This module investigates different ways that external partners are able to benefit from their involvement in EL opportunities. In addition to supporting student learning, EL offers many opportunities for employers and community partners to leverage students in bringing in new knowledge, approaches, perspectives, and skills to their organizations. This module provides tools for identifying ways that students can contribute towards organizational success in different contexts. It also offers a guide for identifying opportunities to connect with institutions, industry, and community for examples of success and support to draw on.

This module has been designed for Community Partners and Employers.

How can an organization benefit from EL?

Examples and Artifacts

table Benefits of partnerships
Ideally, the nature of community engagement suggests that community partners relate to members of the academic institution so that there is a mutual, beneficial exchange for both parties. This table details some specific examples of what these benefits might be.

image EL in Ontario: current statistics
A survey was conducted by telephone with 3,369 Ontario employers in Spring 2012. The survey was implemented by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario in partnership with 14 Ontario postsecondary institutions, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. This infographic summarizes some of the survey findings.

External Links

link Developing Skills: Where Are Canada’s Employers? Published by the Conference Board of Canada, 2014. This article discusses how to address skills gaps and mismatches in Canada, and the role and behaviour of Canada’s employers.

document Work-Integrated Learning and Postsecondary Graduates: The Perspective of Ontario Employers
Published by The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, 2014. This report presents findings from the Work-Integrated Learning Employer Survey. The survey was designed to explore employer motivations and barriers to participating in work-integrated learning programs.

How can an organization maximize the benefit of EL?

Examples and Artifacts

quotes Reflective practice
Reflective Practice is the foundation of professional development; it makes meaning from experience and transforms insights into practical strategies that can be utilized in future situations for both personal and organizational growth. It is critical to EL. This document defines different types of reflection.

list Reflective questions for community partners and employers
Collective reflection questions raise awareness regarding practical growth strategies and organizational impact for the community partner or employer. This presentation provides examples of what types of questions organizations should ask; before, during, and following an EL activity.

External Resources

link Hiring and Training Incentives for Employers
This website from the Government of Ontario has resources related to funding programs and federal tax incentives to help hire and train student employees for your business, not-for-profit or public-sector organization.

link Employer Success Story: Manulife
This "success story" describes some of the potential benefits of co-op for employers.

link Student Success Story: Algonquin College
This "success story" describes some of the potential benefits of co-op for students.

video Reflections on Work Opportunities
In this video, students reflect on their co-op, internship, and new graduate program experiences.

How can a student contribute to organizational success?

Examples and Artifacts

list Student contributions
Students bring unique skills and talents to an organization. The follow list provides some specific examples of contributions students can make to your organization.

quotes Supports for employers
Verbatim and anecdotal comments shed light on what employers require in supporting their postsecondary EL programs.

External Resources

document Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program
This document comes from University of Minnesota's Career and Internship Services. It discusses best practices for developing a sustainable internship program.

document Community Projects Initiative
Community Projects Initiative is an innovative, reciprocal community development program hosted at Georgian College. Through the Community Education Partnership Centre, students, faculty and community partners create positive social impact by Identifying local community issues, creating sustainable solutions, and providing project support.

link Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation
Georgian College's Georgian’s Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation brings together faculty, students and non-profit organizations to respond to complex issues and affect positive social change. Through student-led projects, research, workshops and innovative curriculum, the centre is inspiring the next generation of changemakers to use social entrepreneurial skills and mindsets to transform their community.

Planning and development worksheet

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Recommended next module (all audiences):

Roles and Responsibilities in EL