Options and Opportunities

Options and Opportunities (O2) is a three-year program with a focus on career and education exploration, which helps prepare students for post-secondary education and future careers. Students who complete the requirements of the O2 program earn their high school diploma and an O2 certificate.

How does the program work?

The O2 program combines academic work with practical community-based learning experiences including:

  • field trips
  • guest speakers
  • service learning
  • job shadows
  • post-secondary exploration
  • a minimum of three Co-operative Education (Co-op) placements

This program focuses on helping students make informed decisions about their education and career pathways.  

Students benefit from smaller classes in their O2 cohort classes, support from an O2 lead teacher for the three years of high school, assured seating at NSCC in one of their top two choices, as long as they meet entrance requirements (this assurance does not extend to a few programs with an interview, portfolio or special admission requirements), and eligibility to apply for an entrance scholarship from Saint Mary’s University.

Program Admission Requirements

All students who enter the O2 program must apply and be interviewed for admission into the program. 

  • There is an application process as there are only 20 seats from admission in grade 10.
  • Students can only enter the program in grade 10. 
  • Every student in grade 9 should receive information about the program and the opportunity to request more information. 

Schools should select students who will benefit the most from the program.  They are looking for students who: 

  • want to learn more about themselves
  • want to explore career options
  • can safely engage in independent activities and community-based learning
  • may want to re-engage with their learning through a focus on skill development and career exploration
  • benefit from making connections between school and post-secondary and career pathways

Program Outcomes

Students who complete high school through the O2 program will be expected to demonstrate the following:

  • active engagement in their learning
  • ability to articulate an education and career plan
  • personal awareness of their skills and strengths
  • development of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required for success in the workplace
  • ability to transition to work, a career path, or a post-secondary program
  • awareness and understanding of labour market information in Nova Scotia
  • ability to identify a satisfying career within Nova Scotia

Cohort Classes

The purpose of cohort classes is to provide the students with smaller classes, opportunities for community-based learning and to help build a supportive environment for students. 

Once selected, students are cohorted in at least three classes in grade 10. These courses are:

  • Career Development 10
  • Community-Based Learning 11
  • English 10 

They should also be provided with the opportunity to take other O2 cohort classes during their final two years of high school.  

Requirements for Certificate

Students must complete the following O2 requirements upon graduation to receive an O2 certificate: 

  • student portfolio  (integrated with all courses)
  • Career Development 10
  • Community-Based Learning 11
  • a minimum of 3 Co-operative Education courses

Participating Schools

Have questions? Get in touch.