timetable, and for students in the Specialist High Skills Major program.

Work Experience/Community Learning:

A non-credit community based learning experience offered through the Student Services Department that provides students aged 16 to 21, in special education programs the opportunity to learn and practice entry level workplace skills. This program is for students who have a wide range of abilities with special learning needs which may include physical, developmental and/or learning disabilities.

Employer’s Guide for Co-operative Education


Co-operative Education is a learning partnership program involving the participation of students and teachers in schools and placement supervisors in community businesses and organizations.


  • experience the practical aspects of the job, the demands of employment, and the expectations of employers in a changing work world
  • gain valuable workplace experience in a field to which they may not otherwise have had access
  • work in placements which best match their educational needs and interests
  • integrate classroom theory and earn credits towards their graduation diploma
  • are generally 16 years of age or older (Ministry of Labour requires students to be a minimum of 14 years)

Placement Supervisors/Employers help to:

  • provide the opportunity for students to learn from experts in the field
  • develop the Essential Skills and work habits valued by the workforce
  • enrich classroom learning with practical application
  • provide students with the opportunity to access emerging technologies
  • contribute to a skilled and responsive workforce

Before the Student Begins at the Work Placement
The student must:

  • apply for Co-operative Education and successfully complete the interview process at the school
  • receive pre-placement training in the classroom
  • be interviewed by the placement supervisor to determine his/her suitability to the position offered by the employer
  • sign the Work Education Agreement form with the other parties
  • sign the Parent & Student Information form

Placement Supervisors/Employers meet with the Co-operative Education teacher to discuss:

  • possible opportunities that the placement might offer the student
  • placement assessment
  • job tasks for the student
  • student needs and expectations
  • how the placement experience relates to the course curriculum expectations
  • procedures involved with monitoring, communication and evaluation
  • student time sheets/ logs
  • confidentiality policies
  • health and safety practices and procedures including personal protective equipment
  • accident reporting
  • schedule of Co-operative Education workplace hours for the student

Placement Supervisor Responsibilities

  • Provide a safe working and learning environment
  • Provide orientation and workplace site specific health and safety training
  • Provide the student with written or oral feedback after the initial interview as part of the learning experience
  • Designate one employee, if necessary, to be responsible for direct daily supervision of the student
  • Assist the teacher in developing the Personalized Placement Learning Plan for the student by reviewing and refining student job tasks
  • Provide challenging learning experiences that will encourage personal growth and develop career goals
  • Help the student function as an integral part of a team
  • Sign the student’s time sheets/logs in order to verify placement hours
  • Meet with the teacher several times over the course of the placement to discuss the student progress
  • Completing the performance appraisals for the student (the teacher is ultimately responsible for the overall evaluation and the assignment of grades)

Teacher Monitoring of Student

The Co-op teacher will monitor the student at the placement on a regular basis to consult with the placement supervisor as well as the student and to observe the student at work. Records of each monitoring session are kept by the teacher. These appointments are an essential component of Co-operative Education as they ensure that the educational expectations and the placement supervisor and organization expectations outlined in the PPLP are being met. It is during these meetings that adjustments to the Learning Plan, hours of work etc. can be made and any concerns addressed.


The Work Education Agreement (WEA) is an agreement between the student, parent/guardian (for a student under 18), employer and the teacher which outlines the student, placement and school contact information, work schedule, and Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage. Since each student must be covered by the WSIB, the Ministry of Education provides WSIB coverage for every unpaid Co-operative Education student. A completed and signed WEA form prior to the start of the placement ensures that the student has WSIB coverage.
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board's carries general liability insurance for property damage accidentally caused by the student while performing activities outlined in the PPLP.
The Waterloo Catholic District School Board does not provide liability insurance to protect the organization or the student for damages arising out of the operation of a motorized vehicle. The risk of having a Co-op student drive a company vehicle would have to be assumed by the organization. The student is not to use a personal vehicle to conduct company business.

Student Attendance

The student is expected to attend his/her placement as outlined on the Work Education Agreement. If the student is absent, he/she must notify the placement supervisor and the Co-op teacher prior to the start of the workday. Any questionable student absences or lateness must be reported to the teacher as soon as possible. Habitual lateness and unexcused absences are not acceptable.

Student Injuries on the Job

The student or supervisor must report injuries immediately to the Co-op teacher, no matter how minor they may seem. Details including when, where, and how the injury occurred are required. If the Co-op teacher is unavailable, a message must be left with the school staff.

Student payment

It is strongly recommended by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board that students not be paid while participating in a Cooperative Education program. The emphasis of the program is to earn credits towards the completion of their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.  Additionally, Co-op will enhance a senior student’s secondary experience with an opportunity to relate the curriculum learned in school to the skills, knowledge, experience and work habits required in the workplace.
In some instances, employers may wish to assist Co-op students with Co-op related expenses (e.g., travel, safety equipment required, tools etc) and this is acceptable.

For More Information

If you have questions or require more information contact the Co-operative Education teacher or call the Waterloo Catholic District School Board Experiential Learning Department. 519-578-3660 extension 2300

School Contact Information

Business/Cooperative Education Program Head - Contact Information by School

Frank Bianchi (acting Program Head)
Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School
185 Myers Road
Cambridge, ON, N1R7H2
519 622-1290 ext. 291


Fred Masters
Resurrection Catholic Secondary School
455 University Avenue West
Kitchener, ON, N2N3B9
519 741-1990 ext. 444


Michelle Crowell
St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School
50 Saginaw Parkway
Cambridge, ON, N1R5W1
519 621-4050 ext. 509


Mark Temple
St. David Catholic Secondary School
4 High Street
Waterloo, ON, N2L3X5
519 885-1340 ext. 228


Jill Strassburger
St. Mary’s High School
1500 Block Line Road
Kitchener, ON, N2C2S2
519 745-6891 ext. 5360