8A - Evolving our Student Learning Support Structure to Effectively Integrate and Communicate the Value of Transformative International Co-op Experiences

Evolution of Co-operative Education
Tuesday 31 Jul 01:30 PM (55 minutes)

UWaterloo annually facilitates ~900+ workterms outside Canada/USA. As we mature in the delivery of our international co-op model, there is greater focus on helping students communicate the 'value' of their experience in terms of skills gained that they will use as professional assets, and integrate in their academic contexts. We surveyed our key stakeholders – students – about skills learned on the workterm that will be helpful in classes and future work terms. We will share how we embraced change in our student learning support structure to better help students mindfully create learning goals for the skills they wished to gain, monitor these actively, integrate them in their academics on return, and then, make an informed effort to effectively communicate the value of their transformative experience in terms of professional assets. While this is rooted in co-op work terms, the insights we gained are easily translated to any work integrated learning experiences.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn what themes are found in student perspectives to skills gained via international co-op workterms that they believe will be assets to them in professional and academic settings
  • See how a student learning support structure can evolve to better fit the needs of key stakeholders as they see it; not just as we believe the evolution needs to be
  • Identify low-resource, low-cost ways that can improve how students are supported in understanding the value of the work experience and integrating it in future professional contexts

University of Waterloo
Manager - International Mobility
University of Waterloo
International Student Advisor

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