Durham College receives funding for two work-integrated learning projects that will help students make a difference

Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) is thrilled to share that two work-integrated learning (WIL) projects have been awarded more than $100,000 in total funding for the 2022-2023 academic year. These generous grants are provided by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada and its Innovation Hub (iHub) which is dedicated to developing future-ready students through its unique hands-on experiential learning opportunities and partnerships.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of CEWIL Canada and iHub on these two emerging projects at DC,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “These projects are perfect examples of how we’re identifying and responding to the evolving needs within our national and global community and serves as proof of how our students and employees are leading the way in inclusivity and innovation.”

The first project, led by Greg Murphy, executive dean, Faculty of Media, Art & Design (MAD) at DC is committed to improving media representation of people with disabilities living in Canada. This new accessible and inclusive image bank will authentically represent those with a disability by focusing on the individual rather than the equipment they rely on, which is unfortunately portrayed the majority of time in stock image sharing sites. To better improve this representation, 84 students in MAD will capture and edit images and videos in collaboration with Spinal Cord Injury Canada throughout the 2022 fall semester.

The second project receiving funding is a brand-new student-produced podcast called Founder’s Drive. It aims to spark inspiration and curiosity among entrepreneurial-minded youth world-wide to explore starting their own businesses. The podcast will help foster inclusivity, honesty, trust and accessibility for new entrepreneurs by building a foundation of self-determination. This project is led by Danielle Harder, a professor in MAD, and will be hosted through DC’s 360insights Entrepreneurship Centre and FastStartDC. This project will give 13 students across five academic programs in MAD the unique opportunity to host, produce, market and promote six podcast episodes, equipping them with the tools and experience they need to better conquer their entrepreneurial dreams in our ever-changing media industry.

“By offering innovative WIL opportunities at our institutions across Canada, we continue to see growth in students’ personal and professional competencies,” indicated Charlene Marion, director, WIL at CEWIL Canada. “The skills and competencies gained through these experiences serve to support students as they transition to the workplace, entrepreneurial endeavours, or future studies.”

The funding received for these two work-integrated projects at DC will provide students with the skills and experience they need to flourish post-graduation in careers and businesses of their own.

These projects have been funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning program and CEWIL Canada’s iHUB. For further information on these programs and funding opportunities, please visit their website.