Welcome to Co-operative Education “where learning comes to life!”
Students – What is Co-operative Education?
Co-operative education is a program that integrates classroom theory with practical experience in the workplace. The program is based on a partnership between the school and business/industry and involves the participation of students, teachers, employers, and, in most cases, employee supervisors.
On Manitoulin, students normally undertake a full day co-operative education program. School credits are awarded for successful on-the-job experience after joint evaluation by the employer and the teacher.
Interested students should opt for Co-operative Education when completing their option sheets for the next school year. Students must meet certain criteria and will be interviewed by the Co-op teacher before being accepted into the program.
Teachers involved in co-operative education are knowledgeable in the subject areas in which students are receiving credits and in the field of co-operative education. A co-operative education teacher works with employers to develop a Personal Placement Learning Plan for each student. Teachers also visit work stations on a regular basis to monitor students’ progress and evaluate their performance.
Co-operative education is designed to promote closer associations between students and working adults who are willing to share their knowledge. Experienced employers can reinforce schools by helping students to make informed decisions about their future education and careers. Employers can help students gain confidence in making the transition from school to the world of work, apprenticeships, or post secondary education.
What Types of Students Are Involved?
Secondary school students studying at all levels of difficulty are eligible to participate in co-operative education. The maturity of students is a significant factor in determining their suitability for the program. Students often select co-operative education in order to explore career possibilities. Some may be planning to join the work force in the near future. Others may intend to continue in secondary school and/or attend community college or university.
Employers – Why Get Involved in Co-operative Education?
All employers have a direct interest in the development of a skilled and responsive work force in their community. Co-operative education can help to achieve this goal by providing students with training and work experience before they start work on a full-time basis.
One of the major functions of secondary schools is the preparation of students for the challenges of the future. Our education system is judged to a large extent on its ability to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they will need to pursue worthwhile careers. However, the schools on their own cannot provide the practical hands-on experience that is so important if students are to make a smooth transition from school to the workplace.
Therefore, there is a need for a strong, continuing partnership between schools and employers. It is only through the commitment of willing employers and supervisors that students can gain the crucial knowledge and experience they need to make sound educational and career decisions. Our employers are invaluable in helping our students toward a real appreciation of the importance of work place skills, and the development of a positive attitude toward themselves and their future careers.
Through co-operative education thousands of organizations, large and small, currently share with the school system the responsibility of educating and training the work force of tomorrow.
Preparation and Selection
As an interested employer, you can contact Manitoulin Secondary School at 368-7000 and the Co-operative Education teacher at extenstion 6717. The co-operative education teacher will explain the program and assess the potential for student learning at your work site. If a suitable student is available, an interview will be arranged. Although the teacher makes the initial selection of students, the final decision rests with the employer.