FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

It is important to be intentional with the interactions you have with your peers, colleagues, instructors, and TAs in both in-person and virtual environments. To start building strategies for success in a virtual team or group assignment, review these resources on team building and attribution sheets created for the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Engineering Strategies and Practice course. 

The University remains committed to providing undergraduate research across its three campuses. There are a wide variety of research based-courses, Work Study opportunities, and other research experiences across the UniversityThe Explore’ page of the Experiential Learning Hub provides an overview of all types of Experiential Learning and you can find details related to research opportunities by selecting ‘Connected to Research’ on that page.   

For a better sense of what research looks like during COVID, you may wish to review the Remote Experiential Learning resource Research-Intensive Courses to get a sense of how instructors are approaching remote researchYou can also visit the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering’s UnERD Virtual Research Symposium page from this past summer.  

 

While the University has cancelled in-person outbound exchanges for both Fall and Winter 2020/2021, there are still ways to build international experiences and global fluency into your degree. For example, you can participate in the Global Classroom Initiative. Taking part in a Global Classroom provides the opportunity to contextualize your course work in both an international and regional context. You can explore of what it means to take part in a Global Classroom here. For other ways to internationalize your degree, visit the Learning Abroad homepage.  

Faculty and instructors across the University are working hard to provide creative solutions to embed experiential learning in your courses during COVID-19. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, your courses may adopt online simulation models, convert lab/studio/field work into modules, create interactive experiences you can replicate at home, or provide case studies for Quercus discussion. You can read more about the rationale and models being adopted by your instructors at the Online Learning’s Virtual Labs for Remote/Online Courses page. 

The Research Catalogue profiles potential research opportunities for undergraduate students interested in participating in research with faculty members. The catalogue outlines the areas of study, primary location of research, qualifications or skills required to participate in research, deadlines, and application processes. It is important to keep in mind that this catalogue is not a job board; it does not provide information about specific research opportunities. The Research Catalogue is also not an exhaustive list of all research opportunities available to undergraduate students. That said, it is important to do your own research and speak to your professors, academic unit, or registrar about what other opportunities might be available. To view the research catalogue, you must be logged into the Career & Co-Curricular Network (CLNx).

Academic internships are connected to a course or program of study. There are also short-term job opportunities that many organizations refer to as internships that may support you in developing competencies and building your professional network.

The Career & Co-curricular Learning Network (CLNx) has an extensive database of job opportunities that are uploaded by employers on an as-needed basis. Look for short-term or summer positions (some of which will be listed as an ‘internship’) as they may offer you an experience that will supplement and support your academic learning.

Experiential learning opportunities can help you develop competencies and consider the applicability of your degree while connecting you with individuals working in a wide variety of fields. You will gain experience that you can reference on resumes and in interviews but also develop the language that allows you to speak about the applicability of your studies to the path you choose. Experiential learning opportunities may also help you determine the future pathways that most align with your interests, skills, and experiences.

You can participate in experiential learning opportunities at any time during your studies at the University of Toronto. You may wish to visit the ‘Explore’ section of the Experiential Learning Hub to get a better sense of eligibility requirements and timelines, or speak to your registrar or academic unit to determine the ideal pathways available to you.

There are a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities that exist across the University of Toronto. Eligibility requirements vary depending on the specific opportunity you are interested in, but there are opportunities available for all students. You may wish to peruse the Explore section of the Experiential Learning Hub to get a better sense of eligibility requirements, or speak to your registrar or academic unit about opportunities connected to your area of study.

Curricular experiential learning opportunities are embedded in academic programs. These types of opportunities are available as part of a course or program of study and allow you to apply the disciplinary knowledge you are learning through projects, partnerships, and placements.

Co-curricular experiential learning activities are structured experiences that complement the formal curriculum but that are not required for graduation. These opportunities are intended to augment your academic experience, allowing you to apply your disciplinary knowledge and competencies in a variety of settings.

Virtually all experiential learning opportunities will offer some form of credit or recognition for participation. Courses that incorporate curricular experiential learning opportunities will be listed on your transcript. The majority of co-curricular experiential learning opportunities will provide recognition through the Co-Curricular Record.

Experiential learning allows you to learn new skills, understand workplace practices, acquire new knowledge, and explore how your academic experiences can help you contribute to the broader community and society. You will also have the chance to experience professional work environments, gaining a sense of how you might wish to apply your degree upon graduation and developing professional connections. Through reflecting on these experiences, you will be able to perceive changes in your thinking or attitudes, articulate what you have learned, and position yourself for future opportunities.

If the student is on an unpaid placement, the following steps need to be followed:

  1. The student should immediately notify their placement employer/supervisor and their University placement contact.
  2. The University placement contact must complete the Accident Injury Form on behalf of the injured student and should provide it to placements@utoronto.ca within 24 hours.
  3. 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.

This will depend on the type of experiential learning opportunity you engage with. Our Guidelines & Procedures page can provide you with these details.