In a “win-win” for both UCLA students and Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S), an innovative program from EH&S Training has provided nearly one dozen students with valuable experience in instructional design, with at least one student leveraging the opportunity into a post-graduate position in the field of learning and development.
Since 2019, EH&S Training has been an approved fieldwork site for Psychology 195B: Fieldwork in Cognitive Science, providing upper-division cognitive science undergraduate students with the hands-on opportunity to explore career areas related to cognitive science, while significantly increasing the capacity of EH&S’ training program. According to Karin Wasler, training program manager, interns are involved in training development projects from beginning to end, and for many it is the first time they work as peers with full-time professionals.
“It’s important that interns are given the chance to have key roles in our projects so they can experience the successes and challenges of project implementation,” she said. “Together we problem-solve issues that arise and are sure to celebrate our wins. The program infuses energy, enthusiasm and knowledge into our trainings.
“Our interns bring their excitement about learning to us, and we are able to share with them what it’s like to work in the field of adult learning.”
As part of the EH&S training team, interns lead meetings, track project progress and design interactive e-learning. They also learn to use Articulate Storyline, an industry standard software for the field of online training development. Some students have gone on to develop e-learning courses after graduation. Additionally, Wasler said it’s not uncommon for interns to remain in touch with each other and EH&S staff after their employment, forming lasting professional relationships.
“We look forward to continuing this program well into the future for all of its shared benefits,” she said.