Deepen your knowledge and gain valuable practical experience. Our experiential education (EE) projects span the various disciplines and programs in the Faculty including professional studies, social sciences and humanities. You’ll work within the community alongside a variety of clients from the private and non-profit sectors, honing your communications and teamwork skills and building your professional network.
EE can be divided into three categories; Course, Community and Work focused, each promoting community and civic engagement, with varying methods of involvement between the students and the client organizations.
Please review the Student Guide to Experiential Education for more information and resources.
Positive Academic Outcomes
- Improved academic performance, increased motivation and focus in your major.
- Stronger team work, leadership and critical thinking skills.
- Relevant experience for graduate school and greater likelihood of attending graduate or professional school.
- Catalyst towards defining possible career interests and concrete career plans.
- Professional networking opportunities within your field.
- Add hands-on experience to your resume, enhancing your marketability
Engaged civic responsibility
- Opportunity to put theory into practice, while serving the community.
- Improved attitudes toward social responsibility, respect and tolerance for diversity.
- Increased likelihood of continuing to work/volunteer with the community.
Learning in the Class and within the Community
Theory and concepts come to life in the course/classroom with concrete learning activities. Our students benefit from Reflective Learning Activities (RLA) in the classroom through the use of guest speakers, role-playing, skits, case studies, simulations, workshops and laboratory courses. RLA outside of the classroom allows students to engage with the community through activities such as executive interviews, participation in community events, observations, field trips and study abroad experiences to develop a more thorough understanding of course concepts.
Students in "Techniques of Persuasion"AP/MODR 1770 taught by Professor Linda Carozza, worked with Mr. Winston LaRose, an Advocate and Activist in the Jane & Finch community along with Sensai Colin Ninvalle of WADOKA Academy and his M.A.T.S. Program (Martial Arts & Tutoring Studies Program). Both community leaders came into the classroom as guest speakers to share their experience, as key change agents in the Jane & Finch community.
- Project 1: Students developed a number of persuasive campaigns that promoted local businesses in the Jane & Finch community to tourist and visitors during the Pan Am Games.
- Project 2: Students developed a number of campaigns to persuade organizations and local businesses to help finance martial arts uniforms so that elementary students in the TDSB could participation an the Opening Torch Ceremony held at the Driftwood Community Centre on July 8, 2015.
Learning activities can also include international experiences through participation in York U Abroad courses which offer students the opportunity to explore content and develop skills in a setting abroad. Planned excursions and field activities offer students the opportunities to learn in an authentic and memorable context. Such courses support the learning of foreign languages, the development of intercultural competence, and provide experience with social and cultural phenomena in authentic settings. Study abroad courses are offered in the following disciplines within the Faculty; for more information please visit laps.yorku.ca/student-resources/study-abroad
- Human Resources
- Political Science
Community Based Learning (CBL)
CBL is a form of experiential education that invites community partners into the classroom to present pre-defined problems, questions or issues to be explored and analyzed. Students apply their knowledge in consultation with the Course Director to develop solutions and provide recommendations for the organizations’ challenges.
- Third year students from the School of Social Work completed a CBL project with an organization called HorseTouch. In "Foundations of Social Work Research" SOWK 3070 taught by Professor William Woolrich, three groups of students conducted a literature review and program evaluation for HorseTouch. Students co-created surveys and distributed them out to people in the community and social service providers both in person and online, collecting valuable data that will be used for future programming. Various projects looked at low-income families, the immigrant population, addiction, violence and crime, along with the relationship between poverty, youth, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Students prepared an executive summary on their findings and developed recommendations that helped addressed key issues and challenges facing future programming.
- In addition, Social Work student groups worked with: the Canadian Red Cross on a literature review and survey for their "Meals on Wheels" volunteer program; conducted a focus group for the North York Arts organization to ensure programming was effectively meeting the needs of the art community; created and administered a survey to determine how satisfied Applegrove Community Complex participants were with the Adult Program, discover possible trends and gain feedback for future programming and continued funding; compiled a literature review and quantitative research for Community Living York South to help identify the need in the community for young adults living with intellectual disabilities; and collaborated with the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) and Artist Heather Cassil on an advocacy based project that examined concepts of social activism, struggles, barriers and awareness.
- Students from the School of Administrative Studies, developed strategic marketing plans for a number of companies. In "Applied Marketing Management" taught by Professor Pillar Carbonell, third year students partnered with organizations to address their key marketing challenges and goals outlined with a set marketing budget. Student groups worked with: The Underground restaurant in the Student Centre to increase brand awareness, improve customer satisfaction and visibility on campus; Alterna Savings & Credit Union in York Lanes to increase brand recognition and their member base on campus: Elite Banquet Hall and Convention Centre in Rexdale to focus on increasing sales and business during low-peak periods, and building long-term relationships with clients; and Afiwi Groove in Durham to create marketing tools that would help promote dance classes, increase revenue and help address space challenges for a future studios.
Community Based Research (CBR)
CBR allows students to work on a community situated research project that is part of a course, practically relevant to the community, collaborative and action oriented.
- The "Help Fight Ebola" campaign partnered with two courses through the efforts of Ammar Kamar a leader and champion in the community and Stacey Berry an LA&PS Aluma in Public Policy, Administration and Law at York.
Within the School of Public Policy and Administration, two fourth year students in "Advanced Public Policy Analysis", AP/PPAS 4200 taught by Professor Caroline Dufour conducted research on the role of the Canadian government and policies around the fight against ebola. Students presented a 35 page paper on how the Canadian government could assist the ebola affected countries. This research was helpful to the organzation as they continue their work in global health advocacy.
Community Service Learning (CSL)
CSL takes students into the community. Students provide direct service in an organization or on a community project, collaborating on a wide range of activities including mentoring, research, presentations, outreach and awareness, advocacy and policy development.
Third year students from the Departments of Sociology and Human Rights & Equity Studies had the opportunity to work with a number of organizations including the "Help Fight Ebola" campaign. "Racism in Canada" SOCI/HREQ 3680 taught by Professor Peter Dawson, partnered with the campaign to create awareness about the ebola disease, provide public education and promote sensitivity. Students visited schools across the GTA to educate high school students about the disease, and worked on petitions to the House of Commons to lift Canada's travel ban which violated international health regulations. They also worked on a second petition on child protection as it relates to ebola orphans' risk of becoming vulnerable to human trafficking.
Placement & Practicum for Academic Credit
Students have the opportunity to develop vital competencies and in-demand work skills in organizational environments. They work within organizations and learn to link this concrete experience with their course theory. These valuable experiences can include placements and internships. Visit the Teaching and Learning website for additional information.
The Faculty offers courses with field placement in the following programs:
- Business & Society: The Social Economy - SOSC4046
- Communication Studies - COMN4140
- Disaster & Emergency Management - ADMS3705
- History - HIST4840
- International Development Studies - SOSC4605
- Portuguese Studies - POR4010
- Public Policy & Administration - PPAS4995
- Social Work - SOWK4000 & SOWK4001
- Urban Studies - SOSC4710
- Work & Labour Studies - SOSC4240
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on courses with placements.
Paid Internships through the Career Centre
- Learn valuable job search skills
- Gain a deeper understanding of your subject
- Explore career options
- Get hands-on experience
- Build your professional network.
Internships are available to eligible 3rd year honours students in the following programs:
- Business & Society
- Communication Studies
- Economics (including Financial and Business Economics)
- Human Resource Management
- Information Technology
- Public Policy & Administration
Learn more at yorku.ca/careers/internships
“This project was valuable because we got the opportunity to apply our learning to a task that could very well be given to us by future employers in real life.” Sharon Heu
“Analyzing a real-life case with actual clients helped me better understand the policy and process of what goes into finding an adequate solution. It was very different from the other courses but most definitely gave me the most hands-on experience.” Sylwi Baranowska
“This Experiential Education project provided me with an analytical framework which I was able to employ and address real issues that impact all Ontarians in a hands-on fashion.” Kevin Baksh
“Experiential Education has given me a better understanding intellectually, emotionally and socially into the real-world application of policy development.” Bryan Park
“Experiential Education has allowed me to become aware of real life community issues and helped me develop skills to suggest possible solutions to those issues.” Awais Altaf
“Knowing that the work we are doing on a project will receive real-life consideration by a business unlocked a deeper level of critical thinking and fueled a stronger motivation.” Daniel Metlitski
“Knowledge is very useful, but unless you know how to apply it, you won’t get much out of it! Experiential Education has made it easier to learn about the class. It has taught me how to apply knowledge in the real world, which I believe is one of the most important things students should get out of an education.” Matthew Genga
“Experiential Education enabled us as a group to learn hands on how to conduct our own research in the Social Work field. It was a great way to learn; not just through a lecture, but through doing it ourselves. It's great when you can take what you've learned in theory, and actually put it to good, practical use!” Jessica Purvis
“Taking this course in conjunction with working with an organization made what I was learning even more impactful. To be able to go into the world and actually tackle racial issues was an amazing experience and makes me want to do things like this again in order to help change the world.” Hillaree Alliman
“I really enjoyed this class and its content! I especially enjoyed the experiential learning component, as it allowed me to apply my knowledge and also create social change at the same time.” Shanika