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Who cares wins: owning the learning transition

Bonnie Cord (PhD Candidate at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Chris Sykes (Lecturer in Management, School of Management and Marketing, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Michael Clements (University Professor of Industry Engaged Learning at the Higher Education Office, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




Higher education is seeking ways to close the perceived gap between employer's expectations of graduates and the current preparation these graduates receive. Experiential learning programs offer students one such opportunity to develop professionally and acquire generic workplace skills. This transition however, from the classroom to the workplace, can be a challenging process for students, and is the focus of this paper.


The paper discusses the importance of programs and their supervisors integrating “caring” into work placements. Several stages of the transition process are discussed before seven principles of a successful student transition are outlined.


This paper demonstrates how a beyond duty of care approach can be adopted in experiential learning programs through seven key principles.

Practical implications

It is anticipated that prioritizing a transition that enlarges the notion of student “care” and adoption of the seven key principles will narrow the perceived gap between employers and higher education's expectations of graduates.


While experiential learning programs involve three stakeholders, the literature has not yet recognised the importance of each of these roles in the students' progressional development in the workplace. This paper outlines these roles and identifies seven ways the approach can be incorportaed into the pratices of an expereintial learning program.



Cord, B., Sykes, C. and Clements, M. (2011), "Who cares wins: owning the learning transition", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 20-22.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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