Developing talent for a complex future

The Developing Talent Action Team includes:

The Developing Talent Action Team co-ordinates actions with Associate Deans Undergraduate and Associate Deans Graduate in each of the faculties. Academic support units are also integral to this work, including the Centre for Extended Learning, Centre for Teaching Excellence, Co-operative Education, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, the Registrar's Office, Waterloo International, Work-Learn Institute, and related groups. The action team is reviewing recommendations made by the Strategic Plan Task Forces to determine how they can be used to inform planning and implementation of relevant initiatives.  

The Developing Talent for a Complex Future Theme focuses on action to create an environment that addresses the academic and learning needs of our undergraduate and graduate students, providing meaningful academic engagement for a complex and evolving world. Our leadership in work-integrated learning is foundational to this commitment.

Goals and objectives

The Developing Talent Theme area has four goals and 15 objectives. The team developed initiatives to address these areas. Goals, objectives, and initiatives can be can be viewed by expanding the links below. Initiatives shown reflect some of the activities that are planned to address the goals and objectives, and are expected to change and evolve over time.

Goal T1: Educate global citizens for the future of work

Increase flexible curricula that stimulate reflective, deep learning and develop competencies to address global challenges and opportunities.

  • Build a teaching and learning innovation ecosystem: incubate, implement, evaluate

Promote quality and innovation in teaching and learning and support infrastructure, policy and practice that remove systemic barriers.

  • Advance the Indigenous, equity and diversity across the entire University curriculum by establishing courses relevant to equity-seeking groups, and ensuring that relevant issues are considered by all academic programs
  • Upgrade teaching spaces and supports to promote innovative teaching and learning
  • Establish integrated process for evaluation of teaching quality that includes student perceptions of teaching along with other measures of teaching quality and support
  • Develop a new policy for teaching-only stream for faculty members

  • Modify Intellectual Property (IP) policy to include academic programming content

  • Advance Indigenous, equity and diversity curriculum

  • Anti-racism training and support

Find new ways to work together and remove barriers to collaboration, interdisciplinarity and the integration of knowledge.

  • Develop flexible learning pathways:

    • interdisciplinary, collaborative programming
    • X+ Business (both undergraduates and graduates)
  • Implement recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Task Force

Continue to advance an agile, technology–enabled learning ecosystem that supports high–quality, open content and digital learning options.

  • Establish stewardship of educational technologies to help create and manage a learning ecosystem that is commensurate with Waterloo’s reputation as tech and innovation leader

  • Create a digital education strategy

Further enhance the “Business at Waterloo” programming model to inspire people to lead in a rapidly changing economy.

  • Expand X+Business programs to more areas of the curriculum

Goal T2: Enhance graduate and post-doctoral studies

Grow work–integrated learning opportunities in graduate studies.

  • Define, track, and grow work integrated learning for graduate students

Increase the availability and depth of partnerships with external agencies to advance applied research and learning opportunities for graduate students, post–doctoral scholars and faculty.

  • Create, implement and secure funding for interdisciplinary thematic research projects

Foster an interdisciplinary environment for graduate students and post–doctoral scholars to increase the impact of their work.

  • Increase interdisciplinary activity for research-based graduate students

  • Develop specializations for course-based graduate programs and research fields for research programs

  • Increase the number of offerings and uptake on type 2 graduate diplomas

Strengthen academic, personal and professional supports for our graduate student community.

  • Develop and implement mentoring program for graduate students, in particular among international and equity-seeking and visible minority group students
  • Increase postdoctoral student engagement and connection with the Waterloo community
  • Implement and deliver minimum funding levels for Masters students in line with our U15 peers
  • Reduce stress of graduate students through: supervisor relationship improvements, clarity for graduate studies milestones (defense, comprehensive exams, etc.)

Stimulate opportunities for interdisciplinary research by developing more flexible graduate programs.

  • Increase interdisciplinary graduate programs

  • Develop and implement models of PhD programs; possibilities for consideration include: a) MIT model,  b) German model

Goal T3: Continue to lead the world in co-operative education

Leverage Waterloo’s employer, industry, government and alumni networks to enhance our connection to the community, Canada and the world.

  • Demonstrate global leadership in work-integrated learning through memberships and active roles in national and global organizations
  • Advance the research activities of the Work-Learn Institute

Continue to demonstrate global prominence in the development, recruitment and retention of future–ready talent, with a focus on building a diverse workforce.

  • Increase both the offering and the uptake of experiential learning opportunities (e.g. EDGE, co-op research certificate)

  • Create new work integrated learning (WIL) opportunities; define and capture these diverse work experiences integrated with learning

  • Implement future-ready talent framework

  • Maximize student engagement and retention strategies with focus on first work term and BIPOC initiatives

  • Adapt pre-first work term co-op supports to meet needs of individuals in marginalized groups

  • Increase regularity and formality of engagement with student leadership / advocacy groups representing marginalized communities

  • Refresh course-tagging for course offerings at undergraduate level and complete at graduate level

  • Develop and implement a full employer engagement strategy that engages employers in a wide range of ways

  • Create a supportive environment for the future of Waterloo’s work and pursuit of lifelong learning

Increase interdisciplinary opportunities for co–op students to gain locally and globally relevant research experience.

  • Linked to interdisciplinary programming in goals
  • Educate global citizens for the future of work and learning to thrive in an age of rapid change by putting learners at the centre of everything we do
  • Enhance graduate and post-doctoral studies by emphasizing the unique attributes of the University of Waterloo and our talented and diverse graduate student community

Goal T4: Unique approach to support lifelong learning

Establish a lifelong learning centre that will enable and encourage our alumni and other professionals to reskill in a society that increasingly requires continuous learning.

  • Develop micro-credentials through lifelong learning
  • Implement programming for type 3 diplomas
  • Implement micro-credential development through a work-integrated learning programs unit to assess and recognize skill/talent development
  • Establish a lifelong learning business unit

Leverage and optimize government, industry and community partnerships, and engage alumni in lifelong learning relationships.

  • Through WatSPEED, establish partnerships with industry associations that serve large professional memberships across Ontario and Canada (e.g., CPA Ontario, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons) and closely monitor the provincial government’s initiatives for micro-credentials.