Experiential Learning Program for Arts and Science

North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce

The Experiential Learning for Arts & Science Program (ELAS) is an exclusive project between Student Development & Services, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) and the Faculty of Arts & Science. This project focuses on providing students with hands-on learning experiences directly related to their academic interests.

With a strong emphasis on learning competencies, the ELAS immerses students with enriched learning opportunities that focus on the development of professional skills resulting in confident, successful and highly employable graduates ready for the workforce.

Experiential learning opportunities give you the chance to learn by doing. They allow you to build the leadership, technical, and professionals skills that will help prepare you for your future career goals and to contribute to communities as engaged citizens. 

These experiences can also enhance your professional networks and help you make relevant connections in your field.


Participating in experiential learning activities can have a positive impact on your academics and future career. Benefits include: 

  • Increases motivation and engagement, encouraging self-directed learning;
  • Facilitates the exploration of the relationship between academic theory and practice, increasing clarity around academic and career goals;
  • Increases understanding and perceptions around workplace cultures;
  • Enhances professional networks;
  • Helps students better understand work realities and expectations;
  • Provides opportunities to gain career-related experiences, clarifying employment and career goals;
  • Builds leadership, technical, and professional skills;
  • Increases confidence, maturity, and self-management;
  • Improves problem-solving, critical thinking, research, communication, and teamwork skills;
  • Develops skills to transition to the workforce;
  • In cases of paid placements, provides earnings to assist with financial obligations; and
  • Builds citizenship skills.

ELAS Work Placements

Through our partnership with the North Bay District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC), ELAS is excited to offer Arts and Science students with the opportunity to complete 30 or 60-hour work placements with NBDCC members.

Placement applications are due December 3, 2019.

Placements will take place between January 13, 2020, and April 4, 2020.

Student Organized Conferences or Events

Are you an Arts & Science student coordinating an on-campus conference or event? You could be eligible for logistical and financial support through the ELAS.  The ELAS can also help you engage a North Bay District Chamber of Commerce member to be a keynote speaker at your event.

Contact ELAS for more information: elas@nipissingu.ca

Cocurricular Experiential Learning Opportunities 

These are not-for-credit experiences that are offered through a variety of academic and non-academic departments at Nipissing University. 

The Record of Student Development (RSD) is Nipissing University's way of recognizing that learning is happening everywhere on campus. It is a formal record otherwise known as a co-curricular transcript where you can include workshops, volunteer experiences, awards, activities and on-campus employment experiences that you have participated in throughout your degree.

Skills and Competencies

The Record of Student Development defines 28 learning competencies and employability skills, to which all experiential learning activities will be mapped:

  • Collaboration
  • Commitment and Accountability
  • Communication
  • Conflict Negotiation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Digital Literacy
  • Environmental Consciousness
  • Emotional & Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Engaging Arts and Culture
  • Ethical Practice
  • Equity and Diversity
  • Excellence
  • Functioning Independently
  • Goal Setting
  • Health and Wellness
  • Idea Generation
  • Inclusion
  • Initiative
  • Intercultural Fluency
  • Leadership
  • Organization
  • Providing Feedback
  • Receiving Feedback
  • Research
  • Responding to Change
  • Social Responsibility

Discuss Your Options

When it comes to experiential learning at Nipissing University, you have lots of choices. Let us help you navigate your options, so you can find the best fit for your personal and professional goals, as well as your schedule.

Get started by e-mailing the Experiential Learning for Arts & Science team at elas@nipissingu.ca. We can answer questions over e-mail or set up a time to chat in person.

Nebyu

Environmental and Physical Geography Year 4

Nebyu, Environmental and Physical Geography

“The ELAS is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience, especially for upper-year students. Besides skills and knowledge, the program is a great way to tackle real-life problems.”

Nebyu completed his placement at Near North Labs (NNL) who specializes in the areas of microbiological and chemical analysis of drinking and wastewater. NNL provides testing services including physical-chemical, microbiological and some organic chemical analyses. His roles included determining Turbidity, Total solids, and Alkalinity of wastewater and identifying different metals in drinking water.

This project focuses on providing students with hands-on learning experiences directly related to their academic interests. With a strong emphasis on learning competencies, the ELAS immerses students with enriched learning opportunities that focus on the development of professional skills resulting in confident, successful and highly employable graduates ready for the workforce.


Offering experiential learning activities can have a positive impact on student’s academics and future careers. Benefits include: 

  • Attracts and retains high-quality students;
  • Strengthens links between the institution and the business, government and community organizations;
  • Uses effective marketing and recruitment tool;
  • Enhances the reputation of the institution within the employment community;
  • Aligns with government priorities;
  • Increases employability of graduates, thereby increasing institutional employment rates;
  • Increases alumni engagement as community partners;
  • Increases partnership opportunities and financial support towards EL from community partners;
  • Increases educator satisfaction;
  • Helps faculty keep their knowledge current; 
  • Provides the opportunity to evaluate and improve curriculum; and
  • Monetary and administrative support to engage in experiential learning for your class.

ELAS Opportunities

Field Trips and Site Tours

ELAS can support faculty who wish to take their class off-site to attend a conference, event, or guided tour of a business or work site.  Field trips must be associated with a North Bay District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) member.  

ELAS will support through logistical planning (e.g. transportation) and financial support to cover approved expenses  (e.g. food, conference fees). Chamber members who hot a class will be compensated for their participation. 

Guest Speakers, On-site Conferences or Events

ELAS can support Arts & Science faculty who wish to invite a guest speaker or workshop facilitator to campus a class or student-led event. Guest speakers and workshop facilitators must be a North Bay District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) members.  

ELAS will support through logistical planning (e.g. room bookings, rentals) and financial support to cover approved expenses  (e.g. food, workshop materials). Chamber members will receive compensation for their participation.

Student Work Placements

Through our partnership with the North Bay District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC), ELAS is excited to offer Arts and Science students with the opportunity to complete 30 or 60-hour work placements with NBDCC members.

Placements will take place between January 13, 2020, and April 4, 2020.

Keri

Psychology Arts Year 4

Keri, Psychology Arts Year 4

“I’m so happy I signed up for the ELP. I would do it again in a heartbeat!” - Keri, Psychology - Arts Year 4.

Keri took the knowledge and experiences she completed at Nipissing University and transfer those skills into the world of Law. Her placement at Sangster Law had a tremendous impact on her education. She was able to participate in real-life situations dealing with clients, communicating with and being mentored by administrators and lawyers, and practiced hands-on learning with behind the scenes responsibilities required to make a law firm successful. The transferable skills she acquired will undoubtedly assist her as she continues working toward her career goals.

What is Experiential Learning:

Experiential learning (EL) aims to help students develop knowledge, skills, and values by engaging in authentic practice and reflecting upon their experiences in focused and guided ways. EL can happen in on-campus and off-campus settings and can consist of both credit and non-credit learning opportunities. EL can comprise all or part of a course or an entire program of study. Understanding what experiential learning (EL) is and how it differs from other forms of instruction can help you to determine whether experiential learning would benefit your students or your organization. This module discusses definitions of EL, key characteristics and different forms of EL (Niagara College, 2019)


Benefits for NBDCC Partners

Whether hosting a student placement or facilitating workshops, NBDCC members and partners benefit in several ways, including:

  • Increases the diversity, energy, and enthusiasm within the workplace;
  • Engages postsecondary institutions in responding to identified community need;
  • Fosters additional collaboration with the university;
  • Increases the profile of the community’s opportunities and challenges;
  • Provides a new perspective to the delivery of programs, services and products;
  • Helps organizations find solutions to a specific business or industry needs; and
  • Attracts and hires motivated and enthusiastic new employees.

ELAS Opportunities

There are a variety of experiential learning opportunities through which your organization can work with our students. Check out the list below to learn more about the different ways you can engage with our students. We look forward to partnering with you!

Host a Class

Host a field trip or guided tour of your organization or invite a class to attend an upcoming event or conference.  Field trips are memorable and positive experiences for students that promote active participation and reflection.  

ELAS will support through logistical planning (e.g. transportation) and financial support to cover approved expenses  (e.g. food, conference fees). Chamber members who hot a class will be compensated for their participation. 

Host a Student

Provide an opportunity for a student(s) to complete a work placement at your organization. Students are required to complete 30 or 60-hour placements and can work up to 10 hours/week. ​

Be a Presenter

The Experiential Learning Program welcomes professionals willing to present a keynote speech or workshop for Arts & Science students.  Duration of presentations and/or workshops can run one to four hours. ​

NBDCC Compensation

Chamber members who choose to participate and support the Experiential Learning Program will be compensated for their time and expertise.  Members can earn up to $2500 per experience based on the requirements expected of the member, duration of the activity and number of students involved,​

Experience Provided​

Stipend Amount​

Host a field trip of 1-4 hours​

$500 - $1250​

Host a field trip of 5+ hours​

$1000 - $2500​

Be a guest speaker​

$80/per hour, up to $640/day maximum​

Be a workshop facilitator​

$80/per hour, up to $640/day maximum​

Host a work placement 30 hours ​

$1250​

Host a work placement  60 hours​

$2500​

 

Iddi

Geography Year 3

Iddi, Geography Year 3

“The Experiential Learning Program is a great opportunity that does not come by often!” - Iddi, Geography Year 3.

Iddi completed his placement with SRP Building Products Inc.SRP is a company that deals with building materials and it also has a drone division called AerialBEST. AerialBEST uses drone technology to collect data to create models of natural and built environments. Apart from that it also does surveying, topography, and land use management. 

Iddi gained experience working with the drone division in doing some research about the Lidar technology and its applications. He has also learned how to use various proprietary software used to process the data and create valuable information for clients. "I’m pursuing a degree in geography with a focus on GIS and Remote sensing applications. In addition to that AerialBEST services help municipalities in planning for the future, which is another area of interest for me" - Iddi.

Benefits

Participating in experiential learning activities can have a positive impact on students' academic and professional careers. Benefits include: 

  • Development and strengthening of skills (soft and technical) demanded by employers.
  • Establishment of professional networks.
  • Opportunities to explore career options and/or confirm career direction.
  • Application of theory in real-world contexts, while gaining new insights into course material.
  • Participation in self-directed learning opportunities.
  • Acquire new knowledge and concrete experience - assets when pursuing future employment.

Criteria

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) has identified six criteria that must be met in order for an activity to be considered EL [1]:

  1. The student must be in a workplace or a simulated workplace [2].
  2. The student must be exposed to authentic demands [3] that improve their employability, interpersonal skills, and transition to the workforce.
  3. The experience should be structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.
  4. The student must apply university or college program knowledge and/or essential employability skills [4].
  5. The experience should include student self-assessment and evaluation of the students’ performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or university/college.
  6. The experience should count towards course credit or credential completion, or be formally recognized by the college or university as meeting the five criteria above 

[1] Alongside the above-mentioned criteria, the (EL) environment must be accessible and in compliance with all laws and regulations.
[2] “Simulated workplace” is defined as a learning environment that models or emulates a professional workplace in function, equipment or operation, wherein a student engages in activities reflecting real work experience.
[3] “Authentic demands” are defined as work contexts, processes or practical experiences, with real-world applications.
[4] The Record of Student Development defines 28 learning competencies and employability skills, to which all experiential learning activities will be mapped.

2019 Pilot Project

In eight weeks, 138 Arts & Science students benefited from hands-on learning experiences provided through the Experiential Learning Program. Community partnerships were established providing 19 students with work placement opportunities and 119 students with the opportunity to explore their area of study on-site through interactive presentations and workshops. 26% of students who participated in work placements obtained part-time employment immediately concluding their placement experiences, and 100% of students who completed their requirements show interest in future ELP opportunities.

Funded by

Government of Ontario logo

 

Meet Marly!

Anthropology, Year 4!

Marly!, Anthropology, Year 4!

When I first spoke to Marly she admitted many people ask her, "What are you going to do with your Anthropology degree?" or "What is Anthropology?" In short, Anthropology is the study of humans and human behaviours in society, and that is exactly why Marly was passionate and hopeful about being placed with an organization that focused on cultures and people.

The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has hundreds of businesses and organizations and was able to find Marly the perfect match with the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre downtown in the heart of the city!