Offered for the first time this summer, Trent University Durham GTA in partnership with the City of Oshawa and Ontario Tech University is giving upper year students an opportunity to participate in an exciting new City Idea Lab course.
The course, titled “Strengths-Based and Cooperative Community Development during Extended Crises,” provides students from Trent and Ontario Tech with the opportunity to explore various issues related to how communities can adapt and evolve their services and programming in the context of ongoing crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the course, students will be given COVID-19 based challenge questions and will work with City of Oshawa staff to develop strategies and policies that will allow the City to adapt current services and programming in ways that build on existing strengths and are designed for long-term capacity to adapt to future challenges. The challenge questions will be around the themes of recreation and culture, economic recovery, and social support networks. Students from both institutions, and both of Trent’s campuses, will attend and contribute to virtual seminars together.
“This format will allow students to learn a lot of new skills in collaboration and discussion that might not occur in a normal course. They can also network with members of the community, which may pay off down the road for career development,” says Dr. Brandon Tozzo, a faculty member at Trent Durham who will be teaching the course alongside Dr. Alyson King, associate professor and undergraduate program director in political science at Ontario Tech.
Students working collaboratively through an experiential learning opportunity between institutions could offer a glimpse into future possibilities for post-secondary learning in the Region of Durham.
“All of the postsecondary institutions in Durham have worked well together over the years, and at times such as these this cooperation and sharing of our expertise is even more significant in helping the community in Oshawa and our surrounding region rebound from the economic and cultural impact of COVID-19,” says Trent University Durham GTA dean and head Dr. Scott Henderson. “I am excited to see what creative ideas these teams of students are able to produce, and thrilled to know that City Idea Lab and our municipal leaders in Oshawa will be working to turn these ideas into real-world initiatives.”
About City Idea Lab
The City Idea Lab is a collaborative project between the City of Oshawa and academic partners including Trent University Durham GTA, Ontario Tech University, and Durham College that offers experiential learning opportunities to students. City Idea Lab is part of a broader partnership called TeachingCity Oshawa, whereby the City and its academic and industry partners work together to address urban issues.