Updated: October 29, 2020 9:00 AM

Update on Winter term 2021

Work-Integrated Learning

Supporting students in becoming workforce ready

Work-Integrated Learning

NorQuest College supports its students in achieving their best career potential by helping them become workforce ready.

One way we do this is by providing opportunities for students to participate in work-integrated learning (WIL).

WIL experiences connect students’ academic experiences at NorQuest with the real world. WIL can include applied research, community service learning, co-op, field placement, practicum, observation, work experience, volunteering, and more.

Benefits of WIL


WIL provides students with opportunities to gain real-world experience, relevant to their education, to help prepare them for future careers. Students apply their NorQuest academic learning to their WIL experiences.

Clinicals are wonderful because they give you real-life experience as a nurse that you can’t get in a classroom or lab. It allows you to explore different areas of nursing and helps you develop your skills. This experience helps you grow into the nurse you aspire to be.

Davita Friedland


WIL students add value to employer-partners with their motivation to contribute and their willingness to work. Students bring current ideas, knowledge, and best practices from their academic experience to share with the partner site. Programs like this allow sites the opportunity to assess up-and-coming talent as well as further develop leadership and supervisory skills of existing staff.

In addition, participating in WIL experiences promotes economic growth in the community and provides a service to the community all while mentoring future members of the field.

Reasons to Choose a NorQuest College Student

  • NorQuest students represent the diversity of Edmonton, of Alberta, and of Canada. With 70% of our learners from Edmonton, 58% were born outside of Canada in 141 countries, speaking 70 first languages.
  • The average age of our credit students is 30 years of age. Our students come to us with life experience, and they combine this experience with their NorQuest education to add value to their WIL placement.
  • NorQuest not only embraces cultural diversity, we ensure our students develop skills in cultural understanding required to succeed in the global economy. Students bring intercultural competencies to WIL partner sites.
  • NorQuest is aligned with business and industry – we honour and value industry by including input in our curriculum to provide students with up-to-date and relevant information.

Interested in being a NorQuest WIL partner?

NorQuest is always looking for work-integrated learning partners where students can learn through work-integrated learning experiences. Through WIL, students receive both the theoretical and practical knowledge that contributes to a well-rounded education. NorQuest’s goal is to help ensure that learners are workforce ready when they graduate, and WIL is an integral part of that strategy.

WIL Partner Responsibilities

While WIL worksite responsibilities may change according to program, in general, the responsibilities of a partner site are as follows:

  1. Complete and sign the NorQuest WIL Partner Agreement and ensure it is and returned to the college prior to any student participating in the WIL experience.
  2. Provide the WIL opportunity for the agreed-upon period to meet the needs of the WIL experience.
  3. Inform the college of any accident, incident or unusual occurrence related to the student and the WIL experience or at the WIL site.
  4. Report student Workers’ Compensation Board incidents/injuries according to the information as provided by the college.
  5. Review the WIL Partner Checklist and follow up with any questions with the program contact prior to the WIL experience.
  6. Provide a reasonable orientation to the workplace and objectives of the same appropriate to the nature and type of WIL experience.
  7. Have reasonable rules regarding health and safety in place and explain those policies to the student during orientation.
  8. If requested and discussed as part of the arrangement with the college, provide evaluation and feedback on the student’s performance and discuss it with the student.
  9. Make the experience meaningful by providing learning opportunities so students can gain the most from the WIL experience.
NorQuest College's LPN program allowed me to get the education I needed to fulfill a lifetime goal of being a nurse to vulnerable people. I returned to school as a mature student and was so appreciative of the method of instruction and the practical experience I received. When I started my first position as an LPN, I felt well prepared and confident in my skills.

After becoming Program Manager (Boyle McCauley Health Centre), I have had many good experiences hiring graduates from NorQuest College. I find that they are confident in their skills and always willing to learn new skills. The LPNs are perfectly suited to work in a close team environment such as we have in our Community Health Centre.

Karin Frederiksen
Program Manager, Boyle McCauley Health Centre

Programs that offer WIL

NorQuest has over 20 programs that offer WIL, including the general areas of:

  • Business
  • English Language Instruction
  • Employment Programs
  • Health and Community Studies
You are getting hands-on experience and have the opportunity to work with other people outside the classroom setting. It’s about being creative.

Once you are involved in a work experience program you are making reports and putting things into your own words as opposed from working straight from the textbook.

Tanya McPherson,
Business Administration student

Contact Information

Faculty of Skills and Foundational Learning

WIL Unit

Faculty of Health and Community Studies:

Frances Palmer-Barlow