“We are changing lives.” That’s the slogan used by Humber College’s School of Social and Community Services. It’s more than just a saying, and their grads are proof of that. “By offering the kind of polytechnic education we do, which combines theoretical learning with applied, hands-on experience, we are changing the lives of our students, and they in turn will embark on the kinds of careers that will change the lives of the people they work with,” says Derek Stockley, the School’s Dean. “It’s important to bring the learning to life, and the transformation happens when they take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in a professional setting.”

Transitioning from school to a career is made easier thanks to the School’s field placement programming, in which students work during terms of their studies. This work-integrated learning is a huge benefit not only to students, who get valuable real-life experience, but also for community agencies and businesses, who know that Humber grads are ready.

“I have yet to see a job ad that says they only want someone with an education,” says Stockley. “Businesses want people with some experience, and there are students that graduate from other schools that wouldn’t have the same kind of opportunity as our students do.”

Hands-on experience leads to a world of opportunity

Jamal Browne, who recently graduated from Humber with a Bachelor of Social Science in Criminal Justice, took full advantage of his field placements and was recently hired as a constable with York Regional Police.

Browne credits the two work placements he did at an addictions centre and a parole office with helping him land a job in his desired profession. “It was a great opportunity to gain the kind of experience that would appeal to employers, and because I had exposure to people in different environments and situations, I could translate those skills in a job interview, and position myself as a strong candidate,” he says. “And by learning about issues that affect people with addictions, I can better help and guide them to resources and treatment in my policing career.”

A team of placement coordinators is available to assist students in connecting to meaningful work placements. Browne acknowledges that having this resource was very helpful, and concedes that finding a job would have been more challenging without the help. “We believe in investing in the future of our students,” says Stockley. “And our placement coordinators not only support and guide our students, but they also nurture our relationships with community and business partners.”

If you’re looking for an education that gives you the skills and experience that will lead to a fulfilling career, then check out Humber’s School of Social and Community Services at communityservices.humber.ca