Experiential Learning

Definition of Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning is the development of knowledge, skills, abilities, and values gained through first-hand experience outside the traditional classroom.  A growing body of research demonstrates that experiential learning enhances student learning and prepares students for success after graduation.

Examples of Experiential Learning

One of the requirements of the Compass Program is to complete an experiential learning component. All of the experiential learning components that fulfill the requirement are a High-Impact Education Practice which according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities, research suggests that high-impact practices increase rates of retention and student engagement. Experiences that fulfill this component include:

  • Internship: a practical work experience at a company or organization where a student utilizes knowledge learned in the classroom in a profession setting.
  • Undergraduate Research: research conducted on a university campus with the guidance and supervision of a faculty member.
  • Career Related Community Service: a volunteer experience at an organization or facility that is related to career goals.
  • Independent Study: an independent learning experience where a student is guided by an instructor to conduct a project, but is not taking a course that they go to and attend.
  • Clinical Experience: the observation or shadowing of a medical practitioner in order to learn and better prepare a student for the health care professional school of their choice.

LEAP High-Impact Educational Practices | AACU High Impact Practices

Compass Criteria

  1. Student must submit Experiential Learning Application form [insert link to form] to receive approval that the experience meets the criteria for the experiential learning requirement for the Compass program.
  2. Experience must provide hands-on experience that directly aligns with student’s career goal.
  3. Student must provide develop three learning outcomes defining what they hope to accomplish.
  4. Student must obtain the signature of experiential learning supervisor
  5. Student must complete 40 hours of verified experience over the course of the academic year.
  6. Student must submit experiential learning reflection form [insert link to form] describing their experience, what they have learned, and the application to the student’s professional goals

Finding an Opportunity, Approved Courses

Students can find their own experiential learning opportunity or work with offices such as the Career Development Center Office of Undergraduate Research, or Pre-Health Advising Office to find opportunities. In addition, the following courses fulfill the Compass Program experiential learning component.

Current Courses

BIOL 498, CHEM 496, COMM 496, COMM 498, COMM 499, ENGL 493 ENGL 498, ENGL 499, EOSC 498, ETHNIC 499, HIS 498, MATH 498, MATH 499, MUSC 498, PHYS 496, PHYS 498, POLS 448, POLS 498, POLS 436, POLS 486, POLS 499, PYSC 497, PYSC 496, PYSC 499, SOCI 493, SOCI 498, SOCI 499, THRS 499