Cooperative Education

The Cooperative Education (Co-op) program combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training, and is available through any career and technical program offered at OACTEP. Qualifying seniors integrate classroom learning with supervised, practical work experience. Eligible students apply for part-time employment in areas related to their chosen field of study. Students are evaluated by their employers on a monthly basis, and receive related instruction in school each week.

To qualify for the co-op program, students must have passing grades in all courses required for graduation, have a Student Employment Training Agreement, have good attendance, and have an acceptable discipline record. Students must have completed minimum of one year in their career and technical program prior to applying for the co-op program.

All students will be required to take the appropriate NOCTI test at the conclusion of the program.

Course Expectations

The Cooperative Education program is designed to provide seniors with the opportunity to bridge the gap between education and employment while remaining a student. 

The program combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training. By integrating classroom study and supervised, practical work experience, students obtain the best of both worlds as they learn by applying skills they mastered in the classroom. 

The Cooperative Education program is available in any occupational program to qualifying students who have demonstrated good attendance, obtained good grades and have their teacher’s recommendation.

The objectives of the Co-op Program are to connect classroom learning with work-based learning experiences, prepare students for the move from classroom to work site, support supervised on-the-job training, and help students make career decisions. 


Students: Enrollment in a OACTEP occupational program. Recommendation and approval of the occupational instructor, guidance counselor, co-op coordinator, and parent or guardian. Passing all courses required for graduation. Attendance in compliance with school policy. Acceptable disciplinary record. Valid work permit (if under 18 years of age). Students must supply their own transportation.

Employers: Any employer who participates in a work-based opportunities program (Co-op, internship, externship) with any public or non-public school student, must have one (1) “supervisor” (an employee responsible for the student’s welfare while with the employer) obtain three clearances from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government - (State Police Clearance, Child Abuse Clearance and FBI Fingerprint Clearance/Waiver).

Employers may click here for step by step instructions on how to obtain the three clearances.

Post-secondary Education

An employer often offers successful co-op students the opportunity to further their education.

Career Opportunities 

The time spent working for a co-op employer allows the employer to train the student for the company’s specific needs. The employer also has the chance to evaluate the student’s future with the company. Many co-op students continue working for their co-op employers after graduation.

Characteristics For Success

Reliable, prompt, willing to listen and learn, team worker, safe worker, organized.