Pop Quiz: Which of these statements do you agree with?

  1. Co-op practitioners in BC have great knowledge that they share willingly
  2. Increasing ours and our students’ emotional intelligence is our next challenge and success
  3. Attending ACE events is always a fun and informative time
  4. I would like strategies on how to engage my students in the classroom and prepare them for the world of work.

If you answered YES to any or all of these, then chances are I saw your smiling face at our May 17 ACE BC professional development event in Vancouver last month! But, if you were you were unable to attend yet are still interested in hearing what went down, fear not! Here’s a quick recap:

ACE PD 2018The day opened with a fun and participatory activity by the member communications committee. During ‘speed networking’, everyone had the chance to have a 3-minute conversation with 5 different people. With several new ACE-WIL members attending a PD event for the very first time, it was a fantastic way to open the day. Huge thanks to Nicole, Jasmine, Greig, and Larry for organizing this energizing endeavour!

Next up, Claudia Sperling, CEWIL President, gave us an update on what’s happening at the national level, with the newly expanded mandate of CEWIL to include work integrated learning. We learned what other forms of work integrated learning CEWIL is targeting to include in it’s membership, and the priorities for CEWIL in expanding it’s mandate. This crucial information will help us as an association as we move forward with expanding our own mandate, which the membership voted to go ahead with at our lunchtime AGM! The AGM followed Claudia’s update, and in addition to approving an expanded mandate, we also voted to approve the creation of two new board positions for college and university directors of WIL. With so much change and growth, it is certainly an exciting time to be a part of ACE-WIL!

ACE PD 2018Our AGM also included presenting awards to our co-op students of the year, Jessica Jun and Robin Stone. We then had the pleasure of awarding our industry partner of the year awards to Rovalution and BC Investment Management Corporation – congratulations to our outstanding students and employers! And a HUGE congratulations to our very own Claudia Sperling, who took home the Outstanding Service award for her contributions to co-op education in BC and across Canada. Between her roles as past president of ACE, current president of CEWIL, and treasurer and business officer for ACE-WIL, we have certainly benefited from Claudia’s contributions to co-operative education. Learn more about our award winners here.

Whew! It was already an action packed day and we hadn’t even yet moved into our afternoon activities! Which again began with a fun and fantastic activity by the member communications committee. This time everyone chose a trait (out of 4) that they identified with and went to that corner of the room. They partnered with someone else that shared that trait (empathy for instance) and talked about how this trait was helpful or not in engaging students. Then the pair went to a new corner and talked to another pair and shared insights. It was a fun and unique way to look at using our strengths to work with our students. Thanks again member communications team!

ACE PD 2018Next up, we learned more about Emotional Intelligence from UBC’s Rodrigo Porto. UBC’s Sauder School is moving towards incorporating EQ assessments to help their students understand their competencies, and to help their practitioners coach their students. We learned that 1-on-1 coaching for EQ is the ideal, but that flexibility and scalability are crucial to making this model work. EQ is really all about helping ourselves and our students build the capacity needed to manage relationships, since this relationship-building skill is really the key to future success in our technology driven world. Big thanks to Rodrigo and the Sauder team for sharing their findings so far and engaging us in their journey.

ACE PD 2018


But the day didn’t end there! We finished off with 12 round-table discussions on engaging and preparing students for the world of work. We talked about how to get students invested in setting learning objectives, how to get students to apply on job postings, how to encourage students to do networking, and 9 other questions pertinent to our practice. Judging by the buzz in the room and the insights shared afterwards, these discussions were relevant and informative.

After a jam-packed day, we bid adieu to our colleagues and headed back to our home institutions, energized and ready to take on the challenges of the weeks ahead. I’m already looking forward to our next PD session, to connect with colleagues and bring back new ideas. If you are too, join us in Vancouver on November 13th – topics and location to be announced! And if you would like to learn more about what went down at the May PD, see the resources section of the ACE-WIL website. Thanks for reading and hope to see you soon.