The Lester B. Pearson Co-operative Education program is designed for students between the ages of 18-21 with developmental delays. This is time of a transition for these young adults to move from a Secondary School environment into the world of adulthood with increased autonomy and independence. This program operates within a CEGEP milieu, thereby affording continued learning and socialization experiences with students of the same age.
This is a three-year program that is overseen by the Student Services Department and staffed by teachers and educators of the Lester B. Pearson School Board. The program is housed at two campuses, John Abbott College and Lakeside Academy.
Students come to the co-op program from within the LBPSB High School network and are referred by school resource teams. Students’ profile and needs are varied, however, what they share is a common desire to be a part of the CEGEP life that their peers experience. Students participating in the program are expected to be autonomous in their ability to travel to school and to work.
All students have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and follow individualized objectives based on ability and interest level. Regular contact is maintained between the staff, students, and families throughout the program. Every June, an information evening is organized for the parents of incoming students. Each Spring, an information session is held with families to assist them with the transition from school life to work life, as several of the young adults will go on to gainful employment, participate in programs offered through Health and Social Services, or go on to continuing education.
The program has 4 components:
- Academics (Literacy, Mathematics, and current events, with a focus of llife skill development)
- Work Experiences (at Light a Dream as well as local businesses)
- Campus integration into CEGEP life (participation in classes and social events)
- Social and cultural activities (outings with staff and program alumni)
Light A Dream
Light A Dream is an integral part of the Co-operative Education Program. Created in 1999 as a non-profit foundation, Light A Dream provides a safe environment where students can develop work and life skills. Light a Dream produces and sells candles and provides meaningful work experiences through a storefront location that is operated at 63B Donegani in Pointe-Claire.
Light A Dream is open year round and is run with generous support by volunteers and the community at large. For more information about this novel work environment, please visit http://www.lightadream.com