Almost half of Ontario's postsecondary students take part in a co-op, internship, field placement or some other form of experiential learning by the time they graduate. The Ontario Premier's Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel has recommended that all postsecondary students have at least one work-integrated learning opportunity before they complete their studies to better prepare them for the demands of today's changing workforce and ensure their labour market success.
Are institutions ready for the challenge? And will students have access to meaningful experiential learning opportunities? HEQCO's research work in this area has produced reports shedding light on the views of faculty, employers and students about work-integrated learning; a survey exploring the employment outcomes of graduates with work-integrated learning experience; a typology of what work-integrated learning encompasses that has been adopted by the Ontario government; a handbook for practitioners; and a report on the legal implications of providing experiential learning opportunities for employers and institutions.
HEQCO will continue to work with Ontario colleges and universities to identify the barriers and challenges students face in accessing work-integrated learning opportunities, find ways of ensuring that all students have access to meaningful work-integrated learning experiences, and determine whether these efforts are resulting in the desired workplace skills.
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