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The World Council and Assembly on Cooperative Education was founded in 1983 to foster Co-operative Education and other Work Integrated Learning programs worldwide. Its founders were college and university presidents, educational specialists and employers from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the United States and the United Kingdom. At its inception, the World Council and Assembly on Cooperative Education identified three objectives:

  • Build a membership of educators and employers from around the world
  • Produce biennial world conferences on Co-operative Education
  • Develop a newsletter, with world-wide distribution, devoted to issues involved in Work Integrated Learning and Co-operative Education.

Over the next few years, the World Council and Assembly on Cooperative Education established itself as a viable international association capable of sponsoring successful international conferences. Biennial World Conferences have been held in London, England (1979); Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America (1981); Melbourne, Australia (1983); Edinburgh, Scotland (1985); Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1987); Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (1989); Hong Kong (1991); Dublin, Ireland (1993); Kingston, Jamaica (1995); Cape Town, South Africa (1997); Washington, D.C., United States of America (1999); Narhon Ratchasima, Thailand(2001), Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2003), Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America (2005), Singapore (2007), Vancouver, Canada (2009), and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America (2011).

Today, the WACE continues to build upon the original mission of the World Council and Assembly on Cooperative Education. WACE is the only organization devoted to Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education on a global basis. It is an aggressive advocate of programs which combine professional work experience with classroom teaching. WACE is a resource of information and assistance to schools, employers and governments that want to initiate or strengthen Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education programs. It is our goal to:

  • Identify advantages corporations realize, especially in human resources development, when they incorporate Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education programs
  • Support employers, especially multinational corporations, in developing Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education programs
  • Provide technical assistance to educational institutions and governments interested in adopting Cooperative & Work-Integrated Education programs, particularly among Third World Countries.

The World Council and Assembly on Cooperative Education was renamed The World Association for Cooperative Education (WACE) in 1991 and merged with the National Commission for Cooperative Education (NCCE) in 2010. Today, WACE has over 4,000 WIL Colleagues worldwide.

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