The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is committed to offering innovative, high-impact, and real-world opportunities to all its students through experience-driven programs. Experiential learning (EL) is “the specific process by which a student acquires knowledge or meets learning goals through experience.” Effective EL addresses four learning modes: “hands-on experience,” “reflection,” the “integration of the experience with previous learning,” and an “opportunity to test new ideas.” Examples include academic internships, community-partnered field experiences, organization-partnered experiences, simulated work experiences, and more. High-quality EL programs deepen graduate and undergraduate education, respond to the needs of society, contribute to community-campus relationships, and enhance the reputation of the University.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, UTM faculty have stepped up to meet the challenge of remote learning, working tirelessly to adapt their teaching practices to a virtual environment and ensure that our undergraduate students continued to have access to the high-impact, EL opportunities. On behalf of the OVPAD, we express our deepest gratitude to faculty across the disciplines for successfully maintaining UTM’s EL programming during these unprecedented times.
The Office of the Vice-Principal Academic & Dean (OVPAD) continues to offer the Experiential Learning Development Grant to offset the range of costs associated with the development and delivery of EL opportunities (e.g., administrative support, research assistance, equipment purchases, software licenses, etc.).
As we begin our long-awaited pivot back to in-person learning, the Experiential Education Unit remains committed to supporting academic units with the growth of curricular EL opportunities. In order to support faculty with revitalizing in-person EL within their disciplines, we are pleased to announce an off-cycle round of the Experiential Learning Development Grant. UTM faculty scheduled to teach courses during the Fall 2022, Winter 2023, or Summer 2023 terms may apply for one-time funding of up to $5,000 per project to support the short-term development and implementation of EL opportunities in their courses. Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Funding can be used towards a variety of purposes, for instance hiring research assistants to support course planning; purchasing equipment, consumables, or software licenses; covering group transportation or registration costs for field experiences; and other expenses downloaded to students that would normally be listed as an ancillary fee. Expenses associated with guest speakers (e.g., honouraria), hospitality (e.g., event space, catering), or Research Opportunity Program courses are not eligible for this grant.
Applications are now closed. Thank you to all who applied. Funds will be distributed to successful applicants by December 6, 2022. Rena Banwait (firstname.lastname@example.org) may also be contacted with any questions about the funding opportunity.