SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Morningside University is one of 25 members institutions of The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Work-Based Learning (WBL) Consortium.

The WBL Consortium is designed to provide a national community of practice to aid institutions in creating more opportunities to internship access and job market preparation, particularly for students from underrepresented groups.  The experiential learning platform, in partnership with Riipen, integrates real-world, employer-designed projects into existing courses. This integration is to equip students with the skills, real-world experiences, and professional connections to further their future careers.

“Morningside has been very intentional about expanding the number of active and experiential learning opportunities for students on campus in the last five years. The Work-Based Learning Consortium allows us to continue to further scale up that work at a national level,” said Chris Spicer, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

The multi-year program is being administered free of charge to Morningside and other select colleges and universities at an estimated value of $65,000 per institution. The CIC and Riipen will work with each institution to start integrating the platform in spring 2024 by working with a team of five faculty members, one career services administrator, and the associate vice president for academic affairs to update campus curricula and integrate experiential learning into course materials.

During the program, CIC plans to collect data and report on the work-based learning landscape at Morningside and the other colleges selected for the program. The report will also include information on the impact of the projects on students, faculty members, and employers. The initiative is funded by Ascendium Education Group and Strada Education Foundation.