The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) has launched a new work-integrated learning (WIL) database that will improve access to experiential education opportunities for its students.
WIL is a process of curricular experiential education which formally and intentionally integrates a student’s academic studies within a workplace or practice setting, ranging from capstone courses with external partners, to part-time placements for academic credit, to full-time paid internships/co-op programs. This database highlights courses that meet the definition of WIL set out by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL).
The database allows students to search for WIL opportunities available to them by academic department or school. Some WIL experiences – such as placement courses and practicums – are unique to specific academic programs. Others – such as the LA&PS Internship Program, the Work Study Program and the Cross Campus Capstone Classroom – are available to eligible students in any academic discipline.
“We are excited to offer this streamlined service to students because work-integrated learning experiences can enhance a student’s education and help connect academic knowledge with workplace skills,” Associate Dean, Programs, Sean Kheraj said. “There are so many great WIL opportunities available to LA&PS students and we want as many students as possible to take advantage of all the ways that they can get work experience while they learn.”
Melanie Belore, associate director, experiential education, said that traditionally, work-integrated learning has found a more natural home in the Faculty’s professional programs; however, after working closely with employer partners and students over the years it is evident that some of the skills most sought after in the workplace – critical thinking, cross-cultural communication, creativity, flexibility – are being cultivated in the Faculty’s liberal arts programs.
“I believe that creating more intentional pathways into diverse career paths, especially for our liberal arts students, is critical not only for program recruitment and retention, but because the world today desperately needs liberal arts thinkers across all sectors,” Belore said.
The database will create more visibility for students seeking experiential education opportunities within LA&PS programming.
“We hope that the WIL database will help students become familiar with the different types of opportunities that can help prepare them for post-graduation early on in their studies, so they have ample time to prepare for their upper years,” Experiential Education Coordinator, Irene Seo, said.
Seo encourages prospective, new and current students to use the WIL database to:
- view WIL courses and opportunities that are available in each department/school
- learn more about WIL and customize how to gain work experience prior to graduation
- plan out academic pathways by checking WIL prerequisites early
- search for both curricular and co-curricular WIL opportunities
- read student testimonials (not available for all opportunities yet).
For faculty members and program directors who have work-integrated learning courses that they would like included in the WIL database, contact email@example.com.
Faculty members curious about creating a work-integrated learning course within their program can find more details on the LA&PS Experiential Education Development Fund (stream 3) webpage.