Experiential learning in the workplace
Experiential Learning in the Workplace is a three credit course where students apply their academic knowledge while acquiring and expanding transferable skills through work experience. A self-directed learning agreement completed by the student, with input from the employer and approved by the course facilitator, will detail the learning outcomes and how proof of learning will be verified. Critical Reflection assignments, online discussions, one to one interviews, a self- and employer evaluation, plus completion of a final product are required. This is an open learning class which takes place from May to August each year, with work being done over the spring and summer months. This course is now being offered in the Colleges of Agriculture and Bioresources and Kinesiology.
As part of AGRC 445.3 and KIN 498.3, students were required to record a 60 second video introducing themselves, their job, and identifying how they have leveraged their talents to be successful in their summer employment. Below is a video showcasing the students’ projects and interviews with some RBC Learn to Work, Work to Learn Program stakeholders.
Students from the course have the option to submit their required course video to be considered for an audiovisual recognition award.
Kyra Braaten (1st Place)
Evan Weir (2nd Place)
Amanda Mitchell (3rd Place)
“AGRC 445 is a course that I feel that could possibly be one of the most beneficial courses in preparing me for my future as an agricultural professional. By taking the Clifton Strengths test I was able to identify the strengths and weaknesses I have and ways I can develop them to be a stronger individual in all aspects of my life. Doing self-reflections throughout the summer allowed me to keep better track of what I had done, allowed me to improve as a co-worker and employee, as well as feel more confident in what I wanted to achieve throughout the summer. The course has not only prepared me better for my career but has also helped me in developing leadership skills. These skills have been very beneficial and transferable throughout my term as the President of the Agricultural Student Association. I have really increased my knowledge and confidence in working as part of a team, how to deal with conflicts and problems within our organization, as well as be a more reliable individual for the organization. Overall, I cannot say enough good things about the course. I feel much more prepared to go out into the workforce and more confident in my ability to succeed as an agricultural professional."
4th year AgBio Student
“During my experience this summer this course made me aware of skills I didn’t even realize I had, helped me to utilize them, and optimize who I was as an employee. I learnt through this course how to react to changes and what skills I could build on which will ultimately make me an amazing doctor one day. I’m grateful for the detailed and meaningful advice our professor was so kind to offer in our calls and I no longer feel any type of anxiety when doing up my resume, going to interviews, and making cover letters because I know I have such a solid foundation thanks to this course.”
3rd Year Kinesiology Student
“When student’s interview after graduation the employer knows they have the technical skills—what they are looking for is whether students also have the communication skills, social skills, dependability and initiative to be successful in diverse workplaces. That’s what this course addresses.”
AGRC 445 Instructor
Kick-start your career
The Kick-start Your Career series focuses on eight career readiness competencies (Career and Self-Development, Communication, Critical Thinking, Equity and Inclusion, Leadership, Professionalism, Teamwork, and Technology). Students will gain a deeper understanding by attending individual workshops built around a case study illustrating that competency, and gain a deeper understanding of what the competency is, how it is demonstrated and applied and how to market it in job search documents. Attending the corresponding industry panel is where students will hear real world examples of how it is demonstrated, observed, and applied. To complete the experience around the competency, student will have the opportunity to complete an optional reflection activity.
Students who attend all workshops, panels, and complete the corresponding reflection activities within a 24 month period will receive a certificate of completion, CCR credit, and be eligible for a $1,000 recognition award.
Prospective mentees will complete a competitive internal application process and, if selected, a program interview and university reference check.
Interested alumni mentors with five or more years of experience will have an information interview to identify their career path, career values, professional experiences, and if applicable education journey.
20 student mentees will be matched one-on-one with alumni mentors based on mutual interest and experience as well as goal orientation, including career path, career values, and education journey.
Resources and meeting structure examples will be provided to all participants in the early fall to prepare for the kick-of-even in early November.
USask Connects is divided into four connection opportunities, which are outlined in the graphic to the right, and should be completed during four individual one-hour meetings, taking place over an eight week period. Once the mentor and mentee have gone through the four connects, all participants are asked submit a final reflection on the program and their experience.
Connect #1 - Industry insights
Mentee’s will conduct an in-depth Career Information Interview to gain a better understanding of their mentor’s career trajectory and gain personal insight of the industry and position.
Connect #2 - Get to know YOU
After completing their CliftonStrengths Assessment, mentee and mentor will work together to identify and better understand the things that one naturally does best.
Connect #3 - The floor is yours
Mentee guided and lead, this is an opportunity for you to make the most out of your connect. Set goals, dig deeper into your Mentor’s career path, ask specific questions about industry or position norms/culture/expectations/climate.
Connect #4 - Make a plan
Mentor’s will guide their mentee’s through a career plan and offer specific advice and insight in how their mentee can reach ultimate career success.
- Improve your leadership, coaching, and professional skills by mentoring current students and recent graduates
- Meet and network with valuable contacts within the post-secondary world
- Share your personal career experience and impart knowledge
- Reflect on personal development and growth
- Gain personal satisfaction in seeing USask student and recent graduates develop and succeed
- Gain volunteer experience and create a deeper connection with USask and your alma-mater
- Gain practical networking and leadership skills through a student-lead approach to mentorship
- Begin establishing your professional network
- Gain an understanding about your preferred/potential industry
- Opportunity to reflect and grow in a safe environment
- Gain insights about different career paths and work histories of those in the industry
- Receive critical feedback in key areas related to professional skills and career planning
- Develop a sharper focus on what is needed to grow professionally and advance your career
- Add value to your Usask experience and gain CCR recognition
- All student mentees who successfully complete the USask Connects Program will be considered for one $1,000 Recognition Award.