Ottawa, August 24, 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on work-integrated learning opportunities in the health care sector, making in-person placements much harder to organize. In order to create more alternatives, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is launching Virtu-WIL, a national initiative that will provide healthcare students in nursing, medical laboratory sciences, and paramedicine with access to new, innovative work-integrated learning opportunities.
This one-year pan-Canadian project is made possible thanks to funding from the Government of Canada, through the Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative.
As part of the project, CICan is working with Simulation Canada, and with colleges, institutes, and universities from across the country to create sustainable, collaborative partnerships. Together, they will create 120 virtual simulations in both official languages, which will be offered on a variety of platforms. Virtu-WIL simulations will be made as accessible as possible, with the objective of reaching 4000 students between September 2021 and March 2022.
“Thanks to the Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative, our Virtu-WIL project will help expand healthcare education resources and create new innovative work-integrated learning opportunities and platform”, notes CICan’s president and CEO, Denise Amyot. “This will go a long way towards supporting our future healthcare professionals in developing practical, job-ready skills before entering the labour market.”
On July 5th, 2021, CICan, Simulation Canada and 75 representatives from 36 postsecondary institutions convened to kick-start the work of the Virtu-WIL Working Groups. Together they will develop the virtual simulation, design the Virtu-WIL student program, and deliver the program in their institutions later this year. Most importantly, the project will also support educators, employers, and technology suppliers in discovering new ways to collaborate and leverage what virtual simulation has to offer.
About Colleges and Institutes Canada:
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.
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