Conestoga’s Kristine Dawson, director, Co-operative Education, Career Services and Work-Integrated Learning, has been appointed president-elect of the board of directors for the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education. The board announcement was made on November 15 at the organization’s annual general meeting.
During the meeting, members also voted to expand the mission and mandate of the organization and change its name to the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada. Through its expanded mission CEWIL Canada will foster and advance postsecondary co-operative education and work-integrated learning (WIL) across Canada.
Dawson will fill a three-year term where she will transition into the roles of president and past president. During her term, Dawson will work to support the expanded mandate of CEWIL Canada which now represents forms of WIL across the country in addition to co-op work terms such as internships, field placements and community service learning opportunities.
The association’s membership includes nearly 600 individual members and 90 postsecondary institutions. CEWIL Canada will continue to establish national standards, deliver opportunities for learning, and advocate for the interests of its stakeholders, but will now expand its scope to include both co-operative education and other forms of WIL.
The association’s expanded mandate will also create an opportunity for CEWIL to contribute to the national discussion on WIL. The federal government’s Student Work-Integrated Learning Program, administered by Employment and Social Development Canada, will support partnerships between employers and postsecondary institutions to create more work placements for students.
“I’m energized by the opportunity to help lead a national discussion on work-integrated learning in Canada through my work on the CEWIL board, and then to apply this learning to improve the support of WIL for Conestoga students," said Dawson. "It’s an exciting time to be working in this field and I am pleased I can contribute.”
Dawson’s board position has not been filled by a college representative since 2009.
Through their programs, nearly 70 per cent of Conestoga students have access to WIL experiences which provide relevant hands-on learning in support of students’ education and future careers. More than 50 Conestoga programs offer a co-op component, resulting in more than 2,000 placements annually.
For a list of Conestoga co-op programs, visit the college’s website.
Visit CEWIL’s website for more information about its expanded mission and mandate.