Many people learn better by doing tasks, rather than by reading a textbook and attending lectures steeped in theory and that is exactly what Centennial College is about.
It’s a proven teaching and learning model that pays dividends, and it’s not limited to skilled trades. Business, technology, health care and social work students all benefit from assignments that simulate career situations.
Virtually every full-time program at Centennial College offers an element of experiential learning, as well as paid co-op education, internship and eld placement opportunities. Check these out.
Reporting from Trackside
In August, Centennial College sports journalism students were assigned to the NACAC 2018 track and eld meet in Toronto, working alongside CBC and international broadcasters reporting on the athletes from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The students performed every role from producing, reporting, on-air hosting and technical support as they covered the action for three broadcast programs, plus social media and online news articles.
“For them to have the opportunity to report on top-notch events and international athletes makes the experience that much richer,” says Debbi Wilkes, an Olympic medalist, veteran journalist and the program’s summer coordinator.
Centennial’s students are no strangers to major sports events. They’ve reported from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, the 2015 Pan Am Games and 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, and baseball spring training in Florida.
When in Rome
Sometimes you have to go to the source to understand international cultures and cuisines. Centennial gives its students experiential learning on a global scale with its Faculty Led International Programs (FLIPs) that dispatch students overseas to gain first-hand knowledge and earn a credit.
In May, students of Centennial’s culinary skills program immersed themselves in a FLIP that took them across Italy to learn the secrets of Italian cooking. When they weren’t learning, they got to see the sights and sample extraordinary foods.
Participating students enjoyed classes at an Italian culinary institute, toured a winery and visited a facility that makes Parmigiano-Reggiano, a protected cheese only produced in one region of Italy.
“Throw yourself into the experience. Go there to study, to get involved,” advises student Simone Ramos. “Once you list this experience on your resume, it speaks out loud.”
Punctuated by driving rain, wind, cold and a little sun, the Targa Newfoundland rally unwinds over 1,500 km of paved and gravel roads. It’s so grueling that one-third of the vehicles that start the race never finish due to mechanical failure. That’s where Centennial’s automotive technician students get involved.
Professor Garrett Nalepka of the School of Transportation has returned several times to wrench at Targa Newfoundland. He supports the Hume Media team by keeping their racecars in peak condition over the weeklong event, and each year he’s accompanied by automotive students who help repair them.
In September, Nalepka brought students Sooan Jang, Randy Yerxa, Alistair Hutton and Leyana Proferio and the school’s dean, Alan McClelland, to work on the cars overnight while the drivers rest. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience no student will soon forget.