Vancouver Island University (VIU) and North Island College (NIC) recognized that to support the livelihood of their students in addition to rural and local communities, students and recent graduates would need direct access to local opportunities for skill development and employment. A natural extension of their commitment to promote a high quality of life for their communities through student success, community engagement, and associated scholarship, the institutions partnered together to create a hub called Vancouver Island Work-Integrated Learning (VIWIL). OCC provided the right configurability, interoperability, and shared vision to bring VIWIL to life digitally. As VIWIL began to gain momentum, the institutions started looking for additional partnerships to enhance the overall project and recently signed agreements with MITACS and RBC Foundation to increase access to WIL in remote and rural areas.
Now live, the VIWIL platform supports post-secondary students, recent graduates, and rural or local employers through a live feed of relevant work-integrated learning experiences and job opportunities meaningful to the livelihood of students, and supportive of local or rural businesses – the backbone of any economy. Outcome Campus Connect (OCC) gives VIWIL the right mix of technological functionality and data-driven insights to expand possible learning outcomes that will strengthen the impact of VIU, NIC, and their partners, MITACS and RBC, within the local and rural Vancouver Island community for years to come.
Says Devin Grady, Co-founder of Orbis, of Outcome Campus Connect, “It’s partnerships like this that are paving the way, not just for those involved but for Canada. We were thrilled to work with VIU, NIC, Mitacs, and RBC Foundation to bring their powerful vision to life. The thoughtfulness and care they put behind creating this concept led to the creation of this platform rooted in empathy for their local communities. VIWIL is uniquely positioned to support ongoing success of their students, graduates, local and rural businesses, and the community at large,” he concluded.
“VIWIL is also an awareness campaign about the benefits of hiring students,” says Vanessa Stratton, Project Manager and Work-Integrated Learning faculty member at VIU‘s Centre for Experiential Learning. “Students come with industry-specific education and skills, and by hiring students, you can reduce your recruitment costs through specialized funding and grants and other incentives. It’s a win-win situation as employers capitalize on student knowledge and students gain the opportunities they need to be successful.”
“These are challenging times and better collaboration through strong partnerships will be the key to creating bridges that will enable post–secondary students to make a successful leap from the campus to the workplace,” says Anita Budisa-Bonneau, Coordinator of Work-Integrated Education at NIC.
As Canada focuses on economic recovery and tackles very real global challenges, the higher learning community is investing in resources that align their vision and ideologies with action and insights – the pillars of measuring impact potential or the success of students and graduates.
OCC is entirely free and readily available to all post-secondary institutions and students across the nation. The innovative and interconnected approach taken by Vancouver Island University North Island College in partnership with Mitacs and Royal Bank of Canada Foundation is a powerful example of what’s possible when we work together, sharing our greatest strengths to empower who and what will lead our nation’s evolving story and identity.
About Outcome Campus Connect
Outcome Campus Connect offers employers and partners a direct connection to the post-secondary student talent that will shape tomorrow while empowering tomorrow’s leaders with the skills, experience, and opportunities critical for their long-term livelihood. OCC is a partnership between Orbis and Magnet and currently partnered with 100+ campuses. The network is available to all post-secondary students online, nationally, and for free.
Orbis enables leading higher learning institutions to support their students’ long-term livelihood through direct delivery of relevant experiential learning, skill development, and job opportunities. For two decades, our team has worked closely and collaboratively with campus partners, offering configurable technology solutions and yielding data-driven insights critical to preparing tomorrow’s leaders with the skills, experience, and connections fundamental to achievement. With Orbis, you meet students exactly where they are today, with exactly what they need for success tomorrow. Together, we’re working within the higher learning community toward a future of fulfilled potential for every post-secondary graduate and our global community. To date, Orbis and our post-secondary partners have positively shaped outcomes for over 1,000,000 post-secondary students and graduates.
Vancouver Island Work-Integrated Learning (VIWIL) is a collaborative partnership between North Island College (NIC) and Vancouver Island University (VIU) created in the spirit of enhancing opportunities for work-integrated learning and connecting employers with students on Vancouver Island north of the Malahat.
This regional approach aims to bridge the gap between campuses and local employers by providing supportive resources and making opportunities available to students from both institutions, enhancing the possibility that employer needs can be met. This is a significant step toward a systems approach that models the strength of collective effort, sharing of resources, and collaborative ethos that results in greater benefit and opportunity for both students and industry partners.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented change across the world and to almost every workplace. Collaborative partnerships between students, post-secondary institutions, and industry partners can play an instrumental role in our economic recovery.
For more information on this partnership, connect with Natalie Nitsopoulos, Director of OCC, at Orbis, firstname.lastname@example.org
For media inquiries, connect with Zoë Mills, email@example.com