Work experience placements are an integral part of the BACS degree and they provide Community Studies students with meaningful career exploration opportunities that allow you to gain experience in a field of interest. Placements put students in the field with professionals – twice during the degree program! They provide an opportunity to experience potential careers while working towards a degree and finalizing professional life choices. The placements, which normally take place in the second and third years, are chosen according to the graduation plan or career interests of the students.
The purpose of the work experience placements is three-fold as they:
- Provide practical work experience
- Allow the student to test his/her career choice; and
- Relate theory and practice.
The fundamental objectives of these courses are:
- Job acquisition skills, job retention skills, a professional work ethic, skills of adaptation, occupational skills, and vocational awareness.
- An understanding of the philosophy, values, policies and procedures of particular organizations.
- The integration of theory and practice.
- An understanding of the relationship between the placement activities and the wider community.
COMS 2101: Work Experience Placement I (3 credits) and COMS 3101: Work Experience Placement II (3 credits) courses can aligned with volunteer or paid positions. They focus on engaging the student in workplace experiences. The students interact with an academic facilitator (course instructor) and are supported by a student placement officer . A placement can be sought in many ways and students then go through the process of writing a learning contract and work agreement. They also engage in academic discussions online and complete related assignments (journals and essays). Each placement is comprised of 100 hours in the workplace, plus 10 modules of online course requirements (approximately 15 hours).
Since 1975, BACS students have completed placements in diverse fields such as:
- law enforcement
- social services
- youth centers
- community development
- childhood education
- public relations
- public administration
More than 5000 local and national employers (representing private, non-profit and government sectors) have hosted and mentored students undertaking these placements. Many of these employers are themselves BACS graduates.
BACS Co-op Work Terms
If students are interested in taking an entire semester off and focusing on work full-time, they may do one or more co-op work terms of 420 hours (12 weeks) of full-time paid employment , as part of SASC 2989 Co-op Work Term I (3 credits) and SASC 3989 Co-op Work Term II (3 credits). **Note: No more than 2 work experience courses can be used towards a BACS degree. SASC 2989 and SASC 3989 can substitute for either or both of COMS 2101 or COMS 3101 with approval of the Chair of Community Studies.