Work integrated learning for tertiary environmental students: Professional preparation through international project wrok

Meehan, B, Thomas, I and Turner-Walker, S 2008, 'Work integrated learning for tertiary environmental students: Professional preparation through international project wrok', Journal of Cooperative Education and Internships, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 1-10.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Work integrated learning for tertiary environmental students: Professional preparation through international project wrok
Author(s) Meehan, B
Thomas, I
Turner-Walker, S
Year 2008
Journal name Journal of Cooperative Education and Internships
Volume number 42
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Cooperative Education and Internships
Abstract Work Integrated Learning (WIL), is increasingly becoming an important element of tertiary educational experience where students learn in the workplace through a range of mechanisms. There are opportunities for WIL to provide an experiential basis for learning, where the learners construct meaning through their experience rather than simply receiving knowledge from the teacher. At RMIT University in Melbourne Australia, we have developed a multi-disciplinary project model based in Vietnam for the preparation of environment students for professional practice. Since the program began, we have observed that those who participated in the project have quickly found employment in the environment profession. However, there has previously been no documented evidence to show the extent to which the experience has assisted them in gaining employment, nor research into the extent to which these experiences are relevant to the daily requirements of their employment. This paper describes a survey of graduates who participated in the program from 2002-2005. We were specifically seeking their reflections on how well the experiences of the Vietnam project had prepared them for their professional employment. On the basis of the responses from more than half of the project participants, the survey demonstrated that the model provides a successful example of WIL, and one that has been effective in developing a suite of abilities that are important for professional employment. The overwhelming conclusion of the participants has been that it has played an important part in their preparation for professional employment and provides a learning model that has application to the development of professional expertise in a range of disciplines. Journal of Cooperative Education & Internships, 42(1), 1-10.
Subject Environmental Education and Extension
Keyword(s) environment
sustainability education
projects
professionalism
problem-based learning
internationalisation
ISSN 1933-2130
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