Student Professional Practice Programs Receive Support from RBC Foundation

By Emily Carr University

Led by Shumka Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship at ECU, the Pathways for Creative Futures program integrates work-integrated learning opportunities into degree courses at Emily Carr University.

A new program from Emily Carr University will offer students 140 unique curricular work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities in studio arts and animation.

Called Pathways for Creative Futures, the innovative program integrates WIL into coursework, putting students in direct contact with industry experts to develop the skills necessary for participating in their field upon graduation.

“This program reimagines work-integrated learning for the creative industry,” says Cemre Demiralp, Project Manager, Partnerships + Creative Entrepreneurship at ECU. “Students will have opportunities to apply their learning directly in professional contexts as they earn their degrees and build their networks. Businesses will also benefit from greater resiliency and access to a more robust talent pipeline. I’m thrilled to help bring this program to Emily Carr.”

Pathways for Creative Futures is led by ECU’s Shumka Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship in collaboration with Career Development + Work-Integrated Learning (CDWIL), the Audain Faculty of Art and the Ian Gillespie Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media. The program is made possible in partnership with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable and with support from the Government of Canada.

WIL helps bridge the classroom and the world of work, connecting soon-to-be graduates with businesses looking to address skills, talent, and innovation gaps. WIL is also a way for companies to build a more agile, equitable and diverse workforce. Through building resiliency and talent pipelines, it’s also a critical way for Canada’s businesses to adapt to the future and grow.

“This grant serves as a bridge between classroom theory and real-world practice, through hands-on experiences and industry collaboration within the classroom,” says Shannon McKinnon, Director of Career + Professional Development at ECU. “It not only empowers students to demonstrate their skills and employability, but also fortifies Emily Carr’s bonds within the local creative industry, showcasing the university’s pivotal role as a leader in the creative sector.”

The program is divided into three streams. Two Studio Arts streams will focus on equipping students with the practical skills, entrepreneurial mindset and work experience crucial for succeeding as creative practitioners in the arts sector.

“The Pathways program will be huge asset for demystifying the path from university to the professional art world, and empowering students to find their own path to success” says Kyla Mallett, Dean of the Faculty of Art at Emily Carr. “The workshops, apprenticeships and other professional practice opportunities we currently provide are excellent. But we find embedding these experiences into regular coursework gives students a chance to combine their critically engaged degree studies with the development of practical entrepreneurial skills and industry networks under instruction from our world-class faculty, who themselves are working artists from across disciplines and sectors.”

The Animation stream will see students in three separate courses working on applied projects to solve real-world problems for businesses while building professional networks and enhancing their skills and work experience.

“The Pathways program speaks directly to desires from our students to engage with industry — especially our local industry — earlier in their degrees,” says Celeste Martin, Dean of the Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media at Emily Carr. “Bringing work-integrated learning into the classroom provides crucial networking opportunities and ladders directly into professional practice. It’s particularly exciting that these curated career-development engagements will be guided by faculty, meaning students will gain vital professional experiences under the world-class leadership that attends the rest of their curriculum.”

Visit ECU online to learn more about studying Visual Arts, 2D + Experimental Animation and 3D Computer Animation at Emily Carr. Visit Shumka Centre online to learn more about their extraordinary range of programming and resources.

You can find this article also on Emily Carr News