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Start Me Up 5

Cooperative Education

What is cooperative education?

  • Cooperative Education (co-op) gives students the opportunity for hands on experience in a career they may choose to pursue in their future.
  • Co-op allows students to earn high school credits by integrated course curriculum with learning on a work placement.
  • A co-op placement in a skilled trade is referred to as a Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) placement.

Who can participate?

Grade 11 or 12 students in all pathways – apprenticeship, college, community, university, or workplace can participate in a 2 or 4 credit co-op placement.


  • Gain workplace experience.
  • Develop employability skills and work habits.
  • Hands-on learning in a safe and encouraging environment in a trade or career of choice.
  • Pursue a work placement based on student interests and explore a possible career.
  • Connect and build relationships with potential future employers.
  • Helps students make informed decisions about future work, careers and education.
  • Earn credits toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
  • Earn co-op credits at a paid job during night school or summer school co-op.

For additional information:

Dual Credits

Dual credit logo

What are Dual Credit programs?

  • College courses offered to senior high school students in academic and trades programs.
  • Students can earn up to four optional credits through dual credits courses to help them earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
  • “Dual” refers to the course recorded on both the high school transcript and college transcript.
  • Students sample college work in new learning environments.

Who can participate?

  • Grade 11 or 12.
  • College capable.
  • In specialized programs including, Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM) and Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). Students who want to explore career paths and experience college.
  • Want to explore careers and experience college.


  • Try out college with the support of a high school teacher
  • Support a transition to college or apprenticeship programs.
  • May earn certification and support SHSM requirements.
  • Get a head start on post-secondary education.
  • Increased awareness of post-secondary pathways and careers.

For additional information

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program


What is OYAP?

  • OYAP is a school-to-work program for students to explore apprenticeship careers after they have completed Grade 10, through the cooperative education program.
  • Students can become registered apprentices and begin to work towards becoming certified journeypersons in a skilled trade while completing their secondary school diplomas.
  • OYAP participants → students in co-op placements in the skilled trades.
  • OYAP registered apprentices → students with signed registered training agreement (r.t.a.’s), who have officially started their apprenticeships.
  • OYAP Level 1 accelerated → students selected to participate in the first level of trade school while in their final year of high school. 

Who can participate?

  • Students must be at least 15 years of age (some workplaces have a minimum age requirement of 16).
  • Students must have completed 14 credits.
  • Students must be working towards the completion of all OSSD requirements.



  • Start a career in the skilled trades while still in high school.
  • Gain employability skills and a network with businesses.
  • Acquire hours and skills toward the apprenticeship.
  • Participate in a hands-on learning experience and application of classroom theory to the workplace.
  • Increase awareness of workplace demands, skills, and needs.


  • Increase employer exposure within the community.
  • Access new employees at no cost.
  • Help build a skilled workforce and promote youth retention in the community.
  • Develop leadership and supervisory skills in employees.

For additional information:

Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM)

What are SHSM programs?

  • SHSM programs allow students to focus their learning on a specific sector.
  • All include specific courses, cooperative education placement, certifications, and industry specific opportunities.
  • Students graduate with a SHSM Seal and formal recognition on their OSSD.

Who can participate?

  • Students in grade 11 or 12 can begin working on SHSM components
  • Students in all pathways: apprenticeship, college, university, workplace.


  • Explore career goals and make decisions about their future.
  • Students will customize their secondary school education to suit their interests and talents, and develop specialized knowledge and skills.
  • Take high school courses that match their interest and strengths.
  • Develop specialized knowledge and skills.
  • Gain work experience though co-op.
  • Participate in industry training that is recognized by post-secondary educational institutions and sector.
  • Free learning opportunities!

For additional information

Schools Within a College (SWAC)


What is SWAC?

  • SWAC provides high school students the opportunity to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and college courses in a collaborative learning community on a college campus.
  • Learning occurs on a college campus.
  • Secondary earn secondary school credits and two dual credits (college credits).

Who can participate?

  • Students who are entering their final semester of high school.
  • Students who are at least 17 years old and have 24 credits.
  • Students who are college capable and motivated to succeed and graduate!
  • Students who demonstrate consistent attendance.


  • College learning environment and have access to all college supports, services, programs, and facilities.
  • A four-day week school schedule.
  • Help support a successful transition to college or apprenticeship programs.
  • Free college courses including all books, transportation, and other associated costs.
  • Smaller class sizes with the same teacher and a 4-day week school schedule.

For additional information

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact your local school or fill in the Pathways Questions Form.

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Twitter: @TLDSB_Pathways
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#StartMeUp Mailing List

Are you interested in learning more about TLDSB pathways and programs, future skilled trades opportunities, events, and/or initiatives? If so, complete the #StartMeUp Mailing List Form to be put on our mailing list.

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