Experiential Learning

Breaking the Boundaries of the "Classroom"

Experiential learning provides students with hands on experience in real and/or simulated work environments. Whether an experiential learning opportunity occurs at the college, in the community, or within a field related workplace or industry, the purpose of these opportunities is to better prepare students for the workforce. At Canadore College, our experiential learning opportunities enrich the student experience and provides students with exposure to their future careers.

  • Work/Field Placement: Are unpaid placements in the students’ field of study where students apply theory learned in the classroom to authentic work settings and demands. The duration of work/field placements will vary depending on course and program requirements.


  • Clinical Placement: A placement that consists of a set number of scheduled hours and that takes place in a health care setting. Students apply theory and skills learned in academic study in an authentic work setting with real patients/clients.


  • Service Learning: Students engage in volunteer service within the community as an integrated component of a course to address community identified needs and course learning outcomes.


  • Workplace/Lab Simulation: Simulations imitate real situations, processes and systems, which can occur in a workplace. The power of a simulation is that it provides a risk-free environment in which a learner can explore, make decisions and –importantly- make mistakes without any real consequences. Feedback is provided as the learners work throughout the simulation.


  • Applied/Industry Sponsored Research: Driven primarily by needs and problems identified by firms, governments, and other organizations in the private and public sectors, and is more often oriented towards developing new or improved products, processes, and services that contribute to competitiveness and organizational effectiveness.


  • Formal Course Projects: A community partner drives these projects as part of a course(s). This could involve, for example, the requirement to complete a marketing plan for a real client, the requirement to serve real clients in the dining room, the requirement to complete repairs on a home for a real client.


  • Capstone Projects: A culminating project, typically at the end of an academic program designed to encourage students to think critically, solve problems and connect with community issues or problems.


  • Job Shadow: Job shadowing provides students with an opportunity to learn about a particular occupation by accompanying an experienced worker as they perform their job. The job shadowing experience is often associated with a reflective assignment dealing with the student’s perception of the profession before and after the job shadowing experience.


  • Performance/Artistic Production: Student performances, productions or showcases presented to community audiences.


  • Internships: Internships are work experiences, typically a year or more in duration, that occur near, or at the end, of a program of study. The main purpose of internships is to integrate theory and practice, for personal development, career exploration and professional socialization.


  • Incubators/Entrepreneurial Activities: An enterprise or facility that directly supports the early-stage development of new business ventures by providing things like office space, shared business or legal services and other forms of business assistance. These are formal or informal spaces catering to aspiring entrepreneurs who typically must apply to receive access to the space and its resources.

  • Social Enterprise and Leadership: Canadore College and WE have partnered to create a learning community focused on supporting leadership and development both on campus and within the local and regional communities. Students participate in simulations, team challenges and discussions to discover new information and different perspectives. 

Student Benefits

  • Professional Experience
  • Opportunity for Creative Problem Solving
  • Professional Networking
  • Awareness for Potential Career Paths
  • Build Community Relationships
  • Hands-on Experience
  • Strengthened Comprehension 


Work-Integrated Learning (also called Placement, Field Placement, Practicum, Clinical Placement, etc.) provides students with rich and meaningful experiences wherein they have the opportunity to apply and extend the learning they gain from the classroom in real-word contexts. Go to our Placement page to find out about mandatory non-academic requirements for placement for relevant programs of study.


Jeremie Carreau
Manager, Experiential Learning
705.303.5771 (mobile)