Welcome to the pilot Langara Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Abilities project! As part of our provincial WIL research funding, we wanted to look at the barriers preventing students with different abilities from participating in WIL at Langara College.

We assessed the barriers by conducting one-on-one interviews and surveying through Institutional Research, inviting all students registered with Accessibility Services to participate. In the spring 2021 semester, all students registered with Accessibility Services received the Langara WIL Survey. There was a 19% response rate. Below are the survey responses to what the Co-op & Career Development Centre could do to support the students to investigate and potentially participate in WIL at Langara.

What is Work-Integrated Learning (WIL)?

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is “learning by doing” and this type of applied learning happens in a variety of ways. WIL can be within individual courses or as part of a larger program structure. For example, students in our Business, Computer Science, Bioinformatics, and Biology programs, have the options of alternating academic terms with paid work terms. In the new Strategic Plan, Langara College would like every student to have the opportunity to participate in some type of WIL during their time at Langara. Through our research, we found that many students are not aware of how to find these opportunities. We aim to provide students with more opportunities to learn about WIL.

Examples of WIL at Langara include:

  • Working on a CityStudio Vancouver applied project plan idea within a Geography course
  • Paid full-time co-op work terms applying classroom theory in a workplace
  • Completing one of eleven required clinical practicums within the Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Finishing a Post-Degree Diploma program with a one term paid work experience immediately prior to graduation
  • Participating in one of many Field Schools which combines classroom study with in-field or in-country experience
  • Contributing skills and interest in Applied Research with campus research initiatives and projects

What has been happening to support students with disabilities to participate in WIL?

  • Proposed piloting a part-time WIL Abilities Coordinator position at Langara College to support the project. The WIL Abilities Coordinator is from the Co-op & Career Development Centre and brings years of experience with co-operative education and other forms of “learning by doing” at Langara and beyond.
  • Completed one-on-one and survey-based research. Informations sessions are being held to discuss the findings.
  • Actively searching for inclusive employers and flagging them in our system for easy identification.
  • Gathering supporting information to share with students, especially unique opportunities to expand experiences and new ways of learning.
  • Outreach with organizations in this space to create joint workshops.

Getting ready for WIL in 2022.

A number of new programs are coming in 2022 to provide students with opportunities to gain knowledge, experience, and confidence including:

  • Wavemakers (Canadian students only) is a part-time, free, and flexible virtual program. Students engage virtually with students across Canada to work on a real-world work challenge, connect with global companies in the virtual career fair, and attend learning sessions with subject matter experts. Each student receives a $250 stipend and the chance to win a scholarship. To learn more, visit the Wavemakers website, watch the Wavemakers video, or contact wilabilities@langara.ca.
  • The Global Skills Opportunity Program (Canadian students only) is a program designed to send students on virtual or in person internships. Federal government funding ensures students from under represented groups, such as students with disabilities, have costs covered during the internship. The first virtual students will participate in a global opportunity in May 2022. Learn more.

Get connected with the WIL Abilities project.
Contact the Heather Workman, WIL Abilities Coordinator, at wilabilities@langara.ca and book a one-on-one appointment to discuss how to:

  • Become more involved in WIL at Langara
  • Gain more experience as a student
  • Explore your options and how you can use WIL to advance your studies and career

Stay up to date with the WIL Abilities Newsletters.
To subscribe to the newsletter, email wilabilities@langara.ca with the subject line “WIL Abilities Newsletter”.