St. Clair College suspends student job placements that some require to graduate

It's day two of the province wide college faculty strike, and St. Clair College has suspended job placements for about 150 of its students. Placements that officials said students are required to complete in order to graduate.

About 150 students could miss out on valuable work placements, as Ontario-wide strike goes on

On day two of an Ontario college faculty strike, St. Clair College students realize their mandatory work placements may be compromised this semester. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

It's day two of the province wide college faculty strike, and St. Clair College has suspended job placements for about 150 of its students.

"Really, it's stopping our outside education from the school and what we need to graduate" said Serena Valore, a third-year business administration student at the college.

Valore said she was supposed to begin a placement with the Heart and Stroke Foundation sometime this month, but can't now because her teacher is on strike. She said she's required to clock 180 hours of work before she can graduate.

"The fact that I'm not even able to get it or not able to start it is unfortunate because it's a big part of what I have to do to graduate and it's a big part of my experience in school and everything else," said Valore.

John Fairley, vice president of college communications and community relations, said that out of the 120 programs offered at the school, 80 have a placement or internship component. About 70 programs have those placements taking place in the late winter or spring semester. But about 150 students' placements are currently affected in Windsor and Chatham-Kent.

Third-year business administration student Serena Valore said she has no idea what's happening with the work placement she was supposed to start at the end of this month. (Melissa Nakhavoly/CBC)

"Right now any placement programs or internships that have a component where part of our faculty are observing, or faculty goes in works hand in hand and with our students, that's been postponed right now and suspended until we have a resolution with our labour dispute," Fairley said.

He explained that the college has considered some contingency plans for students required to do a placement, but that "this is day two" of the strike, and no procedures have been decided on.

For Valore, who is looking forward to graduation, this time is crucial to her.

"Right now I'm in between a lot of decisions of what I want to do career-wise and this would kind of help me narrow it down," she said, adding that a placement would give her workforce experience for when she starts applying for careers.

"I hope they realize what they're doing to the students," she said.