45 Global Community Engagement through Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

PRESENTATION OVERVIEW FROM CONFERENCE PROGRAM

Dr. Norah McRae & Karima Ramji, University of Victoria

Community-university engagement (CUE) is a term that describes the intentional relationship between a university and its larger community (this can include local community members, organizations, businesses, government, etc.). The goal of these relationships is to build a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources that can contribute to more sustainable, just and healthy communities.

University of Victoria has over one thousand community-engagement initiatives and partnerships in over 70 countries around the world. Co-operative Education is a key contributor to this magnificent amount of community engaged work. This includes local and international co-operative education programs. This presentation will focus on UVic’s international programs, specifically the CANCOM-COOP program, as it relates to community university engagement.

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee II Scholarship provided many institutions the opportunity to expand their WIL programming to commonwealth countries. At University of Victoria, the scholarship enabled development of the CANCOM-COOP program (Canada- Commonwealth Co-op Program). Students were engaged in meaningful international co-operative education work terms that not only developed their professional competencies, but enabled them to actively engage in their local communities through specific community engagement initiatives.

We will showcase some of the placements, community engagement activities students undertook, and the impact this has had on the students. Opportunities and challenges in developing and managing this program will also be explored, along with a discussion on how WIL programs can contribute to their institutions’ community engagement strategies.

KEY WORDS

  • Community-university engagement
  • International work integrated learning
  • CANCOM-COOP
  • Queen Elizabeth Scholars

 

BIO

Dr. Norah McRae, University of Victoria
Norah McRae, PhD, is Executive Director of the Co-operative Education Program and Career Services and the Director of the Office of Community-University Engagement at the University of Victoria, Canada. Her involvement in co-operative and work-integrated education spans more than twenty years, over which time she has led strategic program development and research on student engagement, community-engaged learning and intercultural competency development. In 2016 she was awarded the Albert S. Barber award from the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) for outstanding contributions to the field of co-operative education in Canada and was corecipient for the BCCIE Award for Outstanding Program in International Education. In 2013/14 she was awarded the CAFCE Service Award for meritorious service to the association and in 2012 the CAFCE Graham Branton award for research excellence. Her doctoral research examined conditions that enabled transformative learning during work-integrated education and led to the development of a preliminary theoretical model for learning during work-integrated education. Norah has been published in the International Handbook for Co-operative and Work-Integrated Education, the AsiaPacific Journal for Co-operative Education, CEIA Journal, The World is my Classroom: International Learning and Canadian Higher Education and the Refereed proceedings of the 2nd International Research Symposium on Co-operative and Work-integrated Education. She is a faculty member for the WACE Planning Institute for Global and Experiential Education and the WACE Assessment Institute. Norah has served as President of the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education and is an Executive member of the World Association for Co-operative and Work-integrated Education Board of Directors.

Karima Ramji, University of Victoria
Karima is the Manager of International Programs at the University of Victoria’s Co-operative Education Programs and Career Services. She leads the internationalization of UVic’s Co-op and Career programs and is engaged in research relating to intercultural competency development and employability. In 2016 she was awarded the BCCIE Award for Outstanding Program in International Education for UVic’s CANEU-COOP program. Karima served as a Faculty member at the 2016 WACE Assessment Institute. She has co-published articles in the International Handbook for Co-operative and Work-Integrated Education and the Refereed proceedings of the 2nd International Research Symposium on Cooperative and Work-Integrated education.

 

LINK TO PRESENTATION

Click here to view presentation.

 

SUMMARY

Overview

Community-university engagement (CUE) is a term that describes the intentional relationship between a university and its larger community (this can include local community members, organizations, businesses, government, etc.). The goal of these relationships is to build a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources that can contribute to more sustainable, just and healthy communities.

University of Victoria has over one thousand community-engagement initiatives and partnerships in over 70 countries around the world. Co-operative Education is a key contributor to this magnificent amount of community engaged work. This includes local and international co-operative education programs. This presentation focussed on UVic’s international programs, specifically the CANCOM-COOP program, as it relates to community university engagement.

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee II Scholarship provided many instnitutions the opportunity to expand their WIL programming to commonwealth countries. At University of Victoria, the scholarship enabled development of the CANCOM-COOP program (Canada- Commonwealth Co-op Program). Students were engaged in meaningful international co-operative education work terms that not only developed their professional competencies, but enabled them to actively engage in their local communities through specific community engagement initiatives.

this presentation showcased owcase some of the CANCOM-COOP placements, community engagement activities students undertook, and the impact this has had on the students. One specific initiative, the SAM Project was discussed in detail and the impact of co-op student contribution to UVic’s five pillars of community-university engagement were discussed. An analysis of student contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through their work at the SAM project was also presented. the attached presentation provides detailed information.

This presentation engaged the audience in a discussion on the role that work integrated learning plays in community engagement, not just locally, but globally and how WIL programs can contribute to their institutions’ community engagement goals.

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