The Co-ops in Schools Program (CIS) runs during the post-secondary and secondary school year. Activities take place from September to April.

While many program activities take place on-site at participating secondary schools, there are opportunities for participants to venture into their communities, get involved in exciting special events, and see co-operatives in action.

  1. Co-op Crawl: The introductory, kick-off program event for participants. The crawl is typically a full day event held in October in each sponsored region. In some regions, this is a school field trip, while in others, it may be scheduled during a Professional Development Day. Touring three different co-op locales in each region, the crawl offers post-secondary and secondary school students a firsthand view of diverse local co-ops, and a chance to meet and talk to co-operators in their community.
  2. Secondary School Co-op Club: Post-secondary student coaches facilitate weekly co-op and social economy activities for, and with, secondary school students throughout the school year. Students will explore the idea of co-operation, and learn the seven international principles that underlie the co-op model and the triple-bottom-line approach of People, Profit and Planet. Students will then see how these ideas come together in a co-op enterprise. Finally, they’ll apply this new knowledge to analyse and compete in a Case Co-opetition (Year A), or develop and pitch their club’s new co-op idea in a Business Plan Challenge (Year B). These challenges take place on alternating program years.
  3. Co-ops 101 Session: After being trained by the BCCA team and other co-op professionals, post-secondary student coaches deliver co-op themed presentations in each partner secondary school. These presentations may take place in or outside of class time, depending on the teacher and school’s preference. This session provides an excellent introduction to the basics of co-op enterprise for students who may want to join the club, and for classes with a curricular tie to the subject.
  4. Mentoring Sessions: Collaborative, dynamic one-on-one coaching sessions and check-ins take place monthly between co-op mentors and post-secondary student mentees. Meetings are arranged at mutually convenient times during the school year and can be in person or via phone, Skype or email.
  5. Mentorship Kickoff Event: Mentors and mentees in each region meet as a group to be guided through introductions, goal setting and program expectations, and to start their mentorship relationships off on the right foot.
  6. Mentorship Millennial Event: Mentees in each region work together to prepare and deliver a presentation for their group of mentors. The event fosters networking and reverse mentoring, and is typically held during an evening in February.
  7. Wrap-up Event: Wrap-up events are held in each region and scheduled for an evening in March/April. Mentors and mentees participate in networking sessions and panel discussions. Sponsors and participants are recognized.
  8. Case Co-opetition Challenge: Secondary school students from the Co-op Clubs – guided by their post-secondary student coaches, and with resources from BCCA – work in teams to analyze a co-op sector case study. The teams develop and submit their findings to a panel of co-op sector judges. Takes place from February to April of Year A.
  9. Co-op Business Plan Challenge: Working in groups through their Co-op Club, and supported by their post-secondary student coaches – and with guidance from a panel of Co-op Experts – secondary school students imagine a new co-op enterprise and write a business plan to pitch their idea. Takes place from February to April of Year B.

For more information, contact Katherine Levett BCCA Program Manager
Phone: 604.662.3906 ex. 4   Email: