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