Experiential Learning at George Brown College

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential Learning in an umbrella term used to cover all of the opportunities available to students to take part in sector-specific learning experiences. These opportunities can take place in a variety of settings including workplaces, simulation facilities, labs, shops, and studios in both educational, workplace and practice environments. They are a chance for students to experience their field or industry and learn what’s expected of them before graduating.

List of experiential and work-related keywords. See caption below this image for more details.

Experiential Learning keywords: capstone projects, industry or community partners, interactive simulations, on-campus work teaching labs, performance-based learning

Work-Integrated Learning keywords: applied research projects, apprenticeship, campus incubators, clinical placements, co-ops, field experiences, field placements, practicum placements, service learning

Experiential Learning at GBC

Six Guiding Principles of Experiential Learning

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) outlines its six guiding principles of experiential learning:

  1. The student is in a workplace or simulated workplace.
  2. The student is exposed to authentic demands that improve their employability, interpersonal skills and transition to the workforce.
  3. The experience is structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.
  4. The student applies university or college program knowledge and/or essential employability skills.
  5. The experience includes student self-assessment and evaluation of the student’s performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or university/college.
  6. The experience counts towards course credit or credential completion OR is formally recognized by the college or university as meeting the five criteria above.

what an industry partner said about George Brown College students:

“The GBC students really stood out. They were energized, inquisitive, professional, and experimented with multiple tools and different approaches. The communication was effective, even though it was all via Zoom and with a two-hour time zone difference. The students were timely, and delivered the work products as instructed, sometimes going well above and beyond.” – Robert Crooks, CEO and Founder of Calgary-based Soteria 120 

What are the benefits of Experiential Learning?

For students

Employers are looking to hire students with practical knowledge and skills. They’re looking for graduates who are workplace-ready. That’s why we believe in learning by doing, incorporating experiential learning in our programs. 

Here are some of the benefits for students: 

  • Practical, hands-on experience 
  • Develop and hone professional skills 
  • Build strong relationships through networking opportunities before entering the workplace. 

Many of our experiential learning opportunities are hosted on GBCareers. 


For industry partners

Our partners play an important role in experiential learning at George Brown. Whether it’s through offering work opportunities or mentorship and advice, they help prepare our graduates. By partnering with George Brown and our students, you will:

  • Have a role in shaping the skills and knowledge of future grads. 
  • Gain fresh perspectives and ideas from current students. 
  • Vet students for potential work opportunities upon graduation. 
  • Strengthen and empower your community at large through collaborative projects with students. 

Interested? Please contact the Work Integrated Learning Office by email at wil@georgebrown.ca or by phone at (416) 415-5000, ext. 3956.