A student writes in a notebook while looking at his laptop screen.

Most Humber College students graduate with credentials and valuable work experience. 

The college emphasizes work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities to help graduates hit the ground running.  

There are ten types of WIL experiences at Humber, some paid and some unpaid, including apprenticeships, applied research, co-op placements and internships.  

In 2020, Magnet Student Work Placement Program applications were completed at Humber with the overall aim of supporting quality work integrated learning experiences. 

"We know inherently that students are struggling, but this work really shows the extent of the difficulties,” said Phil Legate, interim manager of Advising Services in the Student Success and Engagement department. He helps guide students through the application process and distribution of funds. 

Phil Legate, Student Success and Engagement department at Humber, smiles in front of a large tree

Magnet is a not-for-profit platform housed at Ryerson University. Its Student Work Placement program provides employers with wage subsidies to hire post-secondary students for paid positions. The federally funded program reimburses employers for up to 75 per cent of the costs of each placement. 

Humber applied for funding in late 2020, and received $92,500 in early 2021, which the college distributed in the form of 185 ($500) bursaries for otherwise unpaid WIL students. As a result of the Winter 2021 Magnet application, another $69,000 in funding was received, resulting in 138 more bursaries that were awarded recently in January of 2022.  Recently, the College received its final Fall 2021 Magnet funds, an additional $142,000, in February of 2022. This has created 284 bursaries that are about to be awarded by the end of this month.   

As these WIL bursaries are available, students can apply via MyHumber in the Financial Aid module, and all students currently in an unpaid WIL placement may apply.  

Bursary decisions are on a first-come-first-served basis, with a student needing to demonstrate financial need and ensure their unpaid WIL placement verified.    

“A bursary like this makes me feel that Humber is looking out for its students’ welfare,” said Barbara Smith, a recipient in the Professional Writing and Communications graduate certificate program.  

“Any sort of scholarship or bursary from Humber is very impactful on the mental and physical wellbeing of students,” she said. 

Studying full-time limits Smith’s earning potential, and she won’t be returning to the workforce upon graduation. Smith is enrolled in Humber’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program next semester so the financial support she received is greatly welcomed.  

“There’s interest in getting that work experience and opportunities to further career-related skills and network,” said Phil Legate,  

“Being paid is so helpful to offset the cost of living and tuition. This process has definitely opened my eyes to how many students are struggling.” 

Legate says he’s been in contact with many students who are thousands of dollars in debt as a result of their lived experiences, high housing costs and tuition. 

Part of Legate’s job is fielding questions from students. They’re interested in the application process but mostly, they’re checking to see if they were successful in securing a bursary. 

Last March, more than 1,200 domestic and international students applied for bursaries during the first week the opportunity was announced. 

Visit MyHumber for more information.