Skip to main content Skip to site utility navigation Skip to main site navigation Skip to site search Skip to footer
NSCC's response to COVID-19: view updates

Work Integrated Learning Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
11.01 Vice President, Academic Director, Academic Operations and Systems Board of Governors Oct. 26, 2017   Nov. 1, 2017 Nov. 2022
  1. Purpose
    1. The purpose of Work-integrated learning (WIL) at NSCC is to enhance student learning by integrating academic studies with learning in a workplace or practice setting. It is an organized, supervised and evaluated component of the program curriculum and is most often a requirement for graduation.
    2. This policy provides the framework to support and embed work-integrated learning into curriculum; outlines roles and responsibilities; and references procedures that guide placements, insurance requirements and risk management related to work-integrated learning.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all types of work-integrated learning at NSCC.
      1. An individual course
      2. A program or course outcome
    2. There are some programs that do not include a work integrated learning component (e.g. Adult Learning Program, Academic & Career Connections).
    3. This policy does not apply to interactive/experiential learning that takes place in many NSCC courses (e.g. lab, shop, capstone projects, etc.).
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
Academic Chair A College position that leads the delivery of high quality and consistent teaching and learning in programs assigned to their portfolio.
Faculty Any person who performs instructional and related professional responsibilities with NSCC.

A component/instance of work-integrated learning within program curriculum, placements and their outcomes are defined at the course level.

  1. Field Experience: paid or unpaid work-related experiences that prepare students for professional or occupational fields, but are not required for a professional certification or licensure (Work Experience, Work Term, Job Shadow, Field Camp, Field Work, Sea Time/Sea Term etc.)
  2. Co-operative Education: a structured approach for paid, full time placements that alternates periods of study with work experience in a related field and follows the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education guidelines (CAFCE).
  3. Internships: paid work experiences that take place during the final term of the program of study.
  4. Mandatory Professional Practice: work arrangements required for a professional license or designation (including clinical placement, practicums, preceptorships, etc.).
Placement Partner External organization/company/industry partner that agrees to provide a student with a placement.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) The process for assessing formal, non-formal and informal learning as equivalent to the learning outcomes of a college course. When faculty content experts assess and verify that a student’s learning is relevant, valid, sufficient, authentic, and can be measured reliably against course outcomes, academic credit is awarded. RPL ensures consistent, transparent, fair, and quality assured assessment of relevant lifelong learning regardless of context.
Service Learning A form of work-integrated learning that combines service to the community with learning that supports development of critical thinking, leadership, ethical decision-making, social consciousness and civic responsibility. Service learning experiences vary by program and can be defined as an outcome of a specific course or an overall program learning outcome.
Student Anyone applying to or registered in College programs, and participating in College courses, programs, events or activities.
Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Practical learning in programs that include: field experience, co-operative education, internship, mandatory professional practice and/or service learning that is program or course outcome.
  1. Policy
    1. Program Curriculum Design
      1. Where appropriate, all College programs must include a work-integrated learning component. This will take place in the form of one or more courses throughout the program or, in some cases, an overall program outcome.
      2. Co-operative education placements must be completed before the end of a program. Students are required to return to the College for at least one term of academic study following any co-operative education placements.
      3. Service Learning must be incorporated into all board-approved programs. Service Learning can be an outcome of a specific course or an overall program learning outcome.
      4. Evaluation of placements shall appear on the student's transcript as either a “P” (pass), “F” (fail) or “I” (incomplete). This does not apply to non-credit placements.
      5. Successful completion of work-integrated learning courses and/or related program outcomes or its equivalent are required in order to meet the requirements for a program and be eligible for graduation.
    2. Roles and Responsibilities
      1. Academic Chairs are responsible for the oversight of work placements.
      2. Faculty are responsible for approving, monitoring and evaluating placements. Detailed responsibilities are found in the work-integrated learning Faculty Guides.
      3. Placement Partners are responsible for providing relevant work, supervision and evaluation for students. Detailed responsibilities can be found in the work-integrated learning Employer/Industry Partner Guides.
      4. Students are responsible for participating in the placement process, maintaining professionalism and submitting appropriate agreements and reports. Detailed responsibilities can be found in the work-integrated learning Student Guides.
    3. Finding Placements
      1. The College will provide support for students to gain industry experience; however, in some circumstances a shortage of placement partners may necessitate providing students with an equivalent learning experience.
      2. Students are required to participate in the placement process. Failure to participate (e.g. applying for placements, attending interviews, providing resumes and cover letters, providing appropriate documentation such as criminal record checks, etc.) may result in a student being unable to complete a placement, and thus, unable to complete all requirements of their program.
      3. Some placement partners may require students to provide Criminal Record Checks (CRC), Vulnerable Sector Searches (VSS), Immunization Records, and/or Child Abuse Register Checks prior to securing a placement. Any flags on these checks may result in a student being unable to complete a placement, and thus, unable to complete all requirements of their program. The CRC and VSS Process can be found in the Work-Integrated Learning Guides on ourNSCC.
      4. Faculty (or an Academic Chair) must approve all placements prior to commencement.
    4. Exceptional Circumstances
      1. Successful completion of all pre-requisite courses is normally required in order to qualify for a placement. However, for some programs, at the discretion of the Academic Chair (with notification to the Principal, Academic Dean and Director, Enrolment and Registrar) a student who does not meet this standard may be permitted to participate in the placement provided the safety of the student and other parties is not at risk. Academic Review Decision Forms are found under Work-Integrated Learning on ourNSCC.
      2. In some cases, due to circumstances beyond their control, students may not be able to complete the entire duration of a placement with a placement partner. In these cases, students may or may not be given credit for the placement and are required to meet with their Academic Chair.
      3. A failing grade is eligible for appeal. Placements are typically completed off campus and due to the applied nature of the learning it may not be eligible for reassessment. However, in some circumstances, it may be possible to repeat the placement.
    5. Insurance and Risk Management
      1. Insurance and risk management practices are of the utmost importance in ensuring the health and safety of students, placement partners and other parties during all aspects of work-integrated learning.
      2. Effective risk management is an integral part of work-integrated learning. Staff involved in work-integrated learning must seek to reduce risk through actions consistent with WIL’s risk management procedures.
      3. Most NSCC students are automatically enrolled in or covered by existing NSCC insurance plans, with exceptions for international students, international placements and placements aboard a marine vessel extending beyond 72 hours.
        1. Student Insurance Program (SIP) Accident Insurance protects students in the event of a workplace accident for some expenses not covered by NS Medical Services Insurance Program (MSI).
        2. NSCC’s General Liability protects students and the College in the event that a student causes bodily injury or property damage to a third party while on placement.
        3. Medical Malpractice Coverage provides protection in the event of malpractice or adverse events which take place in a health care setting.
      4. Additional insurance requirements exist for international students and international placements and placements
        1. All international students are required to enrol in the Emergency Health Insurance policy at the beginning of each academic year.
        2. Any student on a placement outside of Canada must purchase Student Guard Insurance coverage for the duration of the placement.
      5. Students are covered by SIP Accident Insurance while on a vessel for up to 72 hours
        1. For placements exceeding 72 hours the student must be listed as crew.
        2. Students should not sign any waiver for a vessel placement. If presented with a waiver contact OHS&E Services.
      6. Most placement partners require proof of student insurance. In some cases, the College may also request proof of placement partners insurance.
      7. Any incidents or accidents which occur during a placement must be reported following the Accident/Incident reporting process.
      8. Detailed insurance requirements and procedures can be found in the Work Integrated Learning Insurance Guidelines and the Work-Integrated Learning Guides found under Work-Integrated Learning on ourNSCC.
    6. International Placements
      1. The health and safety of students travelling internationally for study is paramount, there are risks associated with travel to certain regions and countries due to social and local factors. These conditions are dynamic and must be evaluated prior to any international trip. As such, NSCC has the right to deny requests for international placements.
      2. Travel advice and advisories issued by the Government of Canada will be applied. The College may also deem other locations to be of very high or extreme risk and prohibit travel to those locations.
      3. Students considering an international placement must complete an Intent to Complete International Placement form and an orientation offered by NSCC International.
    7. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
      1. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can be granted for work-integrated learning courses, per the requirements of the RPL Policy.
      2. Any appeals of a decision relating to Recognition of Prior Learning shall be dealt with under the College’s Student Appeals Policy.
    8. Academic Accommodations
      1. The College’s Academic Accommodations Policy applies to students on work integrated learning placements.
    9. Academic Integrity
      1. The College’s Academic Integrity Policy applies to students on work-integrated learning placements.
    10. Confidentiality of Student Information
      1. The College’s Confidentiality of Student Information Policy applies to students on work-integrated learning placements.
    11. Intellectual Property
      1. The College’s Intellectual Property Policy applies to students on work-integrated learning placements.
    12. Student Code of Conduct
      1. The College’s Student Code of Conduct Policy applies to students on work integrated learning placements.
  1. Policy Supports

Related Policies:

34.01 Academic Accommodations Policy (login required)
31.01 Academic Integrity Policy (login required)
75.11 Confidentiality of Student Information Policy (login required)
74.01 Intellectual Property Policy (login required)
25.01 PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition) Policy (login required)
32.01 Student Appeals Policy (login required)
33.01 Student Code of Conduct (login required)

Work Integrated Learning Guides (login required)

11.02A Cooperative Education Employer Guides
11.02B Co-operative Education Faculty Guide
11.02C Co-operative Education Student Guide
11.03A Service Learning Employer Guide
11.03B Service Learning Faculty Guide
11.03C Service Learning Student Guide
11.04A Field Placement Employer Guide
11.04B Field Placement Faculty Guide
11.04C Field Placement Student Guide
11.05A Internship Employers Guide
11.05B Internship Faculty Guide
11.05C Internship Student Guide
11.06 Work Integrated Learning – Insurance Guidelines

Back to top