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Secondary Schools and Students

The Co-ops in Schools Program is a youth outreach program that runs each school year in selected regions of British Columbia. CIS connects university students with high school students through activities undertaken during extra-curricular “Co-op Clubs” using the most current approaches to education. 

Teachers and Administrators
High School Students
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Co-ops in Schools is an experiential learning opportunity that provides extra-curricular participation to encourage, engage and motivate students. It is a year-long high school club program coached by post-secondary students and administered by BCCA.

Benefits to Secondary School Administrators and Teachers

  • Aligned with the Ministry of Education curriculum
    • Fits within BC’s new K-12 curriculum that requires project and collaborative learning, critical thinking and developing core competencies
    • Provides students with knowledge of business enterprise development as well as team building and leadership skills that university admissions will recognize
    • Provides additional learning to build an awareness of co-op enterprises and opportunities for career and volunteer options
  • Creates a bridge to post-secondary education
    • By regularly interacting with university and college students, students better understand the post-secondary institution experience and culture
  • Provides exposure to diverse and exemplary role models
    • Mentorship is provided by post-secondary students, who themselves are coached and mentored by co-op and credit union professionals
    • University student teams reflect the diversity in British Columbia society, helping the secondary students connect and see thier own potential reflected
    • Mentors act as high school role models for community service and resume-building activities
  • Monitored, evaluated and administered by BCCA
    • BCCA is a non-profit NGO representing an idea, not selling a product or promoting a brand
    • Our mandate is to provide education on the co-operative enterprise model
    • Post-secondary students create and lead the weekly Co-op Club activities, held on school property and based on the CIS curriculum created by BCCA
    • Minimal teacher involvement: Teachers help promote and refer students to the extra-curricular Co-op Club and liaise with the university student teams regarding scheduling and room usage. Teachers are welcome to accompany their students on the annual Co-op Crawl, but are not required. Teachers and school officials may take part in other CIS events and activities as their interest and availability allows
    • University coaches operate in teams of two, three or more students. All mentors and coaches have had police criminal record checks
    • All CIS students, mentors and participants sign a code of conduct and waiver annually


Co-ops 101 Classroom Presentation


  • BCCA will reach out to secondary schools, administrators and teachers in May/June to confirm participation in CIS the following September
  • Teachers, guidance counsellors, school district administrators and others may also contact BCCA directly to apply
  • Ideal Co-op Club size is 10 or more secondary school-age students but can be very flexible
  • Club meetings are typically one-hour long and can be at lunch or after school
  • There is no cost to participate. Each Club will have a small budget for snacks and resources, which is administered by the university student coaches


For high school students, the Co-ops in Schools program is a series of engaging and interactive activities that take place through a weekly Co-op Club held at the school and through a series of external events. Students regularly interact with post-secondary students, and meet other high school students during regional and provincial activities.

Benefits to Secondary School Students

  • It’s FUN
    • Participate in an active after-school club with lots to do
    • Learn about co-operation and business through hands-on activities, games, events, and even a field trip.  We offer prizes, too.
  • Strengthen your resume and post-secondary admission applications
    • Learn new skills that can be used socially and professionally
    • Demonstrate non-academic achievements which could bolster applications and scholarship requests and learning
    • Discover new career and volunteer choices
  • Learn about the post-secondary experience
    • University/college student coaches share their experiences so you can get an idea of what to expect when you go to university
  •  Gain leadership opportunities in a collaborative and supportive atmosphere
    • By working with the coaches and leading parts of the Co-op Club curriculum, students increase their leadership skills and develop new knowledge to attract the interest of employers and university/college admission officers



  • Teachers or guidance staff will post sign-up sheets for the Co-op Club early in the new school year
  • Each Co-op Club meeting is about an hour long and takes place on school property
  • There are no costs to join
  • There is no age requirement. CIS is open to all enrolled secondary students in participating high schools
  • Students who successfully take part in the CIS Program receive a certificate of participation at the end of every school year



Contact Tasha Nathanson
BCCA Youth Program Manager
604.662.3906 ex. 4

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