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Experiential and work integrated learning

Ontario Tech University has a long history of offering experiential and work-integrated learning to its students. These activities enrich student learning while preparing them for their future careers. For the organizations who hire them, it is a valuable and effective way to access the fresh thinking, skills and capabilities that students offer while also building a network of future employees.

Experiential learning includes:

  • Paid co-ops and internships (4-16 month)
  • Practicum and clinical placements
  • Capstone projects
  • Industry or community agency-sponsored research projects
  • Teaching and research assistantships
  • Entrepreneurship programs
  • International placements
  • Work-study opportunities

Between 2019-2022, over 8400 students participated in experiential learning opportunities with over 1000 organizations across a variety of dynamic sectors—healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, energy, education, professional and technical services and public administration.

Ontario Tech University—opening doors for students:

  •   Ontario Tech students secure jobs within two years of graduation
  •   Graduates share that the skills developed while at Ontario Tech were closely related to their employment
  •   As a result, Ontario Tech graduates report that their program of study was related to their employment
Students engaged in work integrated learning

Ontario Tech University—opening doors for industry and community:

With a goal to create potential employer/employee relationships and support the economy by training highly skilled workers for the future, we are proud to provide business and industry with:

  •   Talent that can hit the ground running
  •   Student expertise, including the skill-set required to reduce high workloads, assist with special projects and cover unexpected employee leaves and vacations
  •   Industry knowledge and innovative ideas
  •   The opportunity to evaluate potential future employees first hand

Experiential learning definitions

Co-ops and internships are formal, paid work-study programs with multiple work terms throughout an undergraduate degree program or just a short-term paid position. These can range from four to 16 months.

Both provide organizations with motivated students who possess the theoretical foundation and technical skills required to be immediately productive on the job and students are willing to offer a fresh perspective on challenging issues. By participating in these opportunities, employers gain access to training, research and highly qualified students. Students have the skills needed to reduce high workloads, assist with special projects and cover unexpected employee leaves and vacations. Co-ops and internships give organizations the opportunity to evaluate potential future employees.

The purpose of a fieldwork practicum and/or placement is to prepare university students for an eventual role in their field of study. Students develop and refine their professional qualifications by taking part in a placement with organizations looking for current skill sets and new perspectives. Practicums also enable students to gain valuable workplace skills and knowledge while making positive impacts with organizations located in the community and well beyond.

Capstone projects provide an opportunity for organizations to access high-quality consulting services from student teams. Final-year students apply the academic knowledge gained from their degree programs while gaining industry experience. This is intended to help organizations find creative solutions to their challenges and achieve their strategic goals.

Access undergraduate and graduate student talent through collaborative research projects supervised by Ontario Tech University's innovative faculty members and researchers. Research provides businesses with a unique opportunity to interact with students while under university supervision and leverage funding opportunities.

In addition to organization-led projects, other initiatives with partners like the City of Oshawa, Durham Region and the Towns of Ajax and Whitby, afford the opportunity for Ontario Tech students to solve municipal challenges and create solutions via designated courses and initiatives.

Teaching assistantships (TAships) are assigned to qualified full-time students. These paid positions give students valuable teaching experience and enable them to build rewarding relationships with students and professors. Teaching assistants (TAs) are assigned to specific courses.

Research assistantships (RAships) are employment opportunities that require students to conduct work on a professor's research project. Students who work as research assistants (RAs) are paid for this work from a professor's research grant.

Ontario Tech offers a host of entrepreneurship learning experiences via Brilliant Catalyst. Brilliant offers bootcamp and incubator programming that expose and mentor students along the entrepreneurship continuum from idea generation, validation, prototyping and implementation.

The International Practical Placement is an internship/placement that is completed outside of Canada.

An International Research Placement is a research placement arranged through Ontario Tech University that are conducted at a university internationally.

Work-study is an on-campus employment program designed to help full-time, domestic and international students that demonstrate financial need gain useful career-related experiences that will help them achieve both personal and academic goals.

Experiential learning by faculty

Faculty of Business and Information Technology

Faculty of Business and Information Technology

Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

Faculty of Health Sciences

Faculty of Health Sciences

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Did you know?

  • Ontario Tech has designated resources to connect students, graduates and alumni with employers. Let’s talk about your goals and talent needs today.
  • Our students come from across the GTA, Ontario and the world to study and pursue work opportunities. Get to know our students and learn about their diverse experiences and skills.
  • Learn more about the variety of the university-led programs that engage and develop future STEM-talent from K-8, secondary and post-secondary and how to get involved.

Learn more