Waterloo ExL Overview
Waterloo ExL is part of a building academic capacity initiative funded by MTCU. The initiative is targeted directly to faculty at UWaterloo, providing resources and tools necessary to support incorporating more experiential learning (EL) into the curriculum. The program is intentionally scaffolded to build capacity for and share knowledge about experiential learning at Waterloo. Administrative support for these initiatives will be provided by staff within CTE and Co-operative and Experiential Education.
There are five elements in this initiative:
- Waterloo ExL – to develop Communities of Practice and assist with the overall initiative - building on existing expertise at Waterloo
- EL Symposium – October 17, 2018 – to highlight existing EL initiatives and associated resources on campus.
- EL Institute – estimated 3 days – February 2019 – to assist departments interested in adding EL assignments/courses within the curriculum
- Development of electronic resources for faculty interested in EL (tip sheets, best practices, links to insurance forms, etc.) – to support ongoing EL development after the end of the grant
- Report outlining recommendations for sustainable capacity building at Waterloo
MTCU Definition of Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is “hands on learning” in a real or simulated workplace that helps prepare students for the transition to work. It also helps employers connect students and new graduates with the skills they need to hit the ground running.
The Experiential Learning Leads program will use the criteria for experiential learning defined by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The experience must satisfy all of the following requirements:
- The student is in a workplace or simulated workplace.
- The student is exposed to authentic demands that improve their employability, interpersonal skills, and transition to the workforce.
- The experience is structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.
- The student applies university or college program knowledge and/or essential employability skills.
- The experience includes student self-assessment and evaluation of the student’s performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or university/college.
- The experience counts towards course credit or credential completion OR is formally recognized by the college or university as meeting the five criteria above.
Also, it is important that opportunities comply with employment laws and regulations, and that experiences are accessible and are offered in inclusive environments.
Funding for Waterloo ExL is provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' Career Ready grant program.
Learn more about the Career Ready Fund.