How many Badgers out there wish that their program had a hands-on learning component? Well, you are now in luck because Brock is about to stand by its word and provide learning through experience.
Brock is now the first Canadian university to do this. High school guidance counsellors and co-op teachers burst into applause at a recent workshop when this announcement was made. Why is it a big deal?
Experiential learning opportunities are increasingly important to all students. Stats Canada found that graduates with a bachelor degree and co-op experience earned more than their peers, had higher employment rates at a full-time job level and were more likely to pay off their massive amounts of debt within two years — which is quite remarkable.
The CEO of Royal Bank of Canada, Dave McKay, urged universities to find more ways “to get students on the right path and the best way to do that is through work-integrated learning.” McKay wrote about his thoughts in a piece for the Globe and Mail last year.
This massive movement for the university means more opportunities for students to gain transferable skills that will ultimately lead to tremendous jobs and opportunities after graduation.
Cara Boese, Brock’s Director of Co-Op, Career and Experiential Education, said “People ask, ‘How can you get a job if you don’t have experience, and how can you get experience if you can’t get a job?’ We are answering those questions. We are helping to bridge the gap between academic learning outcomes and transferable employment experience.”
“You can come to Brock and have that rich university learning experience, use critical thinking, gain knowledge and graduate with a degree, but also gain the experience that you require to start down your desired career path,” Boese said.
“We are connecting theory and practice in a meaningful way that helps students not only learn, but better understand and discover their own aspirations and passions,” said Tom Traves, Brock’s Interim President. “This is what differentiates us from other universities.”
About half of the University’s more than 18,000 students get some level of hands-on work experience during their time at Brock through some form of experiential learning.
“Our goal is to work with faculty in order to increase the number of experiential learning opportunities within courses,” said Boese.
“At the end of the day, a student at Brock will have more opportunities to engage in experiential learning, reflect on these experiences and thereby develop skills and competencies to help them achieve their career goals.”
-Loredana Del Bello, Assistant Campus News Editor