April 25, 2017
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University has the top student career services model among Canadian post-secondary institutions, according to an independent national study.
Laurier had the highest score and emerged at the top of the most “impressive” model list among universities and colleges across the country in a study of career services conducted on behalf of the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), an organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development.
"Our vision is for all students to be engaged in their career development as an integral component of the Laurier experience," said Jan Basso, assistant vice-president: experiential learning and career development. "This involves the delivery of comprehensive programming that is diverse and relevant, with a focus on integration throughout the institution, both curricular and co-curricular. The strong partnerships we’ve developed with employers, alumni and the broader community have been critical to our success."
Laurier recently strengthened the integration between its career services and academic programming and experiential learning by creating a Centre for Experiential Learning and Career Development. The synergies generated support employability through more integrated approaches to co-curricular learning and student development. Examples of experiential learning include co-operative education, field placements, internships, laboratory experience, entrepreneurial activities, community-engaged learning, research, teaching apprenticeships and international experiences, including study abroad and field placements.
"Laurier's experiential learning and career development approach intentionally enhances academic learning, personal growth and professional development over the student’s entire life, from their first to final year at university, as well as after graduation," said David McMurray, vice-president: student affairs. "Students are more engaged both in and beyond the classroom and gain the skills and competencies needed for a successful career."
Laurier’s successful approach to integrating academic programming and experiential learning aligns closely with the Ontario government’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy. As a leader in the integration of academic programming and experiential learning, Laurier’s strategy is guided by two imperatives: to forge connections between academic program learning and experiential learning; and to emphasize the link between program learning outcomes and the essential skills students require for future success.
"It is great to see the outstanding success of our career centre team acknowledged in this national study,” said Kathryn Carter, associate vice-president: teaching and learning. “This accolade shows that Laurier has proven methods to weave together learning and practice in ways that help students digest and reflect on what they are learning in the classroom. By consciously integrating their talents, career aspirations, and their classroom education, students participate in creating a more engaged educational experience and this, in turn, enriches and advances the academic mission of the university.”
The most recent graduate employment survey conducted for the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development found that 89.1 per cent of Laurier students who graduated in 2013 obtained employment within six months of graduation, compared to the provincial average of 87 per cent; and 94.6 per cent of the same Laurier cohort found employment within two years of graduation, compared to the provincial average of 93.6 per cent.
The CERIC report, titled Insight into Canadian Post-Secondary Career Service Models, describes institutions with an "impressive" model of career service delivery as those that: evaluate services regularly; measure outcomes; are proactive in delivery; and collaborate extensively with campus stakeholders. CERIC commissioned the study to establish the importance that publicly funded universities and colleges place on providing career development services to their students and to highlight outstanding models of career services provision.
The study's findings are the result of an online survey of Canadian post-secondary institutions conducted in October and November 2016. A total of 67 institutions participated in the survey, from all provinces and territories with the exception of Nunavut, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. A total of 207 post-secondary web sites were also reviewed as part of the CERIC study. More about the CERIC study can be found here.
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