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Work-Integrated Learning

Work-Integrated Learning at RDP

Work-integrated learning (WIL) encompasses several forms of experiential education that connects students, employers and industry. 

If you are a Red Deer Polytechnic student, faculty member or staff member, or if you are an employer, this page provide information about WIL as it is coordinated through RDP’s Career Education and Experience Development Centre

Employers post 80-hour, project-based work-integrated learning (WIL) projects for students through Riipen. Domestic students get paid a $1400 stipend through the federally funded Level-Up program. Learn more.
WIL for Students
WIL for Faculty
WIL for employers

What is Work-Integrated Learning (WIL)? 

Through WIL, post-secondary institutions, employers and students work together to reach shared goals that strengthen learning, build skills, and contribute to an adaptable and resilient workforce aligned with the labour market. 

WIL includes a diverse set of experiential education opportunities including mandatory professional placements (MPP), community service learning (CSL), work experience, field placement, applied research, entrepreneurship and internships, as well as co-ops.   

WIL can be traditional or non-traditional, and it is an evolving ecosystem much like workplaces and post-secondary institutions.  At Red Deer Polytechnic we classify WIL into four groups: Mandatory Professional Practice (MPP), Community Learning, Innovative WIL, and Internships and Co-operative Education.  

Category of WIL Description
Mandatory Professional Practice (MPP) Mandatory Professional Practice involves work experience under the supervision of a registered or licensed professional that requires practice-based work experience for certification. 
Community Learning
  1. Community Service Learning combines purposeful community service, classroom teachings, and critical reflection in partnership with community-based organizations. 
  2. Field Placements are part-time and short-term intensives, practical experience in a setting related to a student's program of study. 
  3. Work Experience is typically full-time and provides students experience in a workplace related to their program of study.
Innovative WIL
  1. Applied Research provides students the opportunity to assist with design, research or consulting projects.  
  2. Entrepreneurial WIL  students use resources to engage in the early development of start-ups or to move their business ideas forward. 
  3. Emerging WIL expands WIL opportunities through variations on traditional WIL, for example: micro-placements or online projects or placements.
Internships and Co-operative Education (Co-ops) Internships & Co-operative Education (Co-ops) provide students with a structured, supervised work placement that is part of their program and counts toward academic credit.  


Learn more about the different types of WIL, as described on the Business + Higher Education Roundtable webpage

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