WE Accelerate speeds toward another term

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Group of four students looking at something on a laptop

By: Matthew King

The University of Waterloo’s innovative work-integrated learning program, Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate, will once again be offered for the Winter 2022 term.

After the spring pilot and a successful fall offering, the winter iteration of the program will feature four skill streams for eligible students to choose from.

Initially offered in the 2021 spring term, WE Accelerate was created to help first work-term students struggling to find a co-op job. This optional program gives students the opportunity to gain in-demand skills and work experience, all while gaining a flexible work term credit.

With a larger cohort of students eligible to take part in the winter, industry collaborators Microsoft, Desire2Learn (D2L), Concept and Vidyard will all participate again. Each industry collaborator helped develop the content for one of the skill streams.

The skill streams offered this winter include:

  • Microsoft azure artificial intelligence
  • Innovation
  • Brightspace training
  • Digital bootcamp

“We are excited to continue to provide a quality work-integrated learning experience that differs from a traditional co-op work term to our first work-term students. First work term students
often struggle to find a co-op job, so WE Accelerate gives them
the opportunity to gain that valuable work experience in a supportive setting.”

associate vice provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education

The program features skills training, a project experience working on a real-world problem, and career curriculum bookends.

Julian Lucido, a student who participated in the Spring 2021 pilot of WE Accelerate, said “WE Accelerate was wonderful. You learned skills, you practiced them and went out to try it out in the real world. That is probably the most crystal-clear idea I have had of work-integrated learning.”

The WE Accelerate pilot was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work- Integrated Learning program and CEWIL Canada's iHub, allowing students to receive a one-time award.