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Experiential Learning at The Chang School: Community Health and Engagement

“Experience is the teacher of all things.” – Julius Caesar

The Chang School recognizes the value of experiential learning in fostering student success and employability. Experiential, project-based, or capstone courses are offered as an integral part of some of our certificate and course series programs. Learners gain practical, hands-on experience and develop professional skills as they contribute their knowledge of in-class theory to real-world, project-based experiential initiatives benefiting our partner organizations.

Anita Charles“I wanted a meaningful way to contribute to the care of a rapidly growing elderly population. In 2016, at 46, I was visiting Canada when I learned about Ryerson University’s distance education Aging and Gerontology Certificate Program. I enrolled. The theoretical course taught me how to critically appraise evidence to effect societal change, and the capstone course, a project-based experiential learning opportunity, allowed me to apply the knowledge gained in previous courses to real-life practical experiences. I worked directly with the elderly and helped various aging cohorts manage their fears and challenges about growing older. This program, through theory and practical teaching, established the foundation I need to continue to pursue a career and a passion.” – Anita Charles, Aging and Gerontology, Georgetown, Guyana


Arleen Gomez“Two Chang School students conducted their Community Engagement project at the Yonge Street Mission, Adult Program. The students developed and implemented a survey which was a great help. The results gave us deeper insight into the needs of the demographic we serve and how our services are helping our community members break out of chronic poverty. The students did such a great job with this project that we decided to make this an annual practice. We are grateful for these students and know they will have a positive impact on our world!” – Arleen Gomez, Bridges Coordinator/Pastoral Care and Care Manager, Yonge Street Mission



Susie Buttigieg“I thought the Community Engagement Capstone was a logical conclusion to the Certificate in Community Engagement, but after experiencing it, I realize it’s an absolute must. This course puts the theories and learning from previous courses into practice. I learned how important best practices are to a successful community initiative and why relationship building, timing, and research are important to success. I advanced professionally and personally as I made great improvements in areas I found challenging. This course has been my best learning experience. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to see how all our learning comes together to produce great results.” – Susie Buttigieg

Programs Offering Experiential Learning

Certificate Program or Course Series


Required or Elective

Aging and Gerontology

CINT 950 - Practicum/Project in Gerontology


Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences

CVSW 932 - Aboriginal Knowledges in Practice


Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development

CSWP 937 - Community Engagement Capstone


Food Security

CFNY 400 - Selected Topics in Food Security


Leadership in Accessibility and Inclusion

CVAS 500 - Field Experience: Capstone


Local Economic Development

CVUP 160 - Capstone Project in LED


Interdisciplinary Studies: International Field Experience

CINT 912 - Community Development: International Field Experience


Interdisciplinary Studies: Community Partnerships

CINT 917 - Interprofessional Education for Community Development


Partner Organizations, Agencies, and Companies

Join a growing contingent of businesses, organizations, and agencies offering our students practical, hands-on experiences outside of the classroom. Our students bring knowledge of current academic theories and approaches in their fields and are eager to learn on the ground, contributing in meaningful ways towards your organizational goals and objectives.

Experiential learning opportunities encourage professional connections and networking, which can increase students’ career prospects, promote lifelong learning, and enhance self-understanding through personal reflection. Outcomes of student contributions may include policy recommendations; solution-focused resources; workshops; marketing and social media collateral; literary essays; audio-visual resources; project plans; and formulation and delivery of evaluations. Hosting a student for a project-based course is a community-building endeavour that can also provide your staff with the professional development opportunity to build mentoring experience.

Farheen Hasan, Experiential Learning Coordinator, builds partnerships with organizations in a variety of industries in order to create and develop professional-, project-, research-, or service-focused experiential learning opportunities for Chang School students. She works with partners on partnership agreements and liaises with students, faculty advisors, and placement sites to provide support and follow-up.

Need more information? Contact Farheen at or 416-979-5000, ext. 7491.


Gain real-world experience, build your network, and increase your career prospects. Experiential learning offers a valuable opportunity to apply the concepts and knowledge gained through your studies in a professional workplace environment. The required capstone courses offered in our certificate programs and course series provide a project-based experiential learning opportunity through which you will gain professional contacts, practical skills, and marketable hands-on experience.

Find Out More

For more information on experiential learning opportunities in Community Services at The Chang School, contact Farheen Hasan, Experiential Learning Coordinator, at or 416-979-5000, ext. 7491.