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Engaging Seneca Students through Applied Research and Work-Integrated Learning

July 7, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Seneca has research expertise and skilled students who can work with companies during their academic careers. For small businesses, especially in the tech sector, engaging students is a mutually beneficial way to fill resource gaps, while providing hands-on, real-world training. This session will explain three ways to engage Seneca students: grant-supported applied research; unfunded applied research (Riipen/capstone); and Work-Integrated Learning (internships), as well as the services available at Seneca to make these partnerships happen.

Grant Supported Applied Research – involves research partnerships between Seneca College and small businesses to solve technical and business challenges. These grant-supported projects are conducted by Seneca faculty and students, in collaboration with company representatives.

Riipen – Project-Based Experiential Learning that offers students the opportunity to work on real-world projects from industry, which are embedded in their curriculum and facilitated by an instructor. Costs, if any, are minimal to the company and projects have a narrower scope.

Work-Integrated Learning – A form of experiential learning that involves an intentional three-way partnership between the employer, student, and Seneca where the site of the learning occurs in the workplace. The work is intentionally linked to the curriculum with a clear purpose for the work experience. Businesses are responsible for the full cost of employment during the internship, but government subsidies can be accessed.


Ben Rogers
Acting Dean, Applied Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Seneca

Ben Rogers has 15 years of experience building and supporting industry-academic partnerships, collaboration, and new ventures. Ben contributes to the development and advancement of innovative technologies and ideas in the data analytics, artificial intelligence, life sciences, and engineering sectors. He has worked for university-affiliated teaching hospitals, innovation networks/agencies and is currently Acting Dean, Applied Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Seneca College in Toronto. Ben holds a BSc and MBET (Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology) from the University of Waterloo.

Jennifer Graham
Director, Academic Learning Services

Jennifer completed her BScN and BA (Anthropology) at the University of Western Ontario and her MN (Administration) at the University of Toronto. As the Director, Academic Learning Services at Seneca College, Jennifer oversees the Career Development, Work-Integrated Learning, and Student Advising departments. The primary focus of these departments is to create and manage programs that support the development of career-ready graduates. Jennifer’s previous roles at Seneca include Acting Chair, Applied Arts and Health Sciences, Professor and Academic Coordinator, Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Prior to coming to Seneca, Jennifer worked as a mental health nurse supporting clients in both acute care and community settings.


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