Preparing Undergraduate Students for Tomorrow's Workplace: Core Competency Development Through Experiential Learning Opportunities
Keywords:Experiential learning, model of core competency, career development, undergraduate education
The rapid evolution of today’s workplace requires employees to possess a diverse set of sophisticated cognitive and psychological competencies, thus prompting post-secondary institutions to reconsider not only what is taught but why and how. Our paper proposes a three-faceted model of core competencies that undergraduate students can develop through participation in experiential learning (EL). We describe three EL opportunities at Mount Saint Vincent University that engage students in authentic experiences and encourage critical reflection: service learning (SL) in the Department of Psychology, co-operative education in the Bachelor of Public Relations (BPR) program, and a co-curricular recognition program (CCR) in Career Services. We also provide supporting evidence that EL facilitates the development of core competencies and career readiness. We conclude with recommendations that may help post-secondary institutions better prepare students for the competency-based workforce of tomorrow.
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