Win-Win Opportunities

See also the Living Classroom infographic.

The Living Classroom offers many advantages to a variety of stakeholders in the post-secondary educator and long-term care alliance. PSE faculty, LTC teams, students, residents and family members can benefit from a well-established LC.

Here are a few of the win-win opportunities:

Post-Secondary Faculty

  • Exposure to the daily practices and events within the Long-Term Care home
  • Involvement in all aspects of caregiving and social engagement
  • Participation as an active Long-Term Care team member in the provision of evidence-informed care and services
  • Opportunities to work with the LTC team and refine curriculum and lesson plans for the LC

Amy Stiles“I really enjoy making connections with the residents and team members in the Long-Term Care home. It allows me to feel a part of their team, and for them to become part of ours! I get a chance to integrate the mission, vision, values and aspirations of the Long-Term Care home into our daily activities. Our [Post-Secondary Educator] outcomes are based on a solid curricular foundation with these important threads included. Having the Living Classroom in the same building as the Long-Term Care home creates an open line of communication and a chance for reciprocal learning.”

— Amy Stiles, Living Classroom Coordinator (2013-2017), Conestoga College, Village of Riverside Glen, Guelph

Long-Term Care Teams

  • Involvement and exposure to new clinical practices and approaches
  • Ability to visit the Living Classroom skills lab and practice and update their caregiving skills and knowledge
  • Assistance from students with resident care
  • Broadened social interaction and engagement
  • Opportunities for personal growth and development through mentoring the next generation of Personal Support Worker students

“Students that we have hired [from the LC program] have been phenomenal — they get what we are going for, they understand resident-centred care, they understand interprofessional collaboration where other people, not having that kind of experiential education, are a little behind on that.”
— LTC team member


  • Access to a Post-Secondary Educator program closer to where they live
  • Involvement in a unique learning opportunity
  • Exposure to a variety of mentors and role models
  • Ability to gain the aptitude and capability to care and provide services to older adults and their families
  • Support to grow as leaders in their career as PSWs
  • Graduating as PSWs who are workforce ready for Long-Term Care

“I definitely learned more hands on than I did from a book or a teacher.”
— Student in the Living Classroom

Older Adults and Families

  • Involvement in student interactions, teaching, and sharing knowledge and wisdom with the students
  • Opportunities to attend or participate in Living Classroom activities and lesson plans to help strengthen student training and learning

“There is a definite increase in confidence of staff working together.”
“Remarkable, many seem more motivated and more dedicated to their work when helping us.”
— Resident of the Village of Riverside Glen


Letter from Amy Stiles, Living Classroom Coordinator (2013-2017), Conestoga College, the Village of Riverside Glen
In learning to care for older adults, LC students are exposed to LTC teams demonstrating compassion, appreciation, patience, and empathy for residents and families. These are core values of any PSW employed in a LTC environment. Some other attributes we aim to support in a LC is students’ comfort in advocating for residents, respecting residents’ rights and family values, providing informed choices to individuals and viewing residents holistically within their environment and communities. A LC offers students an integrated learning and workplace experience in seniors care. The LC also offers residents the opportunity to directly influence and contribute to the development of PSW students who will care for them. The LC is reciprocal in nature — the residents benefit directly from the opportunities, the interaction and care provided to them, and the students, in turn, learn about an entire generation of people, who comprise the majority of society’s population for which they will provide care upon graduation.

⟪  PREVIOUS: A New Approach to Workforce Development  |  NEXT: Historical Context   ⟫