On Co-op launches next cohort of Co-operative Certificate Program

27 Jan 2016 | Archives

Guelph ON. January 27, 2016. The Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op), in partnership with the Schulich School of Business, York University, has launched the next cohort of its “Fundamentals of Co-operative Organizations” Certificate Program (FCO). The Program is designed for those who are working in, governing, managing or developing co-operatives or credit unions. Those interested in co-ops, co-operative leadership and those not based in Ontario will also find value in the Program. The 2016 cohort begins on March 22, and applications are being accepted until March 9.
The ten-week Certificate Program consists of three two-day, face-to-face classroom sessions held in Toronto, plus five 90-minute webinars and a selection of readings students can do from their home or office. Participants work closely with the Schulich faculty as well as co-op scholars and leaders, who represent a diversity of for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. The On Co-op website ontario.coop/FCOProgram provides details on the curriculum, application process, fees, bursaries and payment plans.
Created in 2010 as the Co-operative Management Certificate Program, the Fundamentals of Co-operative Organizations Program is designed and hosted by On Co-op and the Schulich School of Business. The newly-updated curriculum reflects the current social and economic climate that impacts co-operative operations and development, and provides staff, managers and board members of co-ops, credit unions and stakeholder organizations with the essential skills and expertise to lead co-operative businesses.
The FCO Program will integrate and create connections with more co-op leaders than ever before. The next cohort is set to include Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators, Harvey Cooper, Managing Director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ontario Region, Peter Cameron, Co-op Development Manager at the Ontario Co-operative Association, and Rob Paterson, President and CEO of Alterna & Savings Credit Union.
Schulich professor and Director of the Social Sector Management Program, Brenda Gainer notes: “Each session focuses on critical ideas that when combined, provide students with a contemporary, transferable and practical set of skills that will contribute to their co-operatives and to their careers.”
By the end of the program on May 28, 2016, students will have graduated with a greater understanding of topics and issues of importance for the development and success of co-operative businesses, including: how to harness the co-op difference, navigating the legislation and regulation of co-ops, governance issues and strategies, co-operative financial management and accounting, member recruitment and engagement, strategic planning and managing change, co-op leadership and management, financing and raising capital, and developing and growing a co-operative. Most importantly, FCO Program graduates will be able to think critically and creatively, and to manage or govern their organizations with strong co-operative fundamentals.

Mark Ventry, executive director of On Co-op, graduated from the first cohort in 2010 and was involved in the development of the 2016 curriculum. He says, “We want to ensure that the evolving co-operative business sector has a steady supply of highly skilled leaders. Graduates of the Fundamental of Co-operative Organizations Program will enhance the sustainability of their co-op businesses, and will be equipped to respond to the unique challenges they face.”


Contact Adam Malloy, Education Manager, On Co-op at amalloy@ontario.coop or 888.745.5521 x. 29
To learn more about the “Fundamentals of Co-operative Organizations Certificate Program,” visit us ONLINE.


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