Bursaries available for COTR work integrated learning students

Posted on
Image shows two women standing next to each other outside with College of the Rockies' main campus entrance showing behind them.
Stephanie Wells, College of the Rockies’ Dean of Business and University Arts and Science (r) and Jenn Smith, Co-op and Employment Services Coordinator have received more than 100 applications for the 150 available CEWIL bursaries.

CEWIL bursaries aim to eliminate barriers to work integrated learning opportunities

College of the Rockies students taking part in an unpaid work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunity this spring can now apply for bursaries to help offset costs that may be barriers to their participation.

Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) bursaries are available to underrepresented domestic students who are taking part in unpaid practicums as part of their spring coursework.

The intention of the bursaries is to help alleviate or remove barriers for students. These barriers include any cost that typically is associated with the students WIL experience including, but not limited to, supplies, software, technology, childcare, transportation, accommodation technology, gear, immunizations, etc.

“By offering innovative WIL opportunities at our institutions across Canada, we continue to see growth in students’ personal and professional competencies”, indicated Charlene Marion, Director WIL at CEWIL Canada. “The skills and competencies gained through these experiences serve to support students as they transition to the workplace, entrepreneurial endeavours, or future studies.”

Year 2 Bachelor of Science in Nursing student Chantal Afonso is grateful for the peace of mind the bursary provides her.

“Being awarded this bursary helps me financially while I participate in clinical. Because of the schedule of the clinical shifts, I didn’t have many days available to work at my paid job. The opportunity to apply for a bursary like this one was really helpful and lets me focus just on my studies,” she said.

CEWIL Canada is the lead organization for work-integrated learning in Canada. They partner with post-secondary institutions, like College of the Rockies, to champion work-integrated learning, a model and process of experiential education which formally and intentionally integrates a student’s academic studies with learning in a workplace or practice setting. It is CEWIL’s mission to build the capacity to develop future-ready students through quality WIL.

Education Assistant student Jenna Merrill is relieved to have had access to the CEWIL bursary.

“This bursary relieves a lot of the burden of paying for childcare while in practicum,” she said. “Prior to receiving this bursary, the expense of before-school care made our family budget quite tight. The CEWIL bursary helps to relieve some of the stress associated with worrying about finances and allows me to instead spend my mental energy on gaining experience in my chosen field.”

Work-integrated learning is a broad term for education that combines learning and practical work experience and is a partnership benefiting the student and employer. WIL opportunities at College of the Rockies include co-op, apprenticeship, and practicum.

“Participating in WIL is so important for a balanced and complete educational experience,” said Stephanie Wells, Dean of Business and University Arts and Sciences. “Working with CEWIL to help remove barriers to access these opportunities means more of our students will be able to participate in valuable experiential learning opportunities or can participate without financial worries distracting them. There are 150 CEWIL bursaries available for spring and we have already received more than 100 applications. This demonstrates how important the support of CEWIL is to our students.”

This project is funded in part by the government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning program and CEWIL Canada’s iHUB.

Learn more about Work Integrated Learning at College of the Rockies at: cotr.ca/wil


About College of the Rockies

For more than 45 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry, and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education, and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.

Media Contact:
Heather Jackson
Manager, Communications and Marketing
College of the Rockies