Answers to your top questions about hands-on learning at DC

Category: Student Profiles

At Durham College (DC), we know the best way for you to learn what it takes to succeed in your chosen field is to experience it first-hand. By doing this, you’ll enhance the skills you learn in the classroom, network and make industry contacts, and gain valuable real-world work experience.

There are different forms of experiential learning, including work-integrated learning (WIL) which combines your academic studies with quality experiences within a workplace or practice setting. And it’s not just a valuable addition to your educational experience – it’s an essential component of preparing you for success in today’s rapidly evolving workforce as it provides hands-on experience in your chosen field – before graduation!

To help you understand work-integrated learning better, we’ve answered the top five questions we hear most!

  1. What are the benefits of WIL?

By providing opportunities for real-world application, skill development, career exploration, networking, and increased employability, work-integrated learning plays a vital role in shaping you as a well-rounded, career-ready graduate! DC offers a wide range of hands-on learning to help you lead the way in your future career.

  1. What are the different types of WIL offered at DC?

DC believes in the power of WIL to transform your educational experience and prepare you for success in your future career. That’s why we offer a variety of hands-on learning opportunities tailored to meet your specific needs and interests, including co-operative education programs that integrate academic studies with paid work terms, field placements, practicums that provide supervised real-world experiences, applied research and capstone projects, as well as volunteering.

  1. Do I have to pay for WIL?

Most forms of WIL at DC are built into the curriculum, so additional payment is not required. However, students transferred into their program’s co-op option will be charged an administrative fee of $475 for each work term. This is not a placement fee, meaning you are not guaranteed to be hired for a co-op position, rather it provides access to all the services administered by the Experiential Learning team, which are in place to assist you in your co-op job search.

  1. How long are WIL opportunities?

Different forms of WIL vary in length and scheduling based on industry needs. You are typically expected to work full-time hours aligned with industry standards and there may be shift work or weekend work required.

  1. Will I receive a paycheck?

Field placements are typically unpaid; however, co-op positions usually pay at least the provincial minimum wage. Beyond this, pay rates for co-op vary depending on your program of study, your employer, and the scope of your work term role.

Have more questions? Explore your future or current program to learn about its work-integrated learning opportunities.