Supporting student success outside the classroom

November 8, 2023

Supporting student success outside the classroom

NorQuest’s 2030 Strategy: We Are Who We Include encourages curriculum and opportunities that promote inclusiveness through work-integrated learning (WIL) and the Transitions to Employment Program (TEP), taking academic learnings in the classroom into real-world working experience and practical skills. NorQuest is proudly near 100% for the WIL outcomes and deliverables for the Alberta Government’s Investment Management Agreement (IMA), which is a big part of NQ2030. 

There are nine different types of WIL, and NorQuest options include field placements, practicums and co-op work terms to gain work experience with employer partners, mentorship opportunities and project-based community service learning. Through WIL, learners have a chance to bring innovative ideas to real-world experiences while developing employability skills like time management and communication. For example, NorQuest marketing students gained hands-on experience by supporting social media campaign for non-profit organizations. Community-based learning activities such as visits to seniors centres help learners to practice skills like frontline customer-facing communication...The City of Edmonton is one of NorQuest’s biggest partners though there are many small to medium-sized work placement and field opportunities. 

"Transitions to Employment is a ten-month program for adults with moderate learning disabilities or neurodiversities. Exceptionalities are barriers or difficulties that can be worked with or worked around – noting that everyone has the ability to learn with goal-based learning, preparation and exercises such as practicing work-based skills."   

Learners can apply for TEP with an Edpsych assessment and submission of a basic resume. TEP has a robust mentorship program. Calls for staff mentors are put out early in September. Participants are paired one hour a month with student mentees for shadowing, advice and career talks. The courses aim to build self-esteem, provide valuable work experience and teach real life skills like cooking, managing documents and doing finances to support confident and self-sufficient individuals.  

On October 24, 2023, NorQuest’s president Carolyn Campbell also had a chance to lead a discussion on the learning opportunities available to students while they are at NorQuest. Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and Transitions to Employment (TEP) programs support student success outside of the classroom and provide training for adults with mild developmental disabilities in partnership with large and small organizations in Alberta.   

Watch the episode of Unscripted hosted by NorQuest’s President on YouTube.