Brock University graduates continue to enjoy employment rates that outpace the Ontario average.
Data from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) show that, six months after graduating, Brock grads have an employment rate of more than 90 per cent. Two years after graduating, the rate is more than 96 per cent. In both time frames, Brock’s numbers are above the average for Ontario universities.
A key factor behind this career success is Brock’s emphasis on giving students a taste of the workplace through experiential education.
And, this fall, Brock will reach a new milestone when it offers experiential education opportunities in 100 per cent of its academic programs — more than 1.5 million hours dedicated to experiential learning in 1,039 different course sections.
Sandy Howe, Brock’s Associate Director of Experiential Education, said the ongoing development of programming prepares students to take meaningful steps in their careers, both during their studies and immediately after graduating.
“Experiential learning is huge for career outcomes, employment and personal development,” said Howe. “We are seeing a shift in post-secondary studies driving directly towards careers. Our programs help to clarify the path for success while offering real opportunities to set students on their way.”
Some of the diverse experiential learning opportunities available to Brock students include volunteering with rescue dogs for a Sociology course, travelling to northern Ontario to collect rock samples for an Earth Science course and planning outdoor learning activities for elementary school students in a Child and Youth Studies course.
In addition to benefiting students, experiential programming also allows for the growth of faculty members, Howe said.
“It offers faculty the chance to expand their CVs and pursue unique funding opportunities while also exploring diverse ways of teaching and learning both in and out of the classroom,” she said.
Cara Krezek, Director of Co-op, Career and Experiential Education at Brock, said the development reflects an ongoing commitment of numerous partners within the University to create the best possible learning environment for students.
“When we came together to operationalize experiential learning at Brock in 2015, we wanted to be a leader in the field. This achievement shows that we have realized that vision,” she said. “Ensuring students have access to experiences that complement their learning, and understanding how that learning is relevant to their future careers are key outcomes we wanted to achieve.”
As the offerings continue to grow, Krezek and Brock’s Co-op, Career and Experiential Education team are developing ways for students to more easily keep tabs on their course and work term experiences, as well as career outcomes. The group is preparing to launch a University-wide experience record through CareerZone, Brock’s online portal for career opportunities including job postings and experiential offerings.
While these developments are taking place, the team is also actively working with other post-secondary institutions to spread Brock’s knowledge of experiential education.
“We just launched a tool kit with Georgian College and Niagara College, who led the MTCU funding project through the government’s Career Ready Fund, where we are contributing to open resources and we are freely sharing information and strategies,” said Krezek. “What we started championing four years ago is now happening across Canada.”
To learn more about Brock’s Experiential Education opportunities, visit the University’s Co-op, Career and Experiential Education website.