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CURE gives Concordia an academic edge

by Archives September 29, 2009

Concordia students learned last week how to take their studies out of the classroom and turn them into a working experience with a non-profit organization. Community University Research Exchange, hosted a social event to help inform and guide students interested in pursuing research in the community.
Sandra Jeppensen, professor in Communications at Concordia, is a huge believer in the research program. “Students are able to work with real groups in the community,” she said. “They have the opportunity to get a real life working approach and apply it to their research.”
CURE provides internships for everything from animal rights activists to investigations on Canadian human trafficking. It is a program that allows students to work in a field that interests them and make a difference in their community, organizers say.
“Students have the opportunity to develop a relationship with an organization,” Jeppensen said. “Depending on the relationship they create, students are getting to know an organization and getting to check out working situations.”
Jeppensen is not the only advocate of the program.
Prospective university students look out for programs that will give them the edge in the work place. Programs such as CURE can help put Concordia on that map, since not all universities offer students an opportunity to mix studies with an internship.
John Abbott student Sabrina Smofsky is starting to look into options for post-CEGEP. She said the opportunity to conduct research during her studies is something she is looking forward to. “In your first year you’re getting used to the studies, but in your second you’re starting to get antsy to work in your field,” she said. “You want to start your work experience in university to see if you like it.”
CURE allows students in their final year of study to make contacts in the workforce and make a contribution to the community, while still amassing academic credit.
“The program is a win-win situation,” Jeppensen said. “Students get an overall world view and community organizations get to use the analytical skills of students.”

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