Bylaws and Policies

Political Policy Experiential Learning

Expiry: April 30, 2022

1 Facts

  1. There is a broad variety of experiential learning opportunities including, but not limited to, internships, practica, co-ops, placements, work experience, undergraduate research, work abroad, community service learning courses, and field experience.
  2. New learning experiences allow students to better learn, apply and understand content within their studies.
  3. Vital skills to programs and employment are developed outside of the classroom, and can be provided by experiential learning.
  4. A Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario study confirmed that university students that participate in experiential learning opportunities have lower unemployment rates among full-time job seekers post-graduation[1].
  5. Significant barriers exist towards participating in experiential learning, such as
    1. Institutional barriers such as lack of information, academic program restrictions, student status, unsatisfactory grades, external policy barriers such as credit transfer agreements, counting of credits toward degree and/or general requirements.
    2. Financial barriers such as lack of funding for program development and lack of financial support for students.
  6. Money dispersed through undergraduate research awards at the University of Alberta has not increased in recent years, falling behind to increases to minimum wage and other cost of living expenses.
  7. There is a lack of opportunities and funding for undergraduate students to present their research at national or international academic conferences.

2 Resolutions

  1. The Students’ Union will advocate for increased experiential learning opportunities for all undergraduate students.
  2. The Students’ Union will advocate for flexible program requirements that allow all interested undergraduate students to participate in experiential learning opportunities irrespective of barriers related to their academic or personal background, including but not limited to race, gender, sexuality, religion, spirituality, ability, age, student status, satisfactory academic standing[2], and Aboriginal and/or international student status.
  3. The Studentsʼ Union will advocate to the University of Alberta, government stakeholders, and other external organizations to ensure increased up-front funding and bursaries for students participating in local or international experiential learning opportunities.
  4. The Studentsʼ Union will advocate for equitable financial and administrative supports for all undergraduate students so they have equal opportunity to participate in experiential learning opportunities.
  5. The Studentsʼ Union will advocate for increased coordination between programs offering experiential learning, as well as a consolidated repository to connect students with experiential learning opportunities.
  6. The Students’ Union will advocate for increased holistic funding[3] and opportunities for students to present research at conferences abroad.

3 References

  1. http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/WIL_Grad%20Follow-up%20ENG.pdf
  2. As defined by https://calendar.ualberta.ca/content.php?catoid=6&navoid=806
  3. We define “Holistic Funding” as funding towards items included but not limited to: transportation, room and board, and conference fees