Posted: Apr 26, 2017
By: Carolyn Young
Learning Comes to Life
Three summers ago, I took a one-week immersion course learning French in Trois-Pistoles, Québec. Every day for seven days, I went to class and joined in social activities while I stayed as a guest in the home of a local family. With little more than high school French from 30 years ago, I did my best to speak French all the time. One evening around the dinner table, I had this moment of realization that I was actually conversing in French with my family and the other students! I remember that moment like fireworks going off in my head, a celebration. It was wonderful.
When I think about this experience and the purpose of lifelong learning, the relevance to our careers and our daily lives is foremost. Accomplishments, like speaking French or taking on a leadership role in an organization, show how learning comes to life beyond our campuses in downtown London or Trois-Pistoles.
Partnering with us
Many of our program areas are employment-based, relevant to current and emerging knowledge and skills that you need to make the most of your career and your life. French Immersion is one example of a high impact experience in learning with immediate results. Corporate Learning is another way that learning has a direct impact on your daily work when your employer has formed a partnership with Western Continuing Studies for professional development.
“Whether it is a customized course in Design Thinking or Business Analysis or an open enrolment certificate in Leadership,” says Megan Weekley, Corporate Learning Coordinator, “it’s an opportunity to improve on how you do your work.”
Likewise, in our Professional Development courses, the combination of theory and practice through the shared experiences of the instructors and students make the learning vivid and real. For example, if you are in a conflict with a colleague and you apply Janine Higgins’ Circle of Conflict to understand and direct your approach, the tone of a difficult conversation is notably different.
In our nine Diploma programs, students do full time practicums with employers to apply classroom learning in a real-world setting. Imagine you are a Public Relations student who is doing a practicum at Lashbrook Marketing and Public Relations. As you consider how to support your team in a new project, you identify the tools you will use from the course on Research and Evaluation, or Writing, or Media Relations, or… the list goes on. The practicums in all of our Diploma programs have real world success with 100s of our graduates employed in their specialization within six months of completion.
In the end, the big win is your confidence in being able to learn and change.
As you reflect on your learning, do you recall an instant when you recognized a learning breakthrough in your daily life? I would love to hear your story.