The University of Lethbridge is ranked one of Canada’s top undergraduate universities, educating over 8,900 students each year. Their guiding principle of “Fiat Lux”, or “Let there be light,” refers to the illumination that comes from research and learning and communicates the University’s commitment to building a better society through the inspired minds of tomorrow. Experiential learning is the cornerstone of this commitment. Most engagements with experiential learning at the University are made possible through Orbis’s Outcome solution, a completely configurable and brand-ready experiential learning solution that is known by the institution, faculty, students, employers, and stakeholders as MyExperience. The institution aims to have all experiences funnel through the Outcome platform in the coming years. The MyExperience platform is strengthened by the University’s MyExperience Transcript, a complete record of each student’s experiential learning and career development experiences pursued while acquiring a degree.
A Better Tomorrow Starts Today (& with 313,905 Hours of Work-Integrated Learning, Leadership, & Community Service)
This September 2020, the University of Lethbridge celebrated the first anniversary of MyExperience. This coincided with the launch of their new Centre for Work-integrated Learning and Career Development, Career Bridge, a centralized hub for all career readiness initiatives at the institution. Orbis’s Outcome solution powers MyExperience and operationalizes Career Bridge with advanced digital infrastructure. Through Outcome, MyExperience catalogues, tracks, connects, and measures the overall impact of all experiential advising, career services, and co-op programs run and offered to students. This maximizes each students’ ability to build thriving careers and enables the University of Lethbridge to strategize the future of all experiential learning initiatives at their institution with informed decision making that reflects their students’ experiential engagement patterns and interests. Since partnering with Orbis in 2019, data the University has pulled from their Outcome (MyExperience) platform shows that over 25% of their student population has connected to at least 1 WIL, leadership, or community service experience; totaling 313,905 hours of experience and skill development, in just one year – and growing.
My Experience Matters
Complimenting the MyExperience platform, the University of Lethbridge created the MyExperience Transcript, an official Academic Transcript that reflects the entirety of experiential learning and career development each student completed while pursuant of their degree at the University. These experiences can take place on, or off, campus and are directly connected to competencies – covering a range of categories like:
o Leadership – For example, Mentors, Tutors, Graduate Students Association positions, Residence Assistants
o Globalization, Research, Creativity, and Innovation – For example, International Study Abroad and Exchange as well as Agility Programming (Agility offers student-centered programs, infrastructure, and financial support with a focus on innovation and social, economic, and political impact, including entrepreneurial spirit)
o Work-integrated Learning – For example, Co-ops and Applied Studies
o Community Service – For example, UVolunteer (their partnership with Volunteer Lethbridge)
o Career-Related Skills Development – For example, events, workshops, and training offered by Faculties and departments across campus that focus on preparing students for the workforce.
Says Mark Slomp, Executive Director, Student Services, at the University of Lethbridge, “As found by Mark Savickas, renowned career counseling scholar, lots of research says that people who tell their story better are more successful in their careers. The MyExperience platform and MyExperience Transcript serve the symbiotic purpose of supporting students to create and articulate their stories intentionally and clearly.” Direct access for each student to a searchable database of their rich experiential learning opportunities, gives learners a blueprint for success by revealing the unique patterns and themes that give their experiences meaning and tell their story. By telling our stories, as humans, we can more deeply understand each other. With the MyExperience platform and MyExperience Transcript, the University of Lethbridge can more deeply understand their students, students can more clearly understand themselves, and employers can more quickly find the right fit for their organizations.
“In my post-secondary experience, I’ve really learned how important it is to try things that bring you discomfort like co-op, case competitions, joining a club, starting a club, or volunteering. I started my post-secondary career mostly focused on just completing my courses, but I’ve learned that employers are looking for students who have participated in rich experiential learning outside of the classroom as well. MyExperience at the U of L has helped me gain this kind of experience and has helped me greatly to track my participation and reflect on the skills I’ve developed and the ways in which I have grown personally and professionally” – Nicholas Canning, a 4th-year student studying Human Resource Management and Industrial Labour Relations in the Dhillon School of Business, University of Lethbridge.
Thank you to the University of Lethbridge, to Kathleen Massey (Associate VP, Students), Mark W. Slomp, (Executive Director, Student Services), and Kyra Gillert (Experiential Advisor). for sharing your insights and story with us. Orbis is happy and proud to be working with your team and cannot wait to see what is more to come.
Arthur, M.B. (2020, May 16). “Don’t let the virus make you lose your story! So says eminent career scholar Mark Savickas,” Forbes. Retrieved here.