Durham College Work-Integrated Learning programs receive nearly $500,000 in funding from CEWIL Canada

The Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) and the Student Affairs office at Durham College (DC) are pleased to announce $492,654 in funding from Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada to support eligible students enrolled in six of the college’s Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) programs this semester.

CEWIL Canada has a long history of supporting DC and its WIL-related initiatives. The new CEWIL Innovation Hub (iHUB), which is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative (I-WIL), is a program dedicated to developing career-ready students through quality WIL-training. Acting as a centre of expertise for grant-based funding, the CEWIL iHUB launched its first call for proposals in 2021.

DC students from a variety of programs will benefit from this funding, including:

  • Practical Nursing and Personal Support Worker – Through the Financial Support Grant for Frontline Health Care WIL Requirements, frontline health care students at DC with winter semester placements – many of whom were impacted by COVID-19 closures– will be eligible to receive financial support for WIL-related expenses, including pre-placement requirements, transportation, technology and childcare. The goal of this program is to expand access to WIL opportunities, particularly to students in underrepresented populations.
  • Chemical Engineering Technology – Students in their final year of the program will complete a high-impact field placement in chemical engineering technology laboratory enhancement and equipment repair. Students will benefit from access to current, industry-relevant technology, such as chemical process simulation software and hands-on experience developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for in-house use of these technologies. The experience will enable students to employ practical troubleshooting techniques for equipment repair and calibration contributing to their career-readiness.
  • Video Production and Photography – Students will partner with the K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation to experience the arts and culture sector while producing communication materials centred around Ontario’s contemporary Indigenous arts community. The funding will allow students to leverage new technology, adapt to COVID-19 limitations and explore new approaches to remote digital film production using 360-degree angle cameras, lighting and sound enhancements.
  • Fitness and Health Promotion – In collaboration with experts from Ontario Tech University, DC students will implement wearable technologies and use sports science techniques to assist in developing unique training programs for elite varsity athletes. This funding will foster opportunities for DC students to leverage the fitness industry’s leading-edge technology, such as the Kinduct training platform, used by over 450 professional and elite sports teams to analyze data from wearable technologies to customize training programs. This experience will familiarize Fitness and Health students with technologies used in their field, bridging the gap as they enter the workplace.

“This funding demonstrates CEWIL Canada’s dedication to the training of future professionals and the value work-integrated learning programs add to the student experience,” says Dr. Elaine Popp, executive vice president, Academic. “After an unprecedented year, this support will benefit many of our students whose academic paths have faced numerous challenges.”

“This investment will have an incredible impact on unique, experiential learning opportunities that ensure our students are better prepared with the skills required for today’s changing workplace,” says Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We are incredibly grateful for CEWIL Canada’s commitment to student success.”

As part of DC’s commitment to provide unique experiential learning opportunities to students, WIL has been a vital part of DC’s framework and student experience for decades, embedded as a formal component in many programs of study.