Community and Industry Partners

Where Thought Meets Action

Wherever possible KPU builds its programs and courses to include experiential learning. Work-integrated learning (WIL) options make up a large majority of KPU's experiential learning opportunities, including co-operative education, practicums, and internships to name a few.

KPU works in partnership with Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada to develop confident, job-ready students. WIL programs also provide opportunities for KPU collaborate with employers on current research and development in a variety of sectors, in turn offering more WIL opportunities for students.

Work-Integrated Learning @ KPU

88% of KPU's terminal undergraduate programs offer work-integrated learning opportunities and 84% of KPU's terminal undergraduate degree programs offer work-integrated learning opportunities.

Over 20 undergraduate degree programs offer multiple work-integrated learning opportunities, so that students may, for example, choose an experiential learning project, an applied research project and/or a field school option in that one program alone.

WIL opportunities include practicum courses, service learning, applied research courses, field schools as well as co-operative education. In fact, KPU offers co-operative education for 13 programs in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science and Horticulture, and the School of Business.

Student Benefits of Work-Integrated Learning @ KPU

Work-integrated learning gives students an opportunity to expand their knowledge, while practicing the latest theories and approaches they learned in the classroom.

It also allows students to develop employment skills, explore career options, and network with potential employers, to give them a competitive edge when entering the workforce.

The following student opportunities were available to KPU students in FY2019/20:

  • Paid co-op work placements: 332 term placements
  • Practicums: 572 students earned a total of 3,712 credits
  • Applied research courses: 238 students earned a total of 1,652 credits
  • Experiential learning courses: 1,327 students earned a total of 9,395 credits
  • Field schools: 69 students earned a total of 387 credits
  • Studio courses: 2,052 students earned a total of 11,932 credits

While not an official WIL category, in these calculations, the extensive studio or lab experience is also evident. Programs that don't offer formal WIL opportunities all offer studio/lab experience, as do many of the programs that offer formal WIL opportunities.

WIL Options @ KPU

KPU offers students the full range of work-integrated learning options recognized by CEWIL Canada. These include:

Applied Research Projects

An applied research project allows you to engage in research that occurs primarily in workplaces, including consulting, design, or community-based research projects. Applied research projects allow you the chance to apply classroom learning in a real-world setting, develop valuable workplace skills, and network with professionals in your industry.

Co-operative Education

Co-operative Education offers you hands-on experience in your chosen field of study, allowing you to explore different career opportunities and add relevant work experience to your resume. Co-ops are often paid work experiences, allowing you to earn money to help with tuition or living costs.


Entrepreneurship lets you leverage resources, space, mentorship and/or funding to engage in the early-stage development of a business start-up, addressing real-world needs while earning academic credit. Entrepreneurship helps you gain perspective on your industry, apply classroom lessons, and develop valuable workplace skills.

Field Placements

Field placements are a part-time/short-term intensive hands-on practical experience in a setting relevant to your subject of study. Field placements account for work-integrated educational experiences not encompassed by other forms, such as co-op, clinic, practicum, and internship.


Internships are a work experience or practice placement, paid or unpaid, for academic credit. Internships may occur in the middle of an academic program or after all academic coursework has been completed and prior to graduation. Through an internship you get a chance to apply classroom learning in a real-world setting, develop valuable workplace skills, gain perspective on your industry and network with professionals in your industry.

Mandatory professional practicum or clinical placement

Mandatory professional practicum or clinical placement is practice-based work experience for professional licensing or certification. It takes place under the supervision of an experienced registered or licensed professional. A practicum gives you the opportunity to apply classroom learning in a real-world setting.

Service Learning

With community service learning (CSL), you work in partnership with a community-based organization and apply your knowledge to a challenge identified by the community. CSL combines meaningful community service with classroom instruction and critical reflection, allowing you to gain perspective on your industry, apply classroom learning in a real-world setting and network with industry professionals.

Work Experience

Work experience lets you participate in a workplace setting related to your field of study. This can involve one or two work terms during your academic program. Work experience work-integrated learning lets you apply classroom learning in a real-world setting, develop valuable workplace skills, gain perspective on your industry and network with industry professionals.

KPU offers an additional WIL option not currently recognized by CEWIL Canada, we call Studio/Lab Work:

Studio/lab work...


Become a WIL Partner

Looking to partner with KPU to provide WIL opportunities to students?

WIL can help you develop stronger ties with co-operative education and work-integrated learning programs, giving you a competitive edge for your organization in the recruiting student talent.

Contact Larissa Petrillo for more information on WIL partnering.

Canadian Pilot Cohort

The Canadian Pilot Cohort (CPC) of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Activating change in higher education, to advance community engagement as a mutual and reciprocal process.

Learn more


For more information about work-integrated learning, please contact:

Larissa Petrillo
Teaching Fellow, Experiential Education and Community Engagement
Coordinator, NGO and Nonprofit Studies & Faculty, Anthropology

For more information about programs and courses at KPU, please contact the Future Students' Office: