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Program at a glance

Sunday, May 26

4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Wine and Cheese Welcome Reception, presented in partnership with CEWIL Canada


Monday, May 27

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Opening & Welcome
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Keynote with Dr. Kari Green, presented in partnership with Wavemakers.
10:00 – 10:20 a.m. Coffee Break
10:20 – 11:10 a.m. Breakout Session 1
11:20 – 12:10 p.m. Breakout Session 2
12:10 – 1:25 p.m. Lunch & Networking, presented in partnership with Riipen
1:25 – 2:15 p.m. Breakout Session 3
2:25 – 3:05 p.m. Social Activity
3:05 – 3:25 p.m. Coffee Break
3:25 – 4:15 p.m. Breakout Session 4
4:15 – 5:30 p.m. Break
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Banquet Dinner, presented in partnership with Magnet.

Tuesday, May 28

7:50 – 8:50 a.m. Breakfast
8:50 – 9:50 a.m. Keynote with Dr. Isabeau Iqbal 
10:00 – 10:50 a.m. Breakout Session 1
10:50 – 11:10 a.m. Coffee Break
11:10 – 12:00 p.m. Breakout Session 2
12:10 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch & AGM & Awards
2:05 – 2:55 p.m. Breakout Session 3
3:05 – 3:55 p.m. Breakout Session 4
4:00 – 4:30 p.m. Coffee & Closing Remarks

Detailed Program


Wine and Cheese Welcome Reception — 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Join us to reconnect with your fellow colleagues and conference goers for a fun and interactive Welcome Back Reception and chance to raise a glass and connect in person. Presented in partnership with CEWIL Canada.


Registration & Breakfast — 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Opening & Welcome — 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.

KEYNOTE WITH DR. KARI GREEN -- 9:00 - 10:00 A.M.

Presented in partnership with Wavemakers.

Keynote with Dr. Kari Green

Experiential forms of education are widely known to be transformative for adult learners. Not only do students learn valuable skills that would be impossible to understand theoretically, but they also navigate risk and uncertainty, witness the real life impacts of their work, and cultivate relationships with people who possess lived expertise.

Most importantly, students who participate in these types of learning have a chance to grapple with the tremendous complexity of specific issues and how they map onto broader society. But the deeper reason educators and staff leaders are committed to experiential forms of education – can be elusive and changing. Often, it’s personal. To me, the underlying motivation for engaging in experiential pedagogies is to cultivate critical hope.

In this talk, I introduce the idea of “critical hope” (Freire, 1994; Grain, 2022) and present seven principles of critical hope as a nourishing framework for people who engage with experiential pedagogies. I illustrate examples of critical hope-in-action, drawing from various areas like neuroscience, Indigenous knowledges, poetry, anti-racism, and community activism.

Critical hope emphasizes accountability in relationships, an emphasis on equity, and active hospitality toward emotions like anger and grief. As a relational practice within the realm of education and training, critical hope is a dance – a messy, embodied entanglement between the difficult knowledge of the brokenness facing our existence, and the vibrant possibilities – including systemic change – that experiential pedagogies are ideally positioned to bring into being.

Presenter: Dr. Kari Grain

Coffee Break -- 10:00 - 10:20 a.m.

Monday, Breakout Sessions #1 -- 10:20 - 11:10 a.m.

The future of WIL research in ACE-WIL -- ROOM A

Higher education is experiencing transformational changes due to local and global factors (e.g. COVID19, geopolitics and international students’ participation, government regulations, etc.). As we look forward into the future of WIL and bring the Nudge project to a closure, this session will engage participants in identifying areas of interest and needs for WIL practitioners, to chart a new path into the future of WIL.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Gain knowledge about past research projects.
  • Generate “How Might We?” statements about the practice of WIL
  • Identify research ideas on the practice of WIL

Presenters: Sarah McQuillan, Alon Eisenstein, Earl Anderson

Reimagining Career Services at UVic: A Career Course as Hub and Spoke -- ROOM B

This interactive session explores UVic’s development of asynchronous careers course that integrate students’ academic programs, career management skills, and experiential learning.

Audience members will:

  • Learn about practical tools and targeted activities that can help students engage in their career development
  • Gain knowledge and examples of how to integrate the UN SDGs, artificial intelligence, labour market information, life design principles, and equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility into online curriculum and related in-person activities
  • Participate in conversations about how to reimagine Career Services for GenZ students.

Presenters: Meg Thompson, Allison Benner

Breaking Barriers, Building Futures: Rethinking GPA Requirements to Increase Access to Co-op at UVic -- ROOM C

Gain insights into how to collect and analyze data to support the case for changing GPA requirements for co-op participation. Understand the strategies and steps involved in communication and consultation efforts to garner support with Faculty. Explore findings from existing literature regarding the relationship between GPA and workplace performance or success in Work-Integrated Learning (WIL). Engage in discussions aimed at fostering greater inclusivity and accessibility in WIL opportunities for all.

Presenters: Heather Croft

Bridging the Gap: How Post-Secondary Institutions Can Collaborate with Professional Associations to Create WIL Initiatives that Attract and Prepare Students for Post-Graduate Careers -- ROOM D

This seminar will share the strategies employed by a professional association, liaising with both post-secondary institutions and industry employers, to build out WIL experiences to attract students to a profession. The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC), a professional association, will be used as a case study.

We will share insights, practical tips and take away resources for post-secondary staff and faculty across disciplines interested in collaborating with professional associations in different industries to develop WIL opportunities that both attract and prepare their students for employment post-graduation. Get ready to amp up your WIL experiences for your students.

Presenters: Sheila Cheung, Rebecca Dirnfeld

Monday, Breakout Sessions #2 -- 11:20 - 12:10 p.m.

Breaking Barriers: Empowering Students Through Inclusive VR Learning Experiences -- ROOM A

How can inclusive design and virtual reality revolutionize learning experiences? Discover how Wavemakers uses VR to empower students by providing immersive and accessible distance programs. Elevate your education initiatives by reaching underrepresented groups, such as Indigenous students, racialized Canadians, students with disabilities, and newcomers to Canada. Wavemakers connects post-secondary students with mentors, employers, experts, and peers, taking work-integrated learning to new heights with VR technology.

Learning Outcomes: Understand the role of inclusive design in creating accessible VR-based educational experiences. Recognize the benefits of immersive VR environments in enhancing learning for diverse student groups. Identify the importance of addressing and overcoming barriers to ensure equitable access to VR technology in education.

Presenters: Krista Pawley

Entrepreneurship for Arts graduate and undergraduate students -- ROOM B

During this session, we’ll share our experience developing multiple streams of entrepreneurship programming for undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty of Arts at UBC, in partnership with the entrepreneurship@UBC and Arts Alumni offices.

We’ll cover:

  1. why entrepreneurship offers a valuable and practical skill set to Arts majors at both the undergraduate and graduate level;
  2. how entrepreneurial training and support can be designed to address the unique skills, values, and goals this population, and
  3. what strategies we’ve used to engage entrepreneurial alumni as mentors and co-facilitators.

Presenters: Carolyn Veldstra, Julie Walchli, Linda Gully

Empowering Diverse Voices through Employer Networking and Dialogue on Imposter Syndrome: A TRU Research Coach Project in Cooperative Education -- ROOM C

This presentation will share how undergraduate research was integrated into two Career Management courses using the topic of Imposter Syndrome inspired by the writings of Adam Grant.

Attendees will learn to:

  1. Develop strategies to normalize imposter syndrome with students and employers
  2. Discover ways to implement Self Reflective Assignments into Co-op Curriculum
  3.  Explore ways to implement undergraduate research into Co-op Course Curriculum

Presenters: Sarah Gibson, Leanne Mihalicz

Subsidized WIL with a Focus on the BC Creative Tech Space -- ROOM D

In this session, attendees will receive an overview of ICTC’s WIL Digital funding program and DigiBC’s Work Placement Pilot Program in BC’s creative technology sector. Dave Murray will discuss the importance of experiential learning, provide insights into the Student Work Placement Program funding, and outline the benefits of the WIL Digital program for students and employers.

Sandun Dissan will introduce DigiBC’s provincially funded Work Placement Pilot Project (WPPP), aiming to add 170 student placements across animation, VFX, and XR sectors. Sandun will describe project objectives, timelines, and student eligibility, guiding institutions on participation. This session will raise awareness of SWPP funding, ICTC’s programs, and DigiBC’s provincially-funded Work Placement Pilot Program for Creative Technology.

Presenters: Sandun Dissan, Dave Murray

Lunch & Networking -- 12:10 - 1:25 p.m.

Presented in partnership with Riipen.

Monday, Breakout Sessions #3 -- 1:25 - 2:15 p.m.

(Re)visioning service: Establishing meaningful volunteer engagement within ACE-WIL BC/Yukon -- ROOM A

The session goal is to help attendees reflect on where they are at as practitioners, what brought them here, and where they would like to be going forward. This session allows current volunteers to (re)evaluate their role and their committee mandate. Through exercises, reflection, and open discussions that we engage attendees in, we aim to also inspire members to explore and identify new activities and/or committees to be involved in. Come join us! Together, by using our skills, passions, and interests, we can give back to the ACE-WIL community in meaningful ways.

Presenters: Cristina Eftenaru, Alon Eisenstein

Untold Stories: conversations with marginalized students and educators about experiencing racism, microaggressions, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace and classroom -- ROOM B

Many marginalized students and young professionals navigate countless barriers in a world that was never designed to include them and their stories matter. In this session, you will learn about KPU’s Untold Stories project which includes an OER toolkit, watch excerpts from the video project, and participate in round table discussions on how to best support marginalized students engaging in WIL.

  1. Understand the barriers that marginalized students face in the workplace and in the classroom in terms of race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, disability and other factors.
  2. Discuss strategies to create inclusive and equitable learning and workplace environments for WIL students.

Presenters: Lindsay Wood, Alexandra Taylor

Building capacity through a WIL Faculty Toolkit -- ROOM C

With WIL teams at, or over, capacity at most campuses across the province, how can we increase WIL opportunities without adding staff resources? WIL programs are often developed in silo, losing the opportunity for sharing and implementing best practices in growing industry connections, student preparation and placement assistance.

To address this, BCIT’s Centre for Workplace Education created a WIL Faculty Toolkit as an online reference tool for BCIT program areas and faculty. The toolkit provides information, processes and procedures related to WIL program design and development, quality, evaluation, and risk management. This presentation will describe the design and development of the toolkit, give a demonstration, and highlight feedback from users.

Presenters: Earl Anderson, Joan Pascual, Jennifer Weintraub

WIL it Work? Lessons Learned from Collaborations in Calgary -- ROOM D

From your neighbours in Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), TalentED YYC is a collective of seven post-secondaries, five funding partners, three technology partners, two Chambers, and one third-party evaluator with a mission to scale WIL in Calgary. We’re here to share lessons learned from our work this past year.

  1. Understand the TalentED YYC model and the pros and cons of integration between post-secondary institutions, chambers, government, and technology.
  2. Compare and contrast the TalentED YYC model of collaboration in growing and enhancing WIL with BC models.
  3. Make connections between WIL collaboration models to take forward and apply in future work.

Presenters: Hilary Krygsman, Luke Maliniak

Social activity -- 2:25 - 3:05 p.m.

Coffee Break -- 3:05 - 3:25 p.m.

Monday, Breakout Sessions #4 -- 3:25 - 4:15 p.m.

Beyond Student Surveys: Implementing Design Thinking in receiving Student Feedback for Program Evaluation -- ROOM A

Students are surveyed out! How are our WIL programs actually received by those its meant to serve? Are we unintentionally serving only those who already have capital? How would we know?

This session is meant to provide an alternative to surveying students for program evaluation. We will look at a human centric design approach that is meant to empower and engage students and practitioners. By the end of this session you should be able to:

  1. Understand the rationale behind design thinking
  2. Understand the benefits of incorporating user experience in program evaluation over traditional student surveys

Presenters: Lina Guo, Natasha Jamal

Embracing a solutions-focused coaching mindset -- ROOM B

This interactive session will provide an overview of what coaching is according to the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and be introduced to solutions-focused coaching as developed by Erickson International. This session will identify strategies on how you can integrate key coaching concepts into your current WIL practice when working with post-secondary students.

Solutions-focused coaching is an extremely effective strategy to help students increase their self-confidence and take ownership of their educational journey. Solutions-focused coaching is a personalized process that allows students to improve their ability to set and achieve goals as well as how to take action and ownership over their own career trajectory.

Presenters: Anita Budisa-Bonneau

Let's get WILD! Get Adventurous with your Teaching and Learning Centre -- ROOM C

At Coast Mountain College, students are connected and united with the community through our Work Integrated Learning Division…which we think is pretty WILD! While many institutions delegate WIL initiatives to Career Centers, our approach is to embed these experiences in curriculum.

We believe that through collaborative efforts and community/faculty relationship building, we can create more inclusive, innovative, and engaging WIL experiences for all.

  1. Foster closer collaboration between faculty, WIL practitioners, and community/employer partners
  2. Discuss the positive impact of Teaching and Learning Center in facilitating WIL programs
  3. Strategize WIL-integrated curriculum opportunities

Presenters: Tracey Woodburn, Danna Buick

Co-op curriculum that aligns with academic best practices while strengthening mutual understanding, commitment, relationships, and impact -- ROOM D

Have you ever found yourself feeling like your academic partners don’t understand the learning that occurs in work-integrated learning? Perhaps they seem to perceive co-operative education simply as ‘work experience’ or like a wonderful student service that is not related to academic planning and coordination?

This session will share our journey of renewing curriculum, as well as the positive impacts it may have on our working across various departments at the College. By attending this session, participants will be able to:

  1. describe learning that occurs in co-operative education
  2. identify elements of good curriculum and program design
  3. discuss how co-operative education can intentionally contribute to
    Indigenous resurgence

Presenters: Jennifer Phillips, Sarah-Joy Kallos

Banquet Dinner -- 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Come as you are and enjoy dinner with friends at ACE-WIL BC/Yukon’s Banquet Dinner. Be prepared to show off your team’s table centrepiece and convince the judges why your design is a winner!

Presented in partnership with Magnet.


Breakfast — 7:50 – 8:50 a.m.

Keynote with Dr. Isabeau Iqbal -- 8:50 - 9:50 a.m.

Taking a coach approach. You’ve got everything you need!

You’ve likely heard the suggestion to incorporate a “coach approach” into your professional toolkit. The demand for coaching skills is widespread, and extends across diverse fields like education, healthcare, and business. Moreover, coaching skills are increasingly recognized as essential in various professional roles.

But, what do we mean by taking a coach approach? What mindsets and skills are involved to do this effectively? And how do we discern when to step into coach “mode” or not?

We can begin to address these complexities by recognizing that coaching is a partnership. At its core, coaching is grounded in the belief that our partners—be they students, employers, or colleagues—are resourceful, creative and whole. Embracing a coach approach involves guiding individuals through thoughtful questioning so they can draw independent conclusions. We assist our partners in uncovering innovative solutions, exploring novel approaches, and taking calculated risks. This approach nurtures a sense of autonomy and ownership and has the potential to boost confidence in those we coach.

In this keynote, we will focus on the practical aspects of coaching and use the Core Coaching Competencies, of the International Coaching Federation, to investigate how coaching aligns with your professional responsibilities. Whether your main interactions involve supporting employers in Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), aiding students participating in WIL, or advocating for WIL in different capacities, the session aims to offer insight into the application of coaching in your specific work context.

Throughout the keynote, you will engage in thoughtful reflection to consider how you can incorporate coaching competencies into your daily activities. One of the main points I wish to make in this session is that you already have the skills you need to take a coaching approach.

Presenter: Dr. Isabeau Iqbal

Tuesday, Breakout Sessions #1 -- 10:00 -- 10:50 a.m.

From Reflective to Reflexive - Critical Pedagogy and WIL Pedagogy -- ROOM A

In this workshop, attendees will be introduced to Critical Pedagogy and its core ideas, including the ability to differentiate between reflective practice and reflexive practice. Attendees will then use Critical Pedagogy framework to critically examine their own WIL programs within their institutions, and explore ways through which reflexive practice can be incorporated into WIL programs.

Learning outcomes include:

  1. Explain Critical Pedagogy and its relevance to WIL pedagogy.
  2. Apply a Critical Pedagogy framework to their own WIL practice.
  3. Prioritize actions to apply Critical Pedagogy in their WIL practice.

Presenter: Alon Eisenstein

Arts-Based Activities for Reflection and WIL Experience Sharing -- ROOM B

Relate arts-based reflection and knowledge sharing to your WIL practice. Explore types and formats for arts-based reflection. Determine how your students could use arts-based reflection activities to share about their WIL experiences. Identify a few approaches for facilitating arts-based activities.

Presenters: Rhianna Nagel, Rosa McBee

Leading with a Unified Vision: Creating a Centralized Services Framework -- ROOM C

Explore career capital and how a shared-leadership approach can contribute to a comprehensive services framework and unified approach to support services. The session will be interactive and collaborative. After a brief introduction, participants will work in their table groups, using RRU’s centralized services framework as a starting point to explore and share their own institutional approaches, leading andragogies, services, and internal motivators or influences.

The goal will be to create a mock framework for the table while informing individual frameworks that each participant may take away as a practical starting point to open discussions in their teams, units or departments.

Presenter: Natasha Dilay

Cultural Intelligence and accessibility connecting the dots -- ROOM D

  • Participants will be able to identify the 4 dimensions of CQ
  • Participants will understand the relevance between CQ and Accessibility and Inclusion
  • Participants are encouraged to start the process of reflecting on accessibility challenges from a cultural diverse perspective.
  • Participants gain an overview of various created resources and understand how they can guide their practices.

Presenter: Karima Ramji, Neils Melis-De Lamper

Coffee Break -- 10:50 - 11:10 a.m.

Tuesday, Breakout Sessions #2 -- 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Growing WIL Through Collaboration and Positive Student Experiences -- ROOM A

  1. Industry and academia have a symbiotic relationship that requires proactive maintenance. Learn how you can support your industry partners and how they can better support you.
  2. The best strategy for engaging Gen Z students is to focus on providing a positive learning experience. Learn how industry and academia collaboration can result in a win-win-win outcome.
  3. Industry will take the path of least resistance when it comes to hiring talent. Find out what you can do to get your employer partners to hire even more of your students.

Presenter: Masaki Miyoshi

From WIL Practitioner to Leader: Strategies for Career Progression Success -- ROOM B

This presentation will explore the strategies and steps necessary to forge one’s path from a practitioner into a leadership role. We will discuss the skills, minnal development, communication, and decision-making skills for effective leadership.

By attending this presentation, participants will:

  • gain valuable insights into the skills, strategies, and mindset necessary to transition from a WIL practitioner role to a leadership role
  • learn to effectively define and communicate their leadership vision and goals
  • map actionable steps to meet rewarding challenges in their career journeys.

Presenter: Allison Benner, Chelsey Evans

A Multi-Discipline Collaboration in Co-operative Education Course Development -- ROOM C

Through our session participants will learn:

  • How a multi-disciplinary research project culminated into a re-design of Co-op work term course structure and curriculum.
  • How the TRU Co-op team Integrated SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) research in co-operative education.
  • How the project involves multiple layers of collaboration with students and faculty in the Career and Experiential Learning department and across Campus.

Presenter: Jamie Noakes, Sarah Gibson, Leanne Mihalicz, Harshita Dhiman, Corinna Bartucci

Practices of inclusion: stories of EDI and Indigenization in the University of the Fraser Valley’s (UFV’s) WIL programs -- ROOM D

This session will share two examples of WIL programming at UFV’s Centre for Experiential and Career Education (CECE) that are practices of Inclusive WIL, specifically EDI and Indigenization.

With stories and examples that reflect the contextual, relational, and iterative nature of Inclusive WIL, the session is focused on these learning outcomes:

  1. Participants will appreciate the importance of EDI and Indigenization in WIL;
  2. Participants will understand the iterative, relational, and contextual nature of EDI and Indigenization (i.e. there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach); and
  3. Participants will reflect on possibilities for EDI and Indigenization within their own context of WIL.

Presenters: David Warkentin, Larrissa Horne

Lunch & AGM & Awards -- 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Attend the Awards & Annual General Meeting (AGM) lunch to celebrate ACE-WIL BC/Yukon’s student and employer of the year awards. The recognition event will be followed by the AGM, the latest from ACE-WIL BC/Yukon’s Board of Directors and a vote on important by-law changes for the association. See you there!

Tuesday, Breakout Sessions #3 -- 2:00 a.m. - 2:55 p.m.

How to co-create an experiential learning career navigation resource tool with students as consultants -- ROOM A

This presentation showcases how building co-expert relationships with students can support the development of an experiential learning career navigation resource tool for students and the key partnerships it also developed along the way.

By the end of this presentation, you will be able to learn:

  1. Why it is critical to incorporate student voices in the development of your experiential learning resources
  2. What does it take to incorporate students’ perspectives authentically in the development of your experiential learning initiatives

Presenters: Natasha Jamal, Nika Marefat

Using Theatre to Cultivate Emotional Intelligence and Problem-Solving in Workplace Situations -- ROOM B

Sarah-Joy engages students through interactive theatre in her preparatory class to similate “hot moments” in the workplace. This exercise helps students enter into emotionally charged scenarios safely so they can navigate conflict, cultivate empathy, unpack language, and consider various outcomes.

In this session, the audience will be asked to become the student by coming up “on stage” or contributing to the discussion so that attendees will get a full experience of how the exercise works. If there are issues during a work term, these can result from miscommunication, a clash of character, or a misunderstanding of expectations in the workplace.

Just like you would simulate game situations for an athletic event, students can practice having difficult conversations in a fun and interactive way so they are prepared to have these in real-time and issues while on co-op are mitigated or eliminated.

Presenter: Sarah-Joy Kallos

Design Thinking for Career and Life Design: the story of UBC Arts’ Career Design Studios -- ROOM C

  • Learn the fundamentals of the design thinking process and design mindsets.
  • Engage with core life design tools during the session to reflect on their own career and life design
  • Learn how Design Thinking has informed our new Career Design Studio model and how we have incorporated it in assignments for Arts co-op students
  • Consider ways that Design Thinking could enhance their work and their students’ experiences.

Presenter: Julie Walchli

Magnet session -- ROOM D

Coming soon.

Tuesday, Breakout Sessions #4 -- 3:05 - 3:55 p.m.

Creating Meaningful Learning by Using Renewable Assignments in the Classroom -- ROOM A

By attending this session, participants will have the opportunity to learn about what renewable assignments are, how to create and use them, as well as where to find licensed assignments that they can use in their work.

Presenters: Cristina Eftenaru

Strategic Collaboration to Maximize Career Development Across Your Institution -- ROOM B

Needs session blurb.

Presenters: Alejandra Huerta Guerra, Heather McDonald, Sue Brown

Building Connections: Community Engagement Opportunities for Law Enforcement Students -- ROOM C

In this session Melanie and Nina will reflect on building Work Integrated Learning experiences within the Law Enforcement Bachelor and Diploma program. Specifically looking at an opportunity that has been piloted in collaboration with Community Policing Centres around the city of Vancouver.

The presentation will highlight building the relationships with the community policing centres, the design of the experience, the role of critical reflection throughout the placement and the strengths and challenges faced.

Presenters: Nina Bennett, Melanie Chernoff

Review of Research Findings on Best Practices in Work-Integrated Learning -- ROOM D

This presentation will explore quantitative and qualitative research findings on post-secondary students’ competency development through WIL.

Attendees will learn about:

  • A variety of research questions and measures of assessing WIL. Related theories will also be touch upon.
  • Research findings that add credibility to current WIL practices, and/or lead to ideas for modifications/evidence-based enhancements to WIL practitioners’ current practices.
  • This includes practices around placement duration, student goal setting and reflection, supervisor support, and more.
  • Further, if any attendees are looking at researching WIL practices, the session will provide a backdrop of current research, and ideas for future research.

Presenter: Jeremy Pearce

Coffee Break & Closing -- 4:00 - 4:30 p.m.