By: Namish Modi (he/him)

The University of Waterloo’s Work-Learn Institute (WxL) is this year’s recipient of the Co-operative Education and Internship Association (CEIA) Ralph W. Tyler Award.

CEE representatives being awarded the CEIA prize
Judene Pretti, Anne Fannon and Dave Drewery receiving the CEIA Ralph W. Tyler Award

CEIA recognized WxL on April 4th at a ceremony held in San Diego, California.

The national award recognizes excellence for outstanding and distinguished research in co-operative education, internships and work-integrated learning (WIL).

The winning article, titled The Work-Learn Institute: A Living Lab for Work-Integrated Learning Research, was authored by Katie Knapp, research associate at WxL.  

Experience magazine, a publication of CEIA, published the article, which highlights some of WXL’s recent research.

With this award, CEIA recognizes WxL for being a one-of-a-kind research centre conducting meaningful and impactful research in the world of WIL. 

As we look toward the future of work, we strive to identify the ways that WIL can develop talent for a complex future. We are proud to receive this award from CEIA which highlights the importance of research in advancing the
practice of WIL.

Anne Fannon (MA ’03), Director of the Work-Learn Institute

Key highlights from the award-winning paper

The paper focuses on the creation of the Future Ready Talent Framework (FRTF) and the AAA ★ quality framework.  

As Governments provided funding to increase access to WIL experiences for post-secondary students, WxL created the AAA ★ WIL quality framework. The framework provides guidance for those planning and administering WIL programs. It is a research-informed tool to help ensure that organizations deliver quality WIL.    

Another example of WxL’s research focused on the building blocks of relevant work experiences. Through their research, including interviews with co-op students, WxL identified four major factors that impact student experiences:    

  1. Social integration  
  2. Appropriate level of challenge  
  3. Alignment with students’ field of work  
  4. Acquisition of new knowledge and skills 

Educators, employers, and WIL facilitators all benefit from these study results as they build WIL programs and experiences and consider the future of work.  

The FRTF helps identify core competencies that are essential for the future of work. The evidence-based tool addresses crucial competencies for students, employers, and educators that will be in demand in the future workplace.   

Originally founded in 2002 as the Waterloo Centre for Advancement of Co-operative Education, WxL is committed to establishing quality standards for meaningful, high-quality co-operative education and WIL programs and supporting stakeholders in the development and enhancement of WIL.

WxL is open to collaborative research and partnership opportunities with the industry and post-secondary colleagues.