The King's Promise Program is a voluntary 4-year co-curricular program at King's University College, an affiliate of the University of Western Ontario. This program, which complements students' academic studies, offers a guarantee that within 6 months of graduation the student will find a meaningful job or they can return to King's for an additional year of courses and career support, tuition-free ("meaningful" here refers to a role that is aligned with the skills, competencies, and aspirations the student has developed at King's).
Throughout the program, students complete activities to support their career development, enhance pre-employment skills, gain tangible workplace experience, and develop competency in skills articulation. The King's Promise Program will empower students to achieve their education, career, and life goals in line with King's mission as "a Place to be and a Place to Become."
The King's Promise is also a promise to employers and to the community: students who graduate from the program will enter the workforce equipped with desirable employment skills, an ability to develop meaningful professional relationships, and a commitment to making an impact in their communities.
Career development and experiential learning
Kings recognizes how important career development is for students. Joe Henry, King's Dean of Students, explained to the London Free Press that 88 percent of students decide to enroll at King's "to secure a better employment outcome", while 51 percent of King's students are concerned about securing their first job post-graduation.
Experiential Learning (EL) and Work Integrated Learning (WIL) are invaluable in the development of career-related competencies and skills, and are major components of the King's Promise Program. EL connects learners with practical experiences, encourages self-reflection, and promotes community collaboration. WIL supports students in getting hands-on experience to help them transition to employment through activities such as internships, practicum placements, and job shadowing.
Employers view EL and WIL favourably: a recent report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that between 41% and 49% of employers would be more likely to hire someone who had completed some form of EL or WIL as a student. As such, the King's Promise program is poised to meet the needs of employers as well as students by guiding students through successful engagement with these types of opportunities.
What sets King's students apart?
In addition to the practical skills developed through EL and WIL discussed above, King's students graduate with unique and valuable qualities, such as:
1. Strong interaction and relationship building skills
King's is situated on a smaller campus with smaller class sizes. This provides students with more opportunities to forge meaningful relationships with their instructors and with each other, while developing strong communication and networking skills.
2. Social and emotional intelligence
Social and emotional intelligence is strengthened through the practice of reflection and the development of collaborative learning relationships (Devis-Rozen and Farquharson, 2020). The small campus and class sizes at King's makes it easier for such collaborative learning relationships to develop, and King's faculty actively incorporate reflection into their coursework.
3. Spiritual consciousness and moral and ethical values
Spiritual consciousness refers to a state of mind which "supports an examined morality grounded in the universal principles of justice, love, and compassion" (Korten, 2006, pg. 47). As a Catholic university which welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds, King's prepares students to ask the big questions and engage deeply with life's everyday problems.
The King's Promise program is an innovative, holistic approach to career development and student success. All incoming students to King's can benefit from this promise, and the community will benefit as well. For more information, please find us on social media or email us at ThePromise@kings.uwo.ca.
Learn more about the King's Promise program