Conestoga news

October 30, 2018 2:08 PM

Conestoga welcomes CEWIL members for AGM

On October 24, Conestoga welcomed representatives from institutions across Canada for CEWIL Canada’s Annual General Meeting and Professional Development event.

Conestoga College - CEWIL 2018.jpg
Conestoga welcomed representatives from institutions across Canada for CEWIL Canada’s Annual General Meeting and Professional Development event on October 24.

Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada, or CEWIL Canada, formerly the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE), is the lead organization for work-integrated learning in Canada and builds capacity to develop future-ready students and graduates through quality work-integrated learning in partnership with post-secondary institutions, community members, employers and government.

The association’s membership includes almost 800 individual members and more than 100 post-secondary institutions. The AGM is hosted by CEWIL Canada’s incoming president; Conestoga’s Kristine Dawson, director, Co-operative Education, Career Services and Work-Integrated Learning, held the position until she assumed the role of president at the AGM.

“I’m pleased to host WIL practitioners and leaders from across the country at Conestoga College. Attendees were able to participate in a tour of our state-of-the-art experiential learning facilities in engineering and technology to see how college students prepare for the workplace,” said Dawson.

Over the last year, CEWIL Canada has adopted more forms of work-integrated learning into its mandate. It now stretches beyond co-operative education to include community service learning, apprenticeships, service learning, field placements and internships, among others. CEWIL has been working to support its expanded mandate, including expanding the CEWIL National Co-op Statistics database to include other forms of WIL. During the AGM, RBC Future Launch announced a $100,000 gift to support this work.

Following the AGM, a professional development session titled “Where there's WIL, there's more ways: an introduction to types of Work-Integrated Learning in Canada” was provided for participants to learn more about various forms of WIL. Nadine Jannetta, liaison officer for Conestoga’s Women in Skilled Trades program, sat on the panel of speakers to discuss apprenticeship. Conestoga is a provincial leader in the delivery of trades and apprenticeship training to serve industry needs and the region. 

Additional panelists:

  • Dr. Ashley Stirling, University of Toronto, vice dean, Academic Affairs (moderator)
  • Andrea Giles, University of Victoria, acting executive director, Co-operative Education Program and Career Services (topic: community service learning)
  • Dr. Wayne Chang, University of Waterloo, lecturer, Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business (topic: entrepreneurship)
  • Matt Medland, University of Toronto, director, Professional Programs and External Relations, Department of Computer Science, (topic: applied research)
  • Matt Rempel, Sheridan College, associate dean, Career Education & Co-curricular Learning (topic: work/field placements)
  • Michelle Shockness, Redeemer University, Assistant Professor (Applied Social Sciences) (topic: practica/clinical placements)
  • Susan Soikie, University of Toronto, director, Arts & Science Co-op (topic: internships)

In February 2018, CEWIL Canada accredited 28 of Conestoga’s co-operative education programs. As part of the accreditation review, Conestoga was required to demonstrate its institutional commitment to co-operative education, the criteria used to ensure quality program delivery, and the processes, procedures and methods used for monitoring and evaluating the student and employer experience.

Through their programs, more than 70 per cent of Conestoga students have access to work-integrated learning experiences which provide relevant hands-on learning in support of students’ education and future careers. Almost 60 Conestoga programs offer a co-op component, resulting in more than 2,500 work terms annually.