By: Matthew King (he/him)

Work-Learn Institute study points to increase in students’ teamwork, critical thinking after taking part in the program.

WE Accelerate aims to help vulnerable first work-term co-op students build skills to enhance employment for subsequent work terms – and according to research, it has achieved that goal. Students who participated in WE Accelerate were able to find jobs that better fit their skills and were happier with the pay. This, and other results are highlighted in a study of WE Accelerate done by Work-Learn Institute (WxL) and funded by Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) skills consortium three years after the pilot offering.

The study, Reversing Un(der)employment with Skills Development in the WE Accelerate Program, focused on the initial three cohorts of first work term students beginning with the pilot participants in spring 2021. It compared outcomes with their peers, both those employed and unemployed in the spring 2021 term.

WE Accelerate participants reported a 13 per cent increase in confidence in their teamwork skills and a 12 per cent increase in their critical thinking skills after participating in the program. These increases also helped set students up for subsequent work terms, which exhibit similarly positive results.