Centre for Experiential Learning

Integrated Learning at Vancouver Island University

Welcome to the Centre for Experiential Learning

The Centre for Experiential Learning (CEL) offers courses that contribute to academic success. These courses help students within Co-operative Education and Internship programs find work experience within their fields of study. Student learning is enhanced when integrated with academic and experiential education. Upon graduation, students who participate in these programs transition into the job market with sought-after skills and experience.

Co-op vs Internship

What is a Co-op?

Co-op consists of alternating academic terms and paid work terms. Each co-op work term is a minimum of 420 hours of employment.

Work terms provide experience in a workplace setting related to the student’s field of study. The number of required work terms varies by program; however, the time spent in work terms must be at least 30% of the time spent in academic study for programs over 2 years in length and 25% of time for programs 2 years and shorter in length.

What is an Internship?

Internships offer usually one discipline-specific, supervised, structured paid or unpaid, and for academic credit work experience or practice placement. 

Internships may occur in the middle of an academic program or after all academic coursework has been completed and prior to graduation. Internships can be of any length.