Where there’s a WIL, there’s a way: setting students up for success through work-integrated learning (WIL)

Two students train in medical laboratory.

Practice helps make perfect—especially when preparing a student for a successful career. Whether as a Software Developer, Accounting major, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or Film and Video Producer, students gain invaluable skills by applying their theoretical knowledge through practicums and placements—or work-integrated learning (WIL).

WIL is an essential part of providing students with a hands-on learning experience in their programs, and thanks to Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) iHub Bursary Program, hundreds of students at SAIT have received thousands of dollars to support them in their WIL experiences. As an advocate of providing hands-on, real-world experience to students, SAIT has one of the oldest WIL programs in Alberta and features a WIL component in 85% of programs.

Financial encouragement

CEWIL’s iHub Bursary program partners with post-secondary institutions, like SAIT, to develop and promote work-integrated learning programs. Many post-secondary WIL opportunities are unpaid work experiences for students, and funding from CEWIL’s iHub provides some financial relief so students can focus on their studies and get the best possible experience out of their WIL.

Since 2023, CEWIL has contributed $995,000 in support of 576 SAIT students through four different bursaries: 

  • Health & Public Safety WIL Bursary Program
  • Business Capstone Bursary Program
  • Advanced Digital Technology WIL Bursary Program
  • SAIT Work Integrated Learning Bursary Program..

Rural relief

The School of Health and Public Safety WIL Bursary has provided crucial financial relief to more than 300 students whose participation in practicums or work placements is mandatory for the successful completion of their program, such as Primary Care Paramedic and Diagnostic Imaging.

In the School of Health and Public Safety, WIL is an integral part of all of our programs and often is a requirement from a regulation and accreditation standpoint, shares Jennifer Brown, Associate Dean, School of Health and Public Safety. There continues to be a strong need for adequate health care in remote and rural communities across the province, and support through this bursary allows students to gain experience in these under-served areas and see first-hand the need for their skill set.

Achieving academic goals

The impact of receiving this funding goes a long way for student success. Beyond the financial relief, students like Molly Smeltzer and Abdul Al Shami feel empowered and motivated to achieve their educational goals.

“These funds help students achieve their academic goals every year. I chose this program because I have always loved helping people and healthcare, so this career allows me to do both things,” says Molly Smeltzer (Medical Radiologic Technology, 2023 recipient). “The funds are extremely helpful because my program is jam-packed, and I do not have much time to work between studying and my practicum.”

CEWIL recipient Molly Smeltzer
2023 CEWIL recipient Molly Smeltzer

This scholarship has profoundly impacted my life by helping me alleviate the financial burden of my student loans, shares Abdul Al Shami (Software Development, 2023 recipient). With the weight of those loans lifted, my family and I can breathe a little easier, and I am now better positioned to pursue my career goals with greater focus and determination.

Apply now for CEWIL iHub bursaries!

  • Thanks to CEWIL iHub's generosity, domestic students participating in an unpaid curricular Work Integrated Learning at SAIT this Spring semester who meet the applicable bursary requirements are eligible to apply for $2,000 in bursary funding by May 27, 2024.
  • Next steps
    • Confirm that your course or program qualifies as Work Integrated Learning. If you are unsure, click here to learn more, or contact your instructor or advisor to verify.
    • Preview the CEWIL iHub eligibility and requirements for your WIL and your host organization.
    • Once you’re all prepared, complete the SAIT CEWIL iHub Bursary Application.

SAIT is proud of our industry connections, and support from donors like CEWIL strengthens these connections through WIL and provides financial relief to deserving students. Find out how you can make a difference in a student's life today.

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.