Interdisciplinary Co-op is creating opportunities for students to access practical learning experiences

UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Co-op Program continues to enhance, support, broaden and explore new relationships with community, and collaborate with partner organizations to develop a wide range of meaningful work experiences for students. Through co-operative education students have the opportunity to ‘learn by doing’, enhancing career pathways and possibilities, and infusing a passion for reflective learning. As part of BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training Co-op and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) initiative seeking to develop and grow applied learning opportunities for students, the Interdisciplinary Co-op Program is leading three project initiatives: 

 

  • Establishment of an innovative industry-focused Wine Sector Co-op Program, led from the Social and Economic Change Laboratory (SE-Change) in collaboration with the UBC Wine Research Centre 
  • Creation of two new Indigenous Co-op Coordinator positions, spanning both Okanagan and Vancouver campuses – Arts Co-op, Applied Science Co-op and Interdisciplinary Co-op, to support Indigenous students engaging in co-op and to collaborate with a variety of internal and external stakeholders in stewarding relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations. 
  • Enhanced support for small and medium-sized organizations (SMEs) in the Interior and Northern regions of BC, including those in remote and rural communities, to better understand and address barriers of engagement in work-integrated learning programming such as co-op.  This includes access to a resource hub and job-posting portal tailored to SMEs, handson support in drafting and reviewing job descriptions, and increasing brand awareness on campus for local organizations. The Interior and Northern Work Integrated Learning Initiative is a collaborative project between UBC Okanagan, University of Northern BC, Thompson Rivers University.  

“This funding gives students remarkable opportunities to learn through co-op education connected to communities, organizations and sectors throughout BC.”

– Dr. Roger Sugden, Dean, Faculty of Management at UBC Okanagan.

Dr. Sugden further notes, “By addressing the barriers to engagement for small- and medium-sized organizations, piloting new programming that crosses disciplinary boundaries, and supporting a sector-specific co-op specialization, the funding helps us to create innovative student learning opportunities that dovetail with the changing needs and developments of regionally-based organizations.”

These project initiatives underscore the opportunities related to enhancing experiential and work-integrated learning opportunities for students at UBC, as outlined in Shaping UBC’s Next Century.  

Eleven projects at UBC are amongst the forty-six across BC’s twenty-five public post-secondary institutions, which are being supported through this $5.5-million investment from BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

 

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