The University of King’s College is pleased to announce the launch of King’s new Experiential Learning Program (KELP) with a $100,000 donation from RBC Foundation. Beginning this fall, KELP is a comprehensive strategy to enhance work-integrated learning opportunities for humanities and journalism students and promote the value that a liberal arts education brings to the 21st century workforce.
Through funded work experience and co-curricular programming, KELP will provide over 100 students with a foundation of transferable skills, the opportunity to build professional networks, and provide insight into new career paths. Students will benefit from the creation of new employment opportunities on and off campus, through new partnerships with organizations and businesses. This is particularly important for journalism, where practitioners play a crucial role in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and Black Canadians.
“Our School of Journalism has always been a leader in experiential learning,” says William Lahey, President and Vice-Chancellor of King’s. “KELP will allow us to extend that leadership by creating more work-integrated learning opportunities for our students, building on the experiential approach we have always taken to teaching the humanities. It will also enable us to build alliances with Black and Indigenous businesses and organizations.”
While work-integrated learning opportunities have long been standard fare in the applied sciences and professional schools including journalism, this tradition is less developed in the arts. With this support from RBC Foundation, KELP will lay the groundwork to establish a culture of pedagogical-professional collaboration at King’s, motivated by the belief that skills developed through studying the humanities are more crucial than ever as more and more tasks become automated through artificial intelligence and smart machines.
“Until very recently, university-level liberal arts programs have experienced declining enrolment—something often attributed to a misperception that humanities students graduate with skills that don’t translate to the workforce,” says Vinita Savani, Regional President, RBC, Atlantic Canada. “In reality, our research shows that skills acquired through a liberal arts education, like critical thinking, social perception and creativity, are all vital in preparing youth for the future of work. This program will provide immense benefit to students, to King’s and to the wider community as a whole.”