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Our Story

CIC selects Waynesburg U. for Work-Based Learning Consortium

Aug 29, 2023

Waynesburg University was selected as one of 25 Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) member institutions to participate in a new CIC Work-Based Learning Consortium focused on easing student barriers to internship access and job market preparation, enhancing the University’s ability to equip students with current, in-demand skills required by businesses.

This experiential learning platform, in partnership with Riipen, will integrate real-world, employer-designed projects into existing courses at Waynesburg to prepare students with skills, experiences and professional connections to support their future careers.

“This is an exciting opportunity for students to gain valuable hands-on experience through internships embedded in their courses. That these internships are available to all students regardless of where they are located levels the playing field for all students. We are grateful to our funders for making this possible,” said Titi Ufomata, CIC senior vice president for academic programs.

Through the consortium, faculty representatives from Waynesburg University will participate in intensive training in integrating work-based learning into a liberal arts curriculum and engage in a virtual community of practice coordinated by CIC, beginning Spring 2024.

The Work-Based Learning Consortium Team at Waynesburg consists of:

  • Dr. Kenneth Cairns, Chairperson for the Criminal Justice and Social Science Department, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and University Counselor;
  • Samuel Jones, Head Women's Basketball Coach;
  • Dr. Marie Leichliter-Krause, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs & Institutional Effectiveness;
  • Josh Sumpter, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Ministry Studies and University Chaplain; and
  • Jill Sunday, Chairperson for the English and Foreign Languages Department, Writing Program Administrator and Assistant Professor of English.

Our goal is to provide students with multiple opportunities to immerse themselves in real-world work projects and network with professionals in their fields of study."

Dr. Leichliter-Krause

“While many of our students complete at least one internship, practicum, or field placement before they graduate, some do not obtain work experience prior to completing their degree,” said Dr. Leichliter-Krause. “Our goal is to provide students with multiple opportunities to immerse themselves in real-world work projects and network with professionals in their fields of study. A successful work-based learning program at Waynesburg University will provide students with opportunities for career awareness, exploration, preparation, and training to increase their knowledge and ability to connect interest, skills, and goals with career possibilities.”

This CIC initiative is made possible thanks to funding from Ascendium Education Group and Strada Education Foundation. 

About CIC: The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of more than 700 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help independent institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. 

About Riipen: Riipen is a work-based learning platform helping educators, organizations, and learners collaborate on real industry projects to bridge the gap between higher education and employment. With a network of 27,000+ employers and trusted by 430 academic institutions and training providers, Riipen helps educators integrate real-employer projects into program curriculum leading to improved student engagement and employability outcomes.

About Waynesburg University: Consistently ranked a best value school, Waynesburg University’s Strategy for the 21st Century affirms its commitment to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and ethical leadership skills for all students. Rooted in its mission of faith, learning and service, the private, Christian university is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with an additional site for graduate and professional programs in Southpointe.

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