Building Ontario’s Inclusive, Online Work-Integrated Experiential Learning Ecosystem
Work-integrated experiential learning (WIEL) is a proven method of enhancing students’ skills, career clarity, networks, and employability; but traditional methods (e.g. coops, internships) are costly to scale and often challenging for underserved students to access. Online WIEL solves these challenges. In 2018/2019, Riipen collaborated with the Government of Ontario to deliver 8,249 online WIEL experiences for students at 12 Ontario colleges and universities over a 16-month period (budget: $735,000). The project enabled underserved students to access WIEL regardless of discipline, socioeconomic background or geography. We catalyzed employer engagement by subsidising participation fees and increasing access for non-profits and small businesses.