College Strives To Instill "Real World" Experience In All Programs

experiential learning

Among the administrative up-date reports provided to the college’s Board of Governors during its March 23rd meeting was one about St. Clair’s progress on instilling an Experiential Learning (EL) ­– also referred to as Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) – component in all of it programs.

Here is the tabled report:

EL is a requirement based on the College's Strategic Directions, as well as, the current Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA3) which states that every graduate requires an EL course or experience within their program delivery.

St. Clair College currently offers over 125 postsecondary academic programs, including Apprenticeship. The college has achieved compliancy with all programs having an EL component, except for two postsecondary programs and preparatory programs that provide pathways to further postsecondary education. Such programs include Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees, Liberal Arts, General Arts and Science, Academic and Career Entrance (ACE), Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS), and English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The two non-compliant postsecondary programs are Police Foundations and Protection, Security and Investigation. Implementation of the EL component for these programs was delayed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Job Shadowing is a new initiative that has been incorporated within several programs to ensure that all students have the opportunity for Experiential Learning. Job Shadowing provides an opportunity to promote job opportunities to students, and allows employers to consider potential hires, while offering students a chance to utilize new skills and training. Job Shadowing positions are unpaid, and range from 20 to 37 hours in total during the semester. The following programs have incorporated this initiative:

• Carpentry and Renovation Techniques

• Electrical Techniques

• Electromechanical Engineering Technician – Robotics

• Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician

• Motive Power Technician

• Plumbing Techniques

• Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training

• Welding Techniques

• Woodworking Technician

To ensure that all new and existing programs contain an appropriate level and type of EL, St. Clair College has the following systems in place:

1. The College Program Advisory Committee (CPAC) ensures that all program proposals have EL incorporated into the development of any new programming.

2. Within the Cyclical Review process, St. Clair College ensures that EL remains current and appropriate within the program curriculum.

3. Program Advisory Committees (PACs) also provide current industry input to ensure that EL remains appropriate to the curriculum delivery.

4. St. Clair College has also completed the formalization of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for EL to ensure processes and procedures are in accordance with college policies and Ministry requirements. Every student is provided an opportunity. This SOP helps to define the roles and responsibilities of the Academic Departments, Career Services, students and industry partners.

Documenting Types of Experiential Learning

In order to be deemed an EL experience, the following criteria must be met:

• The student is in a workplace or simulated workplace.

• The student is exposed to authentic demands that improve their job-ready skills, interpersonal skills, and transition to the workforce.

• The experience is structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.

• The student applies program knowledge and/or essential employability skills.

• The experience includes student self-assessment and/or evaluation of the student's performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or college.

The following are types of EL occurring within St. Clair College programming:

(a) Work-Integrated Learning:

i. Clinical

ii. Co-operative Education/Internship

iii. Placement/Job Shadowing

iv. Apprenticeship

(b) Enterprise Learning Experiences

(c) Applied Research

(d) Service Learning

(e) Interactive Simulation

(f) Performance

(g) Capstone Projects

(h) Co-curricular Learning Experiences

Career Services has the responsibility of maintaining a database platform, CareerCentral, which collects the EL elements and activities.

SEE THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING STORY ABOUT THE 2021-22 COLLEGE BUDGET: http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/board-budget-maintaining-enrolment-means-ongoing-financial-stability

SEE THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING STORY ABOUT THE COLLEGE’S STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS FOR THE COMING YEAR: http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/what-were-doing-where-were-going-next-year

SEE THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING STORY ABOUT VARSITY ATHLETIC PERFORMANCES DURING THE PAST YEAR: http://stclair-src.org/news/need-know-news/no-games-lots-activity-varsity-saints