Academics‎ > ‎Departments‎ > ‎

Guidance and Co-operative Education Department

Each student enrolled at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School will have an opportunity to experience the work world.

Co-op Time Sheet Form


Take Our Kids to Work Day

This day is for Grade 9 students the first week of November. Students from across the province spend the day at their parents'/ guardians' workplace to gain a better understanding of what it means to work. Parents, educators, business people and community leaders are committed to making this day a valuable learning experience. The day will provide students with first hand information on employability skills, workplace expectations and how education plays a role in their future career plans. Call Guidance for more information.

GRADE 9-11

Job Shadowing & Job Twinning

These are opportunities for students to learn about the work world. Job shadowing allows students to spend one-half to one day (or, in some cases, up to three days) with a worker in a specific occupation. Job twinning provides the opportunity for the student to accompany a Cooperative Education student to his or her placement for one-half to one day. A student may participate in more than one job shadowing or job twinning experience, thereby obtaining a broader range of career information through observation in typical workplace environments. Job shadowing and job twinning may be integrated into any credit course and may also be components of a student's school-work transition program.

Program Pathways

A program pathway consists of the combination of courses that make up a student's educational program and the supports provided by the program. It is designed to allow students to explore a particular destination and should reflect the goals that motivate students to complete their secondary education. A program pathway will help students be successful in their transition to the workplace, apprenticeship, college, or university.

When planning their pathway, students might consider the following experiential learning opportunities:

GRADE 11/12

Cooperative Education

Co-op is an exciting concept that allows students to combine in-school instruction with on-the-job experience as an alternative way of earning credits towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. It provides students with the opportunity to discover their skills and career interests in the workplace while still attending school. It allows students to make informed career decisions when the time comes to select their post secondary path. Cooperative Education enables students to develop work ethic, interpersonal and employability skills, while at the same time exploring a career or interest and earning from one to four academic credits that are tied to any subject area. Cooperative Education is primarily geared toward the grade 11 and grade 12 students within the school. However, accommodation can be made for younger students based on their specific needs.

Cooperative Education programs combine a full-semester, half-day work placement in the community with classroom theory to earn 2 credits. The classroom component includes pre-placement sessions prior to attending a community placement and reflective sessions throughout the semester. The pre-placement sessions will include training in health and safety, job search techniques, confidentiality, work ethics, the role of unions, the Employment Standards Act and the development of a Personalized Placement Learning Plan. The placement component provides the opportunity to enrich the knowledge and skills learned in school with a practical application at a community placement.

Example: A student interested in becoming an Accountant: 

a ) The student would have taken, or be concurrently taking a grade 11 or grade 12 Accounting course. 

b ) The student could have a Cooperative Education experience at an Accounting firm, Bank, Finance department, etc.

Students from St. Mary can choose a placement from many employers.

Expectations of the students:
      • Maturity and a positive attitude. 
  • Being punctual and in regular attendance as required by the employer and school. 
  • Demonstrate a willingness to learn. 
  • Possess the necessary educational background for the placement requested. 
  • Adhere to the policies and procedures of the work place and the school. 
  • Follow safety regulations. 
  • Assume responsibility for their own transportation to and from the workplace. (Note: this will be addressed within the Cooperative Education Department) 
  • Assume any costs for necessary equipment, and transportation that could be part of the placement requirements. (Note: this will be addressed within the Cooperative Education Department)
  • Some placements require health tests and/or criminal background checks.

Procedure for applying for a Cooperative Education Placement:

There is a formal application procedure for all Cooperative Education programs involving an interview between the teacher responsible for the course, a review of the student's education goals and aspirations, and consultation with prospective employers.