The Association for Co-operative Education (CEWIL) Canada has put together a suite of resources for supporting the transition into a virtual environment. On their page, you will find supports for supervisors and managers that focus on both virtual and in-person experiential and work-integrated learning.
The University of Toronto is dedicated to fostering and building partnerships with the community. There are opportunities to partner and deliver experiential learning opportunities to students, both remotely and in-person, depending on the situation. You may wish to visit the ‘Explore’ section of this website to review various types of partnerships available. From there, you would work with the divisional office with which you choose to partner to determine next steps.
If the student is on an unpaid placement, the following steps need to be followed:
- The student should immediately notify their placement employer/supervisor and their University placement contact.
- The University placement contact must complete the Accident Injury Form on behalf of the injured student and should provide it to email@example.com within 24 hours.
- The University Coordinator, Student Placements will provide the University placement contact and student with next steps and appropriate documentation.
If the student is on a paid placement, they are covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as an employee of the placement organization. The internal protocols of the organization should be followed to manage the insurance aspects of the injury. The University program coordinator must also be informed about the injury.
Academic internships, practicums, and co-ops offer students the opportunity to spend time in professional work environments but there are fundamental differences between them.
A practicum or clinical placement is a curricular opportunity that is designed for students who are required to meet a set number of hours as part of an academic program of study and/or to meet a prerequisite for a licensing board or professional certificate. Students on practicums do not usually have their own caseload/workload as the work they do is completed in a supervised setting. These opportunities are typically unpaid and are often found in clinical and education fields.
An academic internship is an internship that is connected to a course or program of study. These opportunities can be full-time or part-time and the duration varies depending on the circumstances.
Co-op programs have clearly defined work terms, students complete a 4, 8-, 12-, or 16-month full-time term.
Academic internships differ from co-op programs in a few ways: academic internships that are connected to a course are typically unpaid while the significant majority of co-ops are paid; organizations who hire students from accredited co-op programs are eligible to apply for the Ontario Co-operative Education Tax Credit; academic internships typically have a more defined pool of students from a single course or discipline of study, while the pool of candidates for a co-op placement tend to be larger. There are also key differences related to the guidelines and procedures associated with these types of placements.
We hope you will consider yourself a co-educator as you engage students in placements and projects. External partners play an important role in helping students clarify their goals, develop and use their disciplinary skills, and gain industry-specific competencies. We encourage you to work closely with the University instructor or staff member coordinating your experiential learning opportunity to determine how you can best support students.
There are many ways to recruit University of Toronto students for employment opportunities within your organization. You can post positions on the Career and Learning Network (CLNx) by creating an account, these opportunities would be visible to all students at the University of Toronto. Conversely, if you have a more targeted audience, you may wish to review the full list of career services on campus in order to connect directly with students from a specific area of study. Many career service offices will also support on-campus recruitment activities, such as career fairs, information sessions, and on-campus interviews.
Check with the student to learn if they are affiliated with a co-op program or taking a course that includes an internship component. If they are, there will be specific administrative steps to follow, based on the course or co-op program to which they are connected. In this instance, request that they put you in touch with the University staff person or instructor coordinating the opportunity or program.
If the student is hoping to complete a work term with your organization independent of a co-op program or a course, you would simply hire them as an employee through your regular HR process. This would happen without any interventions from the University.
With over 700 undergraduate and 200 graduate programs, including more than 60 professional graduate programs, University of Toronto students have a broad range of skills, knowledge, and experiences that can enhance the work of your organization.
There are various ways to approach finding the appropriate students to support your experiential learning opportunity.
- You may wish to start by considering the goals of your organization and the type of experiential learning opportunity with which you want to engage. We have developed a decision tree to help you with this process.
- Alternately, if you know the core areas of study that best align with your project or work, you may wish to start by contacting the Faculty or academic unit associated with those areas of study. You can find an overview on our Find page.
Connecting with University of Toronto students through experiential learning opportunities gives you the opportunity to:
- help shape the next generation of leaders
- build your own talent pipeline of future employees and partners
- work with some of our top faculty and students to get support and fresh insights on projects that address the needs of your organization, our communities, and society
- foster dialogue between the University and the larger community
- potentially access tax breaks and financial incentives for your organization