Experiential learning

Experiential learning is an essential component of the Bachelor of Child Studies Degree. These opportunities (fieldwork, practicum and capstone courses) introduce students to a wide array of practice, agencies and skilled professionals. Graduates will have completed three practica over the course of study, along with a capstone course. These provide students with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in their related discipline. The practicum is a place to begin learning from others and to receive supervision in the development of core skills for competent early childhood education or child and youth care practice.

Some practicum agencies where our students have been placed include, but are not limited to:

Child and Youth Care Counsellor Early Learning and Child Care Leadership Practicum
Aspen Akidemy Preschool Alberta Health Services
Autism Friendship Society Bow Valley Child Care Centre Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta
Boys and Girls Club Bowmont Community Preschool Autism Aspergers Friendship Society
Calgary Board of Education Calgary Board of Education Beads of Courage
Children's Cottage Child Development Dayhomes Brenda Stafford
Cornerstone Youth Centre Churchill Park Family Care Society Brenda's House
Enviros Families Matter Catholic Family Services
Hull Services Heartland Agency Calgary Urban Project
Louise Dean Louise Dean Inn from the Cold
Pathways Métis Little Sundance Daycare
Stepping Stones Mount Royal University Child Care
Woods Homes Providence
Renfrew Educational Services
Rosedale Community Preschool
Topp Kidds
University of Calgary Child Care
YMCA Child Development Centres

Bachelor of Child Studies Capstone Projects Each year of the four-year program, experiential learning components in and out the classroom allow you to put theory into practice and gain valuable skills that will support you later on in your career. A fourth-year community-based capstone course brings your learning together and prepares you for the workforce or graduate studies.

Here are some of the innovative and impactful projects that our students have worked on over the past few years:

2020/21 Capstone Projects

Calgary Board of Education (CBE) Alternative Education Programs
Mount Royal University (MRU) Library — Maker Studio
Capstone students in 2019-2020 developed Maker Studio 1.0. Evolving to Maker Studio 2.0 in the 2020-2021 academic year, students developed and implemented a program curriculum for building 21st-century skills for children and youth that were engaged in alternative pathways in education. Several CBE alternative programs within the Woods Homes programs such as George Wood, William Taylor and the Hull school program were tasked with engaging students in alternative opportunities. Due to the pandemic, most of the design and delivery took place virtually. Capstone students provided purposefully designed activities that can be sustained through a guidebook on how to use various technologies and add to existing curriculum for the educational settings.

Glenbrook School-Calgary Board of Education
Students identified at-risk elementary students in the school and worked in collaboration with school staff. Students engaged in opportunities to critically consider and utilize their entire three years of theoretical education and practical experiences. Students created therapeutic connections as they focused on the health and development of highly vulnerable children and youth. Virtually, students co-created responsive learning environments and built skills of leadership and resilience in the face of risk. Students demonstrated high levels of sensitivity, awareness and respect of cultural and human diversity as they engage the Glenbrook school community. Students executed professional responsibility by integrating emergent knowledge into their practice particularly as it relates to differing abilities, child and brain development, brain plasticity, trauma-informed care and the Circle of Courage philosophy. Students designed and implemented projects that built on the community spirit within the school. Students supported Glenbrook by building on the connections and resources of neighbouring schools.

Catholic Family Services
After expanding their knowledge of adult learning theories, conducting a review of the literature and employee knowledge gap analysis, students created professional learning modules to be used as an orientation for all employees. This online curriculum included three
modules using flight concepts as a framework and focused on the image of the child and adult role, child development theories and adult self-care. The online curriculum introduces employees to the concepts so they are better prepared to serve clients and families.

ELCC & Community Development, TOPP Kids
Evaluating Impact
Students developed a sustainable evaluation framework that provides meaningful feedback for ELCC & Community Development to use in future strategic and program planning. Building upon the work ELCC & Community Development is already doing, students defined a multidimensional evaluation plan, developed appropriate and sustainable evaluation tools, implemented the evaluation through stakeholder engagement, data collection (qualitative and quantitative), and data analysis, and worked with ELCC & Community Development to utilize the findings as a tool for improvement and growth.

Calgary Child Development Dayhomes
Students developed a resource website for family day home educators and another for family day home consultants. They surveyed the family day home educators to determine the interests of the community, researched relevant topics, created materials and then engaged in professional learning communities to enhance educator capacities in working with children and families as co-learners and co-researchers. By working with the consultants in communities of practice, the reflective practice was promoted. Resources were created to continue sustained inquiry for the consultants’ work with the family day home educators. Pedagogical leadership was nurtured to support the communities’ learning and thinking capacities. The websites will be a foundation for future professional learning and resource development.