Message from the Vice-Dean, Academic Experience

Michael Lettieri

Many of our undergraduate students are interested in hands-on, research-driven opportunities whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Employers echo this sentiment and many actively seek out graduates who have relevant, world-ready attributes that translate directly into the workforce.

In order to enhance student development and educational experience, academic units at UTM offer various types of practical learning ̶ or "learning by doing” ̶  as a core feature of their curricula, which may include academic internships, practicum placements, project-based research, or domestic and international community engagement.

Such experiences are achieved through the support provided by our administrative units, including the Experiential Education Unit in the Office of the Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, the Career Centre, the Centre for Student Engagement, the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, the Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, the Office of the Registrar, the UTM Library, the Equity and Diversity Office, the Accessibility Office, and the International Education Centre. We are further indebted to our numerous community partners and employers, who take time out of their busy schedules to closely engage with our students.

UTM has over a decade of demonstrated success in experiential learning and made measurable positive contributions to our students' learning. Our goal is to broaden these opportunities in both scale and type in the coming years. Pilot projects are already underway to add paid work-integrated learning opportunities for undergraduate students, expanding the existing robust WIL program at the graduate level.

As we strive to maximize engaged student learning through direct experience and intense reflection, it is essential for units across UTM to work collaboratively to further develop and strengthen existing experiential learning opportunities. If we want to prepare and provide our students with an education that has the power to inspire them, not only to remember the learning acquired but to also transfer their knowledge to the workplace and into their lives, then UTM’s objectives should reflect our shared academic goals.

Now is the appropriate time to make experiential learning central to a UTM degree.