Cooperative education is a planned learning experience that integrates classroom theory and learning experiences at the workplace. It allows students to “learn by doing” and “to do while learning”. The student has a chance to investigate and confirm career decisions before selecting work or post-secondary education destinations. It is an excellent opportunity for senior students to experience the world of work while obtaining high school credits. Students must complete an application and interview to be accepted into the cooperative education program at Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School. Students need to keep in mind that employers expect a base foundation of knowledge and, as a result, students should have taken the related school course(s) prior to being placed in the workplace. The Fast Forward GLD – Discovering the Workplace package offers an extended classroom component to assist in the development of essential workplace skills. The workplace portion of the program allows students to transfer skills developed in the classroom to the world of work.

Co-op courses offered at SJAM:

  • 2, 3 and 4 credit packages at both the grade 11 and 12 level
  • 2 credit package for grade 11 Fast Forward Students (GLD Package)

Teachers in the Co-op Department:

  • Mr. D. White (Co-op Coordinator)
  • Mr. N. Kloet
  • Ms. K. Plociennik
  • Ms. E. Zimis

What is Co-Op?

Co-operative Education provides students with “real world” experiential work placements. It can help to confirm career choices prior to entering the workplace or selecting a post-secondary program.  The classroom component assists students to develop the skills and knowledge directly applicable to entering the world of work. In order for students to be placed in the workplace they must have taken or currently be taking the related in-school course.   Co-operative Education courses can be taken in all subject disciplines and at all levels (2, 3 or 4 credit options available).

Note:  Students indicate their desire to take co-op through the MyWay online course selection process.  All students who have requested Co-operative Education will go through an application, interview and selection process.

Specialized Co-op Programs

Co-operative Education also offers specialized programs in Militia, Police, Big Brothers/Sisters Mentorship and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs (OYAP).  Acceptance into these programs requires additional paperwork and screening procedures by the host organization. If you are interested in any of these specialized areas, please indicate your preference on your co-op application or contact the Co-operative Education Coordinator.

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) and Co-operative Education

Students enrolled in a SHSM are required to complete two (2) credits of Co-operative Education in either their grade 11 or grade 12 year.  The Co-operative Education placement must be in a field related to the SHSM they are enrolled in.  Students may also choose to complete their SHSM co-op requirement during summer school.  Info for summer co-op is typically released in late winter/early spring.  See your guidance counsellor for details.

More Information


GLD2OC (Discovering the Workplace, Fast Forward)

This course provides students with opportunities to discover and develop the workplace essential skills and work habits required to be successfully employed. Students will develop an understanding of work through practical hands-on experiences in the school and in the community, using real workplace materials. They investigate occupations of interest through experiential learning opportunities, such as work-site visits, job shadowing, work experience, simulations, and entrepreneurial projects. This course helps students make plans for continued learning and work.  Prerequisite:  NONE. Note: this course is offered as a 2-credit package.


GRADE 11/12

COOP02/03/04 (Cooperative Education, Open)

Co-operative Education is a learning partnership that provides students with valuable work experience while they are earning credits towards their graduation diploma. The Co-operative Education program involves both a classroom component and a work placement component. Through these two components, the Co-operative Education course prepares the student for successful participation in the workplace, provides sufficient time and various opportunities at the placement to enable the student to apply and further develop the knowledge and skills acquired in the related course(s).  Students have the opportunity to “test drive” potential career pathways while earning 2-4 high school credits.  NOTE – co-op can count for any of the compulsory group credits for graduation.  Prerequisite:  NONE. Students may select 2, 3 or 4 credit packages.